May 13, 2011, 6:08 PM EDT
Ryan Dempster has to be feeling pretty good about himself at this point. He struck out 11 Friday in beating the Giants. It was his third straight quality start, as he allowed a total of two runs in six innings.
And lowered his ERA to 6.71.
That’s how bad Dempster’s April was. He gave up at least four runs in each of his six outings, culminating in a career low April 28 against the Dodgers. In that meltdown, he was charged with seven runs in one-third of an inning, taking his ERA to 9.58.
Now the long trial to bring it down has begun. He lowered it to 8.05 by holding the Dodgers to one run in seven innings on May 3. On May 8, he gave up two runs over seven innings against the Reds, putting him at 7.20. The margins keep getting smaller, though. Friday’s win knocked him down only half a run.
Dempster finished last year with a 3.85 ERA in 215 1/3 innings.
To finish that well this year, he’d have to give up 54 runs in 164 1/34 innings the rest of the way, a 2.96 mark.
In 2009, he came in at 3.65 in 200 IP.
To match that, he’d have to allow 43 runs in 149 innings, a 2.60 mark.
In 2008, Dempster came in at 2.96 over 206 2/3 innings.
That seems unreachable. He’d have to pitch 155 2/3 innings at a 1.73 mark to duplicate that number.
Dempster is certainly on the right path now. His 11 strikeouts Friday were his most since June 11, 2008. His slider and, more inportantly, his confidence are back.
As for his numbers, well, they’ve got a ways to go.
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