Run Support Winners and Losers Through August

With only one month left to play, let's take a look at which pitchers are most fortunate when it comes to team run support.

Now that the month of August is over, it's time to look at the run support winners and losers thus far in baseball. For reports on previous months, click here, here, here and here.

Let's get at it.

Pitchers With the Worst Run Support

PlayerRuns per Game
Eric Stults2.63
Alex Wood2.80
A.J. Burnett3.21
Yovani Gallardo3.22
Ian Kennedy3.29

Eric Stults has been at the bottom-of-the-barrel in run support in back-to-back months, but he still had his best month of the season. Stults has had a season to forget, especially June when he went 0-6 with a 6.16 ERA, but August is a month he can smile about. Stults had a 2.52 ERA and went 3-2 for the month, his first multi-win month and only month where he had more wins than losses. Stults ended up having four quality starts on the month, in addition to having one outing where he went five innings and gave up one run. Stults won’t have a lot of positives to draw from this year with his 4.86 FIP, 1.40 WHIP and NL-leading 15 losses, but hopefully he can carry what he did in August to September.

Alex Wood made due with the runs he got in August, going 3-2 in and churning out six quality starts in as many appearances. No performance was better than his last outing on the final day of the month. Wood went eight innings, struck out 12 and shutout the Marlins in a 1-0 win. His lock-down 1.96 ERA on the month brought his seasonal mark down from 3.30 to 2.92. Wood is the only Atlanta starter to make the list this season, despite the fact that the Braves ere 27th in runs per game last month.

A.J. Burnett sprung himself on this list out of nowhere, and is shockingly the first Phillies pitcher to make this list this year, despite their offense being 21st in terms of runs per game. Their offense saw some improvement in August with their 4.04 runs per game slotting them in the middle of the pack. Burnett was on the wrong end of a lot of games, going 1-5 in August, four games where Philadelphia scored three or less runs. Burnett’s month was very forgetful, going for 1.2 innings in his fist outing, giving up five runs three times and logging only one start.

Even though Yovani Gallardo only got more than three runs of support once (four in his first start of August), he was able to salvage a 2-2 record on the month. The Milwaukee righty was able to overcome his .274 batting average against, posting a 2.70 with three quality starts. The Brewers were actually in the top half of the NL in runs per game in August, but Gallardo has not gotten a piece of that action in the past two months.

Pitchers With the Best Run Support

PlayerRuns per Game
Colby Lewis5.13
Garrett Richards5.08
Wei-Yin Chen5.04
Mark Buehrle5.04
Kyle Lohse5.04
Jordan Zimmermann5.04

With all of the changes to the A’s starting rotation in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, Jesse Chavez has found him out of the A’s starting rotation, making him ineligible to reclaim his crown.

Colby Lewis took the reins in August and he had a very odd month. He was on the good and of a 16-run route, but also had his team get shutout in his very next outing. He also gave up five earned runs once and four twice, even though his most recent came in a complete game win of the Mariners. Lewis only went 2-3 on the month despite only having a .250 batting average against and walking six batters. The big problem might have been the six home runs over 25 innings of work. In terms of numbers, August was a step in the right direction for Lewis, with it being the only month he had a sub-4.00 ERA.

Mark Buehrle has seen his ERA creep up slowly every start after his second start of June this season, bringing it from a 2.04 to a 3.50 in that time span. Over the course of August Buehrle was winless, despite getting five or more runs in three of his five outings. His 5.76 ERA was pitiful, with Buehrle logging only one quality start. His first two August starts, he only went a combined 7.1 innings and let up six earned runs. The Jays were the worst in the league in runs per game in August, so Buehrle needs to start doing a better job so the squad can win when they are mass producing.

Jordan Zimmermann finally made the list after narrowly missing the cut several times this year. The 2014 All-Star was spectacular Last month with a 4-0 record and converting all six of his starts into quality starts. His 2.21 ERA helped his team win every time he took the mound, despite not being the pitcher of record in two of the outings. Zimmermann did everything a manager could ask of a starter last month and needs to be in similar form if the Nationals are going to make a run through September into October.