Friday, July 11, 2008

July Finds Orioles George Sherrill Rocked, Doubted

Physicists have calculated that given its wingspan, weight and dimensions, the ungainly bumble bee should be unable to fly. Likewise, stat geeks have shown that a left-handed specialist like George Sherrill of the Orioles -- given his age, propensities and statistical limitations -- should be unable to face everyday hitters on a regular basis.

The bumble bee doesn't understand physics and therefore can fly. Sherrill perhaps doesn't study sabremetrics, and therefore can close games -- uh -- at least until now.

It's a bit early to panic, but the fact is that Sherrill has been and is in uncharted territory, as for the first time in his career he is on a pace to pitch 70 innings out of the bullpen, almost doubling the maximum number of innings he has notched historically when he primarily faced only lefties in the minors and for Seattle in 2006-07.

Though Sherrill is also on pace to notch 49 saves -- eclipsing Randy Myers' 45 team record in 1997 -- an MLB Newsonline statistical analysis warns that Sherrill may be approaching his physical limits.

Not only has he blown four saves since June 2, his ERA was 2.25 in May but jumped to 4.15 for the month of June and 10.12 so far in July.