Orioles rookie right-hander Kevin Gausman's stat line -- which showed him allowing seven runs over 4 1/3 innings in the Orioles' 8-0 loss to the Rays -- told just one side of the story of Saturday night's game.
At times, Gausman was sparkling able to get hitters out with his changeup. He showed that his arsenal of pitches plays at the big-league level.
At the same time, he elevated too many pitches up in the zone and the Rays capitalized. They didn't hit Gausman especially hard, but they found holes in timely spots.
After the game, Gausman talked rather frankly about his outing and a bit about the frustration that comes from with struggling early at the big league level:
On his outing:
“I felt good. I felt I was throwing some real good circle changeups, mixing my circle change with my split-finger. That’s something that’s really good for me all day. I got the majority of my strikeouts on my changeup or my circle change. I felt good about that. I felt good about my fastball. Obviously my command wasn’t what it has been, but it’s something I’m just trying to get back to.”
On getting ahead of hitters, but being unable to put them away:
"Obviously, every time I get to two strikes, I tried to think of a strikeout. Usually when it’s 0-2 or 1-2, and I throw a purpose pitch, I’m thinking about a strikeout right there. I threw some great strikeout pitchers today. I threw some great strikeout pitches, but they just happened to put the bat on the ball and they dropped in there.”
On the learning curve of pitching in the majors:
"Obviously, this hasn’t gone the way I would have hoped. Obviously, I wanted to come up here and hit the ground running and you know, win my first four starts, but it hasn’t been like that, I’m just trying to battle every day and trying to get back to what I’ve been doing. You look at when I pitched against the Tigers, I got a lot of groundball outs. That was the most effective I was. Looking at tonight,, I really get very many. That kind of showed me I was up in the zone, even just a tad, and these guys are so good. First pitch, Zobrist kind of had my number today, so first pitch, he went for a fastball away for a hit and then the next at-bat, I threw him a fastball in, and he pulled it. These guys are pretty good, but there’s definitely a learning curve there. Just trying to learn every time.”
On the most difficult part of his adjustment:
"Probably it’s the frustration. I feel like I’m throwing good pitches, and sometimes I get the outcome that I hoped, and sometimes I don’t. A little frustrating, but I feel good. I feel..mentally and physically I feel good, and I feel like I have the stuff to be here. I just haven’t produced.”
On making the jump from Double-A:
"I’m the exact same pitcher I was a couple of weeks ago, so the hitters are that much better, that much stronger. The pitch that gets a guy to chase in Double-A, they still might chase it, but the next time they might hit it for a double. That’s the biggest thing, the kind of frustration right now, and obviously I want to help the team win games, and that’s what’s frustrating.”
On saying previously that he knew adjustment wasn't going to be easy:
"I knew when I came up here there were going to be some things I needed to change. I didn’t know how long it was going to take for me to be changing things, but obviously right now I need to get back to what my strengths are, and that’s groundballs. For as much sink I get on my fastball, I should have more groundballs. That’s something that’s frustrating. I’m up in the zone more than I usually am.”
On keeping the ball down in the zone:
"I mean, during the game, I just try to think about throwing strikes and hitting the glove. It’s definitely frustrating when I throw a good pitch and the guy gets a hit on it. That’ something that’s right now kind of frustrating, so I look at the strikeouts I got today. I threw some great pitches. I got some good strikeouts. I had good stuff. I felt like a couple of guys got away from me.”