Chris Narveson picked a pretty good time to have the best start of his career, didn’t he?
The Narv Dog threw eight shutout innings on Sunday, striking out seven and only allowing four hits. If he had finished the game, you could make an argument that his outing would’ve been more impressive than Edwin Jackson‘s eight-walk no-hitter the other night. Sure, it was against one of the worst offenses in all of baseball, but let’s look past that for a minute.
With Doug Davis rejoining the team soon, Narveson needed to get results today, regardless of the level of competition. Davis won’t be going to the bullpen, so someone’s going to have to lose their spot in the rotation to make room for him. Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf are safe for different reasons, and Dave Bush is probably safe unless Ken Macha is comfortable with a four-lefty rotation. That leaves Narveson and Manny Parra as the two candidates to get replaced, and with Parra’s recent strikeout binge, he may be nearing “safe” status as well.
So did Narveson do enough today to keep his starting job? I wouldn’t bet on it.
Yeah, this was probably the best outing we’ve seen from Narveson in Milwaukee, but before today he had worked 7 innings only once, and 6 innings only three times. He managed to avoid the first inning problems today, but he had allowed first inning runs in six of his 11 starts heading into Sunday, and in three of his past four starts. Sorry, Chris, but this looks an awful lot like a guy having a good outing against a horrible offense. This is, after all, the same Mariners lineup that made Jeff Suppan look like a decent pitcher in his debut with the Cardinals.
Ken Macha said that Narveson will be pitching in St. Louis in the postgame press conference, but seemed hesitant to say much more beyond that. Who knows, maybe Narveson can keep his rotation spot with a repeat performance against a better Cardinals lineup (the same one that scored four runs on him off of five walks and five hits in six innings earlier this month). As it stands right now, though, I still think Narveson is the guy that will have to move to the bullpen when Davis is ready to return.