Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
James Shields has Ervin Santana, Stephen Strasburg has Gio Gonzalez, and Chris Sale has Jake Peavy and Jose Quintana, but who's going to console Homer Bailey?
Bailey must think his Cincinnati Reds teammates hate him, because even though the team ranks third in the National League in runs scored, the right-hander has received scant run support.
Shields has a buddy in Santana because the Royals have given both pitchers less than three runs per 27 outs (R/27) while they have been the pitcher of record this season. Strasburg has received 3.6 R/27 and Gonzalez 3.1, and the three White Sox pitchers all have had 3.3 R/27 or fewer this season.
At least those pitchers know the lack of run support is a team-wide issue; Kansas City ranks 24th in baseball in runs scored, Washington is 28th and Chicago 29th.
But Bailey has had to watch Bronson Arroyo get 4.0 R/27, Mike Leake get 4.1 and Mat Latos get 5.2 while he has received 2.8. The poor guy's self esteem must really be low right now.
And the insult goes further. The Reds actually have scored more runs during Bailey's starts after he has left the game than before even though he averages a shade over six innings per start. As a result, Bailey is 3-4 despite posting a 3.84 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.
There are others around the league with whom Bailey can take comfort. Namely, Kris Medlen of the Atlanta Braves, Wei-Yin Chen of the Baltimore Orioles, Alexi Ogando of the Texas Rangers and Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants.
Medlen has had it even worse than Bailey, as the Braves, who rank fourth in the NL in runs scored, have provided the right-hander with 2.6 R/27.
San Francisco ranks right behind Atlanta at fifth on the NL runs leaderboard, but the Giants have given the left-handed Bumgarner 3.0 R/27.
The O's are second in baseball with 287 runs scored, but not many of them have gone toward supporting Chen. The team has given him 3.1 R/27.
And while Ogando pitches for the Rangers, who are 10th in baseball with 261 runs scored, he has been given 3.2 R/27 as the pitcher of record.
Combined, the quartet has a 3.21 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in 246 2/3 innings but is 13-15.
As the season goes on, these pitchers can only hope their teams start spreading out the runs instead of giving them all to Latos, Tim Hudson (5.2 R/27), Mike Minor (5.5 R/27), Paul Maholm (5.6 R/27), Chris Tillman (5.1 R/27), Jason Hammel (6.2 R/27), Yu Darvish (7.2 R/27) or Nick Tepesch (4.8 R/27).
If not, then Bailey, Medlen, Chen, Bumgarner and Ogando can start a group therapy session. They just have to be sure not to invite Miami Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco (3-6, 3.69 ERA, 2.1 R/27); he thinks those guys are a bunch of cry babies.