Guthrie out of answers after suffering 13th loss of season

July 15, 2011 | Luke Jones

Jeremy Guthrie is one of the most standup guys you’ll find in the Orioles clubhouse.

Intelligent and analytical, the Stanford product is regularly willing to talk to the media, providing thoughtful insight after wins or losses.

Following Thursday’s 8-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians, in which an ineffective Guthrie suffered his major league-leading 13th defeat of the season, his frustration was clear.

Normally preferring to address the media in the auxiliary clubhouse (where manager Buck Showalter’s press conferences take place) after his starts, Guthrie instead held court at his locker, and his words were uncharacteristically brief after allowing six earned runs in five innings to drop his fourth decision in his last five starts (not counting last Sunday’s loss in relief to Boston).

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“I felt like I wasn’t able to throw the ball where I wanted to,” Guthrie said. “I wasn’t able to get ahead in the count, and when I fell behind, I had a really hard time throwing strikes and getting back into it.”

Eleven pitches and four batters into the game, the Indians held a 3-0 lead after Asdrubal Cabrera hit a solo home run and Carlos Santana hit a two-run shot into the right-center bleachers before Guthrie could even get his feet under him. It didn’t get much better after that as the 32-year-old was lifted after facing two batters in the sixth, continuing a stretch in which Baltimore starters have completed six innings just twice in the last 17 games. Orioles starters have completed seven innings only once in their last 27 games (Guthrie on July 1).

Like anyone who’s watched the Orioles drop eight in a row, 13 of 14, and 22 of their last 28 games, what else is there to say at this point?

“It’s tough like other stretches we’ve had,” Guthrie said. “Each person needs to hopefully play better.”

Maybe the de facto ace was brooding over the 24 earned runs he’s allowed over his last five starts, spanning 29 innings (7.45 ERA). His earned run average now sits at 4.45 after beginning the month of June with an impressive 3.24 mark despite a 2-7 record.

He might not have been thrilled with pitching on three days rest after throwing 73 pitches in 3 1/3 relief innings against the Red Sox, saying he was “not sure” if it had an impact on Thursday’s poor outing.

The fifth-worst run support in the American League (3.45 runs per game) entering the night would weigh on the toughest of pitchers.

Or perhaps the effect of 27 losses in just over a season and a half since 2010 has the pitcher ready to be rescued with trade rumors circulating.

Whatever the case, Guthrie was unable to provide the shot in the arm the Orioles desperately needed to start the second half on a winning note.

Despite his recent poor stretch, the hard-luck Guthrie has deserved far better over the last two seasons and now sees another listless summer staring him in the face with the Orioles now 17 games under .500 and 18 1/2 games out of first place in the middle of July.

It’s not a pretty sight.

And, like the rest of us, he was in no mood to talk about it, either.

Visit the Audio Vault to hear from Guthrie, acting manager John Russell, and Adam Jones following the Orioles’ series opening loss to the Indians.