Tommy Milone has been pitching lights out his past 4 starts, allowing a total of 3 runs in 26.1 innings. Over this span, he has lowered his ERA from 5.86 to 3.50. This could end up being a very similar season to the one Jarrod Parker had in 2013. Allow me to explain.
Jarrod Parker came in to 2013 with high expectations from himself and fans alike after bursting onto the scene in 2012. Those expectations were put on hold for a few starts, with Parker exiting April with a 7.36 ERA. In May however, Parker started a string of 19 starts where he did collect a loss. That streak lasted from May 22 until September 16.
Tommy Milone is unbeaten in his past 4 starts, a far cry from 19, but it’s a start. Both starter’s April ERAs were absurdly high. Last year, as the season progressed, Parker had monthly ERAs of 7.36, 3.62, 2.08, 3.91, 2.23 and 6.41. Minus the September ERA of 6.41, the Athletics would gladly take those stats coming from Tommy Milone in the 5th spot in the rotation.
Milone’s hot streak started when there was talk among A’s fans of sending him or Dan Straily down to Sacramento. Dan Straily was optioned, and Tommy Milone has been pitching as though he never wants his ability to be in question again.
While comparing the two pitchers may seem ridiculous to some, let’s look at both starter’s career ERAs. Parker (25-16) checks in with a respectable 3.68, while Tommy Milone (28-22) is at 3.92. The perception is that Parker is far-and-away the better pitcher. Parker was slated to be the ace of the rotation, with Milone fighting for a rotation spot. Oddly, their stats are relatively similar. Similar enough that Tommy Milone is capable of going on a hot streak much like Parker’s 2013 run.
With the bottom of the rotation being solidified as of late with Drew Pomeranz and Tommy Milone pitching well, it gives the top-3 starters a little bit of breathing room. More importantly, it gives the Oakland Athletics a shot to win each and every time out.