Thus far in 2013, the Baltimore Orioles are proving to be more night owls than early birds. As of Tuesday morning, the O’s were sitting in third place in the American League East with a 6-6 record.
They seem to do most of their damage later in games.
During last Thursday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore entered the ninth inning down 5-3 and facing Boston’s (expensive) closer Joel Hanrahan. Chris Davis promptly greeted him with a home run to deep center, cutting the deficit to one. Hanrahan then got the next two O’s out, but a single and two walks loaded the bases. A wild pitch plated another Oriole before Manny Machado hit a three-run homer to put Baltimore up for good, 8 to 5.
The very next night, Baltimore found themselves tied 2-2 heading into the seventh. Adam Jones took care of that with a go-ahead double that scored Machado, and Baltimore won 3-2.
The week before while playing the Minnesota Twins, the O’s were down 5-4 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Adam Jones singled in the tying run before Chris Davis took care of all runners by hitting a grand slam. Baltimore went on to win 9-5.
We all know the O’s were unreal last year when it came to extra inning affairs, and it seems like their late inning heroics are continuing this year.
If you look at their team batting average for the first through sixth innings, the O’s are hitting .257, good for 15th in all of baseball.
If you check out their team batting average for the seventh inning and beyond, the O’s are second in all of baseball with an impressive .283 average, and their 23 runs scored in those innings also lands them in second place.
Another stat to look at is their earned run average from the seventh inning and on. Right now, the O’s boast a 2.81 ERA which is ninth in baseball. (Their ERA for innings one through six is 4.38—That could use some improvement.)
I’m sorry, did you say you wanted more stats? Sure thing, coming right up!
The Orioles have possessed excellent control in the latter innings. Baltimore is tied with the Texas Rangers for walking only six batters from the seventh inning and on, showing that they are not shooting themselves in the foot. They have also struck out 26 hitters, good for a 4 to 1 K/BB ratio. Not bad!
If Baltimore wants to contend again in 2013, their bullpen will need to keep up their current pace. If their starters can hand them the lead, then they should have no problem doing just that.
by Andy Mindzak