The Baltimore Orioles were back to their winning ways over the last seven games. They just took three out of four from the White Sox, after winning two of three against Boston.
The wrap-around series in Chicago saw the O’s take the first three games and reach the .500 mark again, only to drop the final game to Mark Buehrle on Monday night.
Not counting Jeremy Guthrie’s starts, the O’s offense appears to be back on track. They have raised the team on-base percentage to .295, up 15 points from April 18th. Like most teams, when the O’s score five or more runs, they seem to win.
Matt Wieters has broken out of his two-year slump and is starting to pop some home runs. He isn’t exactly ripping two hits a night, but he is driving in runs and getting on base. Luke Scott, however, is hotter than the barrel of his spent .45. He has homered in three of the last five games and has 6 RBI in that span. He even robbed a homerun in leftfield when he jumped to pull back an Alexei Ramirez fly ball. Robert Andino has proven to be a super-sub in J.J. Hardy’s absence. He has great range at shortstop and is hitting .314 on the season.
The starters continue to pitch well. The team has a starters ERA of 3.98, led by Zach Britton’s 2.63 and Jeremy Guthrie’s 3.00. Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, and Brad Bergesen own unsightly ERAs near 5.00, but it’s the bullpen that has is last in MLB with a 5.48 ERA. Much of that inflated number can be traced back to the 15-3 loss to the Yankees two Saturdays ago, when the ‘pen allowed nine earned runs in just three innings.
Brian Matusz is expected to return to the rotation sometime this month. He’ll likely replace Brad Bergesen or Chris Tillman. Tillman doesn’t have anything left to prove in the minors. He has dominated at every level and just needs some time to figure out major league hitters. Bergesen’s finesse repertoire has never been highly touted and he’ll likely be the odd man out when Matusz is ready.
The O’s (13-14) travel to Kansas City tonight for a three-game series against the 15-13 Royals. The Alex Gordon and Billy Butler combination has been deadly for KC, as each player has been tearing up AL pitching. Mike Aviles also enters the game red hot with 21 RBI on the season. And don’t forget Frenchie, who recently had a 17-game hitting streak stopped.
Despite dealing with a hot Royals team, this is a series that the Orioles need to win before the Rays come to visit the Yard on Friday night.
About the Author
Written by Sven Jenkins
My name is Sven Jenkins, and I’m an independent baseball analyst from Poughkeepsie, NY. I own 60ft6in.com and do freelance work for STATS Inc. In the past, I've done research for the St. Louis Cardinals and worked one season with Baseball Info Solutions in 2007. I have also spent many nights as an official scorer in the minor leagues and played NCAA D-III baseball at SUNY New Paltz. In the off-season I travel the world, having enjoyed over 1,100 days on the road through 40 different countries. You can email me at: jenkins AT 60ft6in DOT com.