If Dave Burba is nervous about his pitching staff, he’s not showing it.
The Modesto Nuts pitching coach saw enough ups and downs during his own 15-year major league pitching career that he’s not about to panic when his starters are ineffective in their first time through the rotation.
Modesto took a staff ERA of 9.80 into Thursday’s home opener against Rancho Cucamonga, and the five starters’ combined ERA is 11.03.
“I don’t sense any frustration guys or guys going out and trying to do something they’re not capable of doing,” Burba said. “It just happened that two of the guys when went out to start the first time through didn’t have any angle on their pitchers. Their pitches were flat, and you just can’t go out and pull them because we’re limited in the bullpen early in the season. You have to leave them out there to get through a few innings.
“The other nights we had a couple missed plays that cost us some extra bases. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong as far as us not winning to win ballgames.”
There is a little light at the front of the rotation. Ben Alsup and Ryan Gibbard both pitched significantly better in their second starts than they did in their first outings, and Burba expects that to become a trend.
“Last night we got a great performance out of Gibbard and the night before Alsup pitched great and got burned by one bad pitch. We’re turning the page and starting to get some better results. We’re home now, and I’m anxious to see how things go here.”