Jake Odorizzi has not put forth his best effort with the Houston Astros this season. He has started 20 games and owns a 6-7 record to this point. His 4.28 ERA is higher than his career mark of 3.95. Odorizzi started another game last night and went five innings against the Seattle Mariners, giving up five hits and two runs. Houston won the game, but Odorizzi was rewarded with a no-decision after the two earned runs came in his final inning and tied it up before his exit.
Odorizzi was... displeased after the game about how Dusty Baker is choosing to utilize him. The frustration clearly boiled over in the right-hander while speaking to reporters, calling it "bulls--t" that Baker pulled him after five frames despite throwing only 66 pitches.
Odorizzi's outburst is the result of frustration building over the course of several months. According to the Houston Chronicle, the right-hander hasn't pitched more than 5.2 innings since July 9. There is a reason for this, though-- Odorizzi's opponents tend to hammer him on the third time around the lineup. Batters hit .395 against Odorizzi when they face him for a third time in any given game. Baker noticed this and told the media last night that something "always happens" when he leaves Odorizzi in for longer than two times around the order.
One would assume he also told Odorizzi that, but Odorizzi said nobody has talked to him about why this is happening. Seems like a pretty significant miscommunication if that is the case.
Odorizzi's aggravated demeanor makes more sense when one takes a look at his recent performances, noted in the above tweet from Sports Talk Radio 790's Adam Wexler. He's been on his game in the last six starts but has yet to go past five innings in any of them.
Nevertheless, taking issues to the media is often a sign things have gone horribly wrong. The Astros don't "need" Odorizzi, given their offense will always be the way the team wins games, but every little bit helps, especially in the starting pitching rotation. It would be best for Baker to figure this out before October rolls around.