Arrieta's inconsistency continues

When Jake Arrieta was given the ball to be the Orioles’ Opening Day starter, he talked about how important it would be to have a consistent season, something he really hasn’t had in his young career.

Through 10 starts in 2012 – including Wednesday’s loss – Arrieta is 2-5 with a 4.87 ERA, certainly not what he was envisioning in April.

But look deeper into the numbers and what really stands out is just how inconsistent he has been.

In four of his 10 starts he has allowed two runs or fewer, is 2-0 and has posted a 1.26 ERA. He’s allowed just four runs total in 28 2/3 innings and is averaging seven innings per outing.

In the other six, Arrieta is 0-5 with an 8.35 ERA. He has given up 30 runs in 32 1/3 innings and has averaged about 5 1/3 innings per start.

The inconsistency is maddening – at least to watch.

“Well I mean I’m not too frustrated by it,” Arrieta said. “I’m still figuring some things out, learning my body now, especially with my arm and my elbow. It’s just a little frustrating to go out there and have that type of stuff and just not being able to command it early on in the game.”

Arrieta had a chance to turn in a good outing Wednesday, but he threw too many pitches, couldn’t command them – especially out of the stretch – and couldn’t put hitters away.

In his last start, he was excellent, allowing just one run in seven innings while striking out nine Washington Nationals. You can say it’s the level of competition, but his best start this year was eight shutout innings against the New York Yankees. His worst was a seven-run clunker against a depleted Tampa Bay Rays lineup.

Arrieta is a hard worker. He’ll be trying to figure out what went wrong on Wednesday and try to correct it for his next outing.

But what needs to be figured out is why he can be so good one game and so shaky the next. That consistency is the key to having a good major-league career.

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