With Jake Odorizzi, one has to take the good with the bad when he is on the mound. In his start Tuesday night, both sides were plainly apparent.
One of the biggest knocks on Jake Odorizzi has been his tendency to generate high pitch counts without going deep into the game. Despite not being a high strikeout pitcher, Odorizzi has tended to throw a great deal of pitches early on, being unable to consistently make his way through six innings. In fact, in his first three full seasons in the majors, Odorizzi averaged over six innings just once, when he averaged 6.04 innings per start in 2015.
And yet, despite those issues, Odorizzi has typically been effective. Those high pitch counts can lead to a good deal of trouble at times, but more often than not, he has been able to evade those rough outings. Yesterday, we saw both sides of the Jake Odorizzi Experience.
In his 4.1 innings, Odorizzi threw 99 pitches while facing 22 batters. Of those 22 batters, 11 batters had some variety of a three ball count. Although he was able to generate three of his four strikeouts after getting to a three ball count, Odorizzi also issued three walks, and gave up a three run homer to Kendrys Morales.
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Those high pitch counts eventually led to trouble. He had allowed just the one run on two hits through four innings, before two base hits and an error led to disaster. In that fateful fifth inning, Odorizzi faced five batters, and went to a three ball count on three of them.
This has been the biggest stumbling block when it comes to Odorizzi’s development. He has those moments where he looks like a top of the rotation starter, and then his penchant to nibble at the zone comes through. That attacking pitcher fades away, replaced with a pitcher who appears far more tentative and unable to trust his stuff. Unless that happens with more consistency, Odorizzi will continue to tantalize, but never quite reach his potential.
The Jake Odorizzi Experience was on full display last night. Unfortunately, the good was unable to outweigh the bad for the Rays.