The Baltimore Orioles Have Treaded Water Through A Tough Early Season Schedule
Posted by chuckbooth3023
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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
The Orioles have been a scrappy bunch in the early parts of 2013 – just like they conducted themselves in the whole season for 2013. As of Friday, they laid claim to a 8 – 7 record, just one game back of the New York Yankees for 2nd place in a tough AL East – and trail the Boston Red Sox by 3 games for the Division Lead.
They have had lackluster Starting Pitching, an incredibly consistent Bullpen, plus timely hitting from Adam Jones (.375 2 HRs and 13 RBI) and the devilishly on fire Chris Davis (.353, 6 HRs and 20 RBI).
The club is following the same pattern that netted them a Post Season Birth in the 2012 Playoffs – winning in the Bottom of the 10th last night – via a Walk Off Grand Slam by Catcher Matt Wieters.
It was the franchises 17th straight Extra Inning win dating back to last year where they won the 1st 16. It also gave them the series win versus the Rays for the 2nd time this young season.
Orioles Pump Up Video for 2013!
It has been no easy cake walk for the Birds either. They have played the Tampa Bay Rays 6 times (taking a 4 – 2 record), the New York Yankees for 3 (1 – 2), The Boston Red Sox in a 3 game Series (2 – 1), they hosted Minnesota Twins in a 3 game set (1 – 2). So there is no shame in the 8 – 7 start.
To make things even more interesting, they are now starting a 6 game homestand on Friday night, where they host and Interleague Series vs the Dodgers from Friday – Sunday, before they face the last of the AL East teams in Toronto next week.
Oh yeah… right after that, the club travels to Oakland to face the 12 – 4 AL West Leaders. If baseball positioned itself with a Strength of Schedule top 25 like College Football, I am thinking the Orioles would have the toughest April in the MLB!
If you think it gets easier after that, then you are wrong! After a quick game Series against the Mariners, the club these teams in May KC (3), LAA (3), DET (1), WSH (3), TOR (4), NYY (4), TB (3). Their only salvation will be the San Diego Padres for 3 and the Minnesota Twins in a 3 contest stanza.
I guess when you are playing in the vaunted AL East, all of the months will be similar, but the Nationals for 3 along with the LA Angels and Royals is definitely not a picnic. They end the month with the AL Pennant Winners from last season.
Buck Showalter will need to wave his magic wand to keep the team in the race.
The Starting Pitching MUST fare better than a 3 – 6 Record. Three guys have been okay with the ERA’s (Wie-yin Chen 4.00, Miguel Gonzalez 4.00 and Jason Hammel at 4.34), however #1 Pitcher Chris Tillman is sporting a 7.07 mark in 3 Games Started and Jake Arrieta isn’t too far behind him at 5.40.
The Bullpen has been the anchor behind the teams success so far this campaign.
Jim Johnson is perfect in 6 Save Opportunities thus far – and has yet to give up a run. Darren O’Day has been filthy dominant in every Appearance except for a Blown Save, carrying a WHIP of 0.63 in 8 IP. He is so tough on Lefties.
Brian Matusz has continued to thrive in his transition from a Starter to a Reliever. He has allowed just 2 Hits and 1 Walk through 5.2 Innings Pitched. Troy Patton also features a 0.00 ERA in 6 Appearances and 5.2 Innings Pitched.
All of these 4 Relievers are holding opponents to under .200 Batting Averages.
Pedro Strop is the only one who has struggles to date that has significant Appearances and Innings. He has pitched 3.2 IP with only 1 Hit allowed versus all other teams except the Tampa Bay Rays.
Versus the AL East current cellar dwellers, they have touched up Strop for 6 Hits and 6 ER in just 1.2 IP over 2 Appearances. Attention Buck Showalter – maybe give the man the night off for the rest of the year against these guys.
Nick Markakis is playing as solid as ever – something they club didn’t have last year as they played in the Post Season.
Their defense is top notched with reigning Gold Glovers in 3 different positions (Jones, Wieters and Hardy), and Manny Machado is no slouch at 3B .
They are receiving the clutch hits when they need them. If the organization is still in contention near the Trade Deadline, please for the love of god – GO GET THEM some help with a Veteran Pitcher!
Yes they will call up Dylan Bundy soon, but young pitchers need to be coddled. You simply can’t count on filthy dominant performances from them.
Until we get to that point, a tip of the cap to the team from Baltimore. It has been a decent start to 2013.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
Chuck Booth – Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames: To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here .
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About chuckbooth3023I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at https://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/
Posted on April 20, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @chuckbooth3024 on twitter, adam jones, AL East, boston red sox, brian matusz, buck showalter, chris tillman, Chuck Booth. fastest 30 ballgames, college football, darren o'day, detroit tigers, dylan bundy, j.j. hardy, jake arrieta, jim johnson, kevin gausman, la dodgers, los angeles angels, manny machado, matt wieters, Minnesota, minnesota twins, oakland athletics, pedro strop, san diego padres, tampa bay rays, toronto blue jays, troy patton, washington nationals, wie-yin chen. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.