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A Look at the Numbers: How Below Average Has the Baltimore Orioles Starting Rotaion Been?

April 23rd, 2014 at 8:30 AM
By Josh Michael

Today, we thought we would get analytical with some statistics and our focus is on the Baltimore Orioles starting rotation, and while it may not be a surprise, in fact, it shouldn't be a surprise, the numbers show that the rotation needs to be better.

'Ubaldo Jimenez' photo (c) 2014, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Orioles came into this season with high expectations, and while it is still way too early to think they will not live up to those expectations, early on the starting rotation already needs to be better in so many aspects.

Baltimore's starting rotation is below the American League average in so many categories that it is alarming, and even more alarming is the fact that the O's rotation is below average in multiple key categories for a team to be successful.

The most important statistic for any pitcher is ultimately the amount of runs you allow per game and the Orioles starting rotation is currently allowing 4.53 runs per game, which is above the AL average of 4.33. That may not seem like that big of a difference, but when you think about it, two tenth's of a run more per game ultimate means that Orioles starters are giving up one more run than the league average every five games, which is huge. When you combine the fact that the Orioles starters allow 4.53 runs per game and the offense is scoring 4.3 runs per game, that does not equal an equation for success.

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Three Run Lead Vanishes for Baltimore Orioles; Toronto Blue Jays Hit Trio of Trio’s

April 23rd, 2014 at 6:56 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles enjoyed a brief 3-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning, before watching the Toronto Blue Jays hit three three run home runs over the next three innings to secure game one of the three game set 9-3 on Tuesday Night.

'Nelson Cruz' photo (c) 2014, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Nelson Cruz smoked a rare fastball off of Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey in the sixth inning for a three run shot after Steve Lombardozzi led off the inning with a bloop double and Nick Markakis walked. Baltimore loaded the bases later in the inning, but could a Jonathan Schoop strikeout stranded the runners.

Again in the seventh the Orioles had an opportunity to put more runs on the board as Lombardozzi led off with a single and Markakis followed with a ground rule double to put runners on second and third with no outs, but a Cruz tapper back to the mound, a Chris Davis walk, and back-to-back strikeouts by Adam Jones and Steve Clevenger left the Birds off the board.

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Minor League Spotlight: Bowie Baysox Third Baseman Buck Britton Turning Heads This Season

April 22nd, 2014 at 9:36 AM
By Josh Michael

As we will do here at Orioles101 throughout the season, today in our latest installment of our Minor League Spotlight, we highlight a guy who has a brother in the organization, has three different All Star accolades in the Minor Leagues, and has made a name for himself despite being a 35th round selection. That guy is AA Bowie Baysox third baseman Buck Britton.

'Bowie Baysox vs. New Britain Rock Cats - New Britain, Connecticut' photo (c) 2012, Doug Kerr - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Britton, who of course is the brother of Baltimore Orioles reliever Zach Britton, was the 35th round draft pick by the Orioles in the 2008 MLB Draft out of Lubbock Christian University, and compared to your average 35th round pick, Britton has made quite a name for himself.

So far in 2014, Britton has been one of the hottest hitters in the organization as a whole as he currently leads all players in the Orioles' Minor League system with three home runs, is third with 11 RBI, and has scored 16 runs already this season. His .351 average ranks fourth among Orioles Minor Leaguers thus far, and Britton has been one of the five bashers in the potent Baysox lineup that is hitting .295 as a team to lead all Orioles' Minor League affiliates.

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Tough Stretch to Begin Schedule Passed, Baltimore Orioles Should Be Happy with Start

April 22nd, 2014 at 7:02 AM
By Josh Michael

When the 2014 MLB schedule was released, immediately we here at Orioles 101 looked at how tough the Baltimore Orioles' first 19 games were to open the year. One rainout, and 18 games later, the Orioles should be happy with their start against such a tough stretch to begin the season.

'Baltimore Orioles Victory Celebration' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
 

You may be scratching your head a little bit and asking, "the Orioles should be happy with a 9-9 start?"

To that we say absolutely, especially when you look at the schedule they faced and the troubles they had as a team.

If you exclude the rainout against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles played 12 of their first 18 games against playoff teams from the year before, including seven against the defending World Series Champions and three against the team they beat in the American League Championship series in the Detroit Tigers. In addition, the combined records of the teams the Birds have faced over their first 18 games is 48-45, which is slightly above league average thus far.

Baltimore still has three games in Toronto beginning tonight as the final stretch of a 16 consecutive game streak against the AL East, which is expected to happen, but is still a tough way to begin the season.

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Baltimore Orioles Survive Scare, Beat Boston Red Sox 7-6 on Patriot’s Day

April 21st, 2014 at 2:41 PM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles blew a five run lead on Sunday, and held a six run lead on Monday and nearly gave that one away, but held on to secure a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Patriot's Day and split the four game series in Boston.

'Wei-Yin Chen' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
 

Wei-Yin Chen (3-1) was very good through his first four innings and held a 6-0 lead heading into the fifth inning, but that's when things started to look eerily familiar to Sunday. Chen proceeded to allow three runs in the fifth on three hits and one walk, and escaped futher damage when he retired David Ortiz with a runner on second.

The bullpen took over in the sixth and Ryan Webb struck out the side to calm the nerves of Orioles fans a little bit, but Zach Britton allowed a solo home run to David Ross in the seventh to see Baltimore's lead shrink to 6-4. After the O's added an insurance in the top of the eighth, Darren O'Day allowed a solo home run to Mike Napoli to cut the lead back to two at 7-5, and Brian Matusz came on and that's when the Orioles got a huge break. Matusz got the strikeout and Xander Bogaerts was caugh in no-man's land by Clevenger and the Orioles tagged him out and got out of a big jam.

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