Orioles starter Cole Irvin has completely turned his season around

After a slow start to the season, Cole Irvin has found his form.
Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles
Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Cole Irvin found himself back in the Orioles' rotation during spring training after Kyle Bradish and John Means were forced to begin the year on the Injured List. Things got off to a rocky start for Irvin, despite a supposedly revamped arsenal, but his last two outings have been dominant. Here's a breakdown of Irvin's up and down season so far.

Cole Irvin's first 3 starts with Orioles

Cole Irvin wasn't fooling anyone through his first three starts. He began the season on a rough note with an outing against the Kansas City Royals. Irvin made it through five innings, but he gave up four runs on seven hits, along with two walks.

With all things considered, his line looked better then he actually pitched. Irvin allowed an average exit velocity of over 95 mph in his first start, meaning the opposing hitters were averaging a hard hit ball (considered 95 mph or higher) every time they put the ball in play.

The results were even worse in his second start against Boston. He once again made it through five full innings, but the Red Sox hit him hard. He gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks.

His third start of the season showed some improvement, but Irvin still struggled with his command. He made it through just 4.2 innings, but he surrendered just two runs. After his first three starts, Irvin had an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 1.70. He looked eminently replaceable.

Cole Irvin's Orioles Turnaround

The improvement for Irvin appeared during his second start against the Royals. He threw 6.2 shutout innings, securing the series win against Kansas City. He allowed just four hits and two walks during his outing, getting a lot of soft contact in the process.

Irvin continued his shutout streak with seven scoreless innings against the Athletics in Saturday's 7-0 win. It was his best start of the season, with Irvin allowing just four hits and zero walks.

After these two scoreless starts, Irvin brought his season ERA down to 3.49, with his WHIP also dropping down to a solid 1.24.

One of the big differences for Irvin has been his efficiency. Through his first three starts, Irvin was averaging just over 80 pitches to get through roughly five innings per outing. However, over his past two starts, Irvin has thrown 93 pitches to get through 6.2 innings and 89 pitches to get through seven innings.

The Orioles have thrown two shutouts this season, with Cole Irvin being the starter in both of those games. If Irvin can continue this success, he's going to give Brandon Hyde a very tough decision to make with the rotation going forward.

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