Today's start vs the D-Rays could have been an abberation, or it could be somewhat of a sign of things to come.
Here are his last 4 starts:
Today: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO (Win)
8/7 vs TEX: 6.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO (Win)
8/2 at LAA: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO (ND)
7/28 vs TOR:5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO (L)
Last 4 Starts Totals: 2-1, 3.86 ERA
This is what I am trying to say: Although everyone has bashed Loaiza (with every right) for a poor season performance and his DUI incident, perhaps he is starting to show the capability that Beane has been looking for. Is it possible that the World Baseball Classic may have had something to do with Loaiza's injuries and awful numbers? And now he is finally coming around? If this is not enough to show that the WBC may have had something to do with his season, then consider these other factors.
Johan Santana in the month of April:
1-3, 4.45 ERA
12-2, 2.96 ERA
How about Bartolo Colon? He pitched in the WBC, was placed on the DL on April 20th (His injury from late last year also had a factor), came back from the DL, only to be put back on the DL on 7/31. He had a 1-5 record with a Bartolo-unlike 5.11 ERA.
I think that because these pitchers pitched for their countries rather than prepare for the season like pitchers usually do during Spring Training, they all got affected one way or the other. Usually, pitchers slowly work themselves into a good groove and rhythm for the entire month of March. But the WBC may have had them pitch at a more than usual intense level so early in the year. Also, playing in the WBC easily caused them to go against or adjust to their routines (And we know ballplayers and their routines).
I only suggest Loaiza's improvement as a possibility, not a cold hard fact. If Loaiza continues to pitch like he has in his last 4 starts and/or even improve from his last 4 starts, then my arguement may provide more validity. Remember, his velocity has improved and he is hitting his location spots more consistently. Also, I saw some real good movement on some of his pitches, especially the cutter fastball.
I guess only time will tell...