August 14, 2022

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13 video games into their season, the Orioles have lived as much as the misfortunate related to that quantity.

Their pitching employees has surprisingly excelled early on, although it’s doing so with out ace John Means and is likely to be with out him for the remainder of the season. An offense anticipated to be a power has as an alternative commonly missed out on run-scoring alternatives, with a few of that incapability traceable to poor luck.

Though 13 video games is a comparatively small pattern, it’s sufficient of a benchmark to try an accompanying 13 numbers that stand out amid Baltimore’s 4-9 begin to the season.

2.5: This determine is certain to dip after Thursday’s 6-4 loss to shut a sequence defeat in Oakland, however the Orioles’ pitchers entered the finale with a worth of two.5 in FanGraphs’ model WAR, tied for the main league lead amongst staffs with the San Francisco Giants, and nonetheless left it with a top-four ERA within the American League. Final season, Baltimore’s arms generated 7.9 fWAR whole, a determine that ranked twenty fifth amongst 30 groups and because the second lowest within the AL.

8: That’s Means’ variety of innings so far this 12 months, and it is likely to be all he throws. The left-hander unexpectedly exited his first residence begin after solely 4 innings April 13 with left forearm tightness, with the harm formally dominated a left elbow sprain when it landed him on the 60-day injured checklist. The Orioles and Means are awaiting additional checks and medical opinions concerning the elbow earlier than selecting the subsequent steps, however the pitching employees has largely stepped up round his absence. Earlier than Thursday, the Orioles had a 1.67 ERA of their previous 9 video games, by far their greatest such stretch since September 2016.

.115: The pitching employees’s efforts to forestall runs have usually been outdone by the lineup’s incapability to supply them. With runners in scoring place, the Orioles are 13-for-113, a league-worst .115 common, and are additionally final within the majors in on-base proportion and slugging proportion. Nearly 36% of their plate appearances in these conditions have resulted in strikeouts.

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49: “Stroll, don’t run” is definitely not the Orioles’ offensive motto, however you wouldn’t understand it 13 video games into the 12 months. After rating twenty eighth within the majors in stroll proportion in 2021, Baltimore is tied for second within the AL with 49 walks whereas rating final within the majors with 28 runs. The Orioles additionally lead the majors in strikeouts.

-.159: The Orioles put seven balls in play at at the very least 100 mph Thursday, getting hits out of 5 of these. That improved their batting common on that degree of contact to .485, and though that sounds spectacular, the leaguewide common getting into Thursday was .559. Earlier than the sport, the distinction between Orioles’ precise common on balls hit 100 mph or tougher and their anticipated common — a Statcast metric based mostly on exit velocity and launch angle — was -.159, the most important deficit within the majors.

13: The Orioles have performed 13 video games, and outfielder Anthony Santander has reached base in all of them. His OPS of .853 is sort of 200 factors greater than that of some other Oriole. He’s walked virtually twice as a lot as any of his teammates, together with his 11 free passes — in opposition to 10 strikeouts — already greater than he drew in his 2020 Most Beneficial Oriole season. However he, too, has struggled with runners in scoring place, going 0-for-7.

1.80: Late in spring coaching, Orioles government vp and basic supervisor Mike Elias mentioned a gaggle of pitchers who had already reached the majors wanted to “step up” or threat being changed by the group’s subsequent wave of prospects. To date, the message appears to have been acquired. Bruce Zimmermann, Keegan Akin, Mike Baumann and Alexander Wells have mixed to permit 5 earned runs in 25 innings, a 1.80 ERA; earlier than Baumann and Akin had multi-run outings throughout the previous few days, these 4 had surrendered one earned run in 21 1/3 frames.

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66.1: The Orioles’ pitchers entered Thursday main the majors in strike proportion, then they threw greater than three of each 4 pitches for a strike in opposition to Oakland. Practically two-thirds of Baltimore’s choices this season have been strikes, a metric during which they ranked under the league common in 2021. The advance is partly the product of how their catchers arrange earlier than every pitch, giving pitchers a down-the-middle goal to encourage them to let their stuff play within the zone.

98: Jorge López struggled within the Orioles’ rotation in 2021, seeing opponents’ success in opposition to him skyrocket as he reached the center innings, and a sprained ankle lower quick a late-season have a look at the right-hander as a reliever. He spent his offseason centered on getting stronger, and he’s come out this season getting outcomes. Now Baltimore’s nearer, López’s sinker is averaging 98 mph this season and has gotten as much as 99.5 mph after averaging 95.3 mph in 2021. The speed on every of his secondary pitches is up, as properly.

1.73: López doesn’t have a lot expertise in aid, however he’s spent loads of time within the majors relative to different members of the pitching employees. Eight pitchers who’ve taken the mound for Baltimore entered the season with lower than a 12 months of main league service time, and that group has mixed for a 1.73 ERA. Rookie right-hander Félix Bautista has been significantly spectacular in his first major-league go, imposing each in peak (6-foot-8) and stuff (97 mph common fastball velocity).

4: Within the earlier three seasons, no crew got here near permitting as many residence runs because the Orioles. By 13 video games in 2022, no crew has allowed fewer. They’ve surrendered solely 4 up to now, having that success regardless of going through three groups that had been within the playoffs a 12 months in the past and an Oakland Athletics crew that has been among the many majors’ highest-scoring offenses.

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0: The Orioles’ determination to maneuver again Camden Yards’ left subject wall forward of its thirtieth anniversary season seemingly had the specified impact within the membership’s first homestand, with no residence runs flying over the deeper fence. There’s solely even been one ball — off the bat of Orioles star Trey Mancini — that will have been a house run with the outdated dimensions, although the true check will come as Baltimore heats up in the summertime.

100: Mancini, maybe greater than some other Oriole, has been struck by unhealthy luck this season. He’s hit a number of balls arduous just for defenders to make exceptional performs. Thursday, he hit a 108.9 mph groundball and twitched towards second after the ball went previous the primary baseman for an error, with that motion sufficient for first base umpire Rob Drake to rule it as an try and advance and declare Mancini out when he was tagged earlier than returning to first. A subsequent dispute resulted in Mancini’s first profession ejection, but it surely’s doable it was merely a case of frustration boiling over. Mancini has put seven balls in play at 100 mph or extra, with just one falling for a success; getting into Thursday, solely two different gamers might say the identical. Mancini is batting .234, however he got here into Thursday with an anticipated batting common of .324 that ranked within the high 10% of the league.

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