Getting better every time out, Chris Capuano shut out the Cubs for seven innings on Saturday to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Capuano has posted a statistically improved outing each time out for the Dodgers:
April 7 – 4 R in 4 2/3 IP
April 12 – 2 R in 5 1/3 IP
April 18 – 2 R in 6 IP
April 23 – 1 R in 7 IP
April 29 – 0 R in 6 2/3 IP
May 5 – 0 R in 7 IP
It’s been a very impressive showing for a guy who was only linked to the Dodgers, Twins and Cubs before signing a two-year, $10 million deal over the winter. Other contenders might have gotten more interested later on, but they seemed to be searching for more durable pitchers when free agent season started. Capuano, 33, has made 30 starts just three times in his career. He was 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA in 186 innings for the Mets last year.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.