On July 18, Scott Kazmir made his 3rd start after a 5-week stint on the disabled list. He'd been terrible up that point in the season -- 4-5 with a 7.11 ERA -- but he'd spent the time off getting healthy and re-locating his velocity under the tutelage of pitching guru Rick Peterson. It finally paid off, with his first quality start since April 24: 6 innings, 1 run. Including that game, Kazmir has racked up 7 quality starts in 9 games, going 4-3 with a 4.07 ERA, striking out 49 and walking 18 in 55.1 innings.
How have our other starting pitchers done during those past 7 weeks? Lackey, Santana, and Weaver have made 10 starts each:
JL: 5-3, 2.57 ERA, 57/19 K/BB, 73.2 IP
ES: 6-2, 4.31 ERA, 50/22 K/BB, 62.2 IP
JW: 4-2, 4.95 ERA, 50/21 K/BB, 60.0 IP
Meanwhile, Joe Saunders was stinking up the joint, then went on the disabled list, took some cortisone shots, and has won all three starts since coming back, giving up 4 ER in 17.1 IP.
Put those all together, and what do you get? Over 42 starts (everyone except Saunders from mid-July on; Saunders in his last three), that's 269 innings pitched (6 and 1/3 per start), 218 strikeouts, 87 walks, a 22-10 record, and a 3.78 ERA. And over their last 11 starts, none of these guys have given up more than 2 earned runs, posting a combined 1.51 ERA.
Who knew that there would ever be a time this year that we could feel almost good about the rotation?