The last time Chris Archer started, he delivered for the Pittsburgh Pirates by holding the Atlanta Braves to one run over six innings. It was Archer's 11th start of the season, yet just the third that saw him clear the "quality start" requirements. In his previous six outings, he had allowed 33 hits and 28 runs in 29 ⅔ innings of work. The hope, then, was that Archer was about to find a groove.
Unfortunately for Archer, one of the most likable players in any sport, the only groove he found on Tuesday was that of the opposition's barrel.
Archer again took on the Braves. This time around, however, he yielded four home runs over the course of a single frame. Take a look at what happened in the second inning:
Archer later allowed another home run to McCann, his fifth on the season. He finished the night having permitted seven runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings. His seasonal ERA is now up to 5.73.
Archer entered the night with a 5.20 ERA (81 ERA+) on the year, and an 86 ERA+ for the duration of his Pirates career. Even if the players the Pirates had traded for him weren't performing well -- and Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow have been two of the Rays' top contributors, when healthy -- the deal would feel like the worst-case outcome for Pittsburgh. As it stands, it looks like one of the worst trades in recent memory for any club.
For Archer's sake, here's hoping he can get back on track. Sadly, with each passing poor start, it seems more likely than not that he's going to require another trade for him to rediscover what once made him such an enjoyable and desirable pitcher in the first place.