Baltimore Orioles: Recent pitching trends show improvements
On May 1, the Baltimore Orioles were 16-8 and held on to a record above .500 until June 13.
Since then, the Baltimore Orioles have been battling to get back above .500. But one thing has consistently held them back: the pitching rotation.
The Orioles offense has been consistently effective, scoring runs in all but 6 of the 106 games played. But, the pitching has allowed significantly more runs than the batters have created. In June and July, the Orioles gave up 322 runs to the 256 that they have scored.
The record is improving
As the team crosses into August, it looks like the pitching staff might be turning a corner. The trend seemed to have started after the Chicago Cubs series following the All-Star Break. Since that series, the O’s have a record of 10-5. Even better, the O’s have 89 runs to their opponents 61.
During this same time, between July 17 and August 1, the Orioles pitching staff has two shut outs, one against the Rangers and the other against the Tampa Bay Rays. And, they have five games where they have given up two or fewer runs – all against the Rangers and the Kansas City Royals.
Pitchers with the greatest improvements
What is so notable about this is that it isn’t just one pitcher who is putting together these good outings. Kevin Gausman has three wins in a row and has given up only two runs in those three starts. By doing this, he has knocked his ERA down from 6.39 on July 14 to 5.37 on July 29.
Ubaldo Jimenez has also pitched well in his last two games. Jimenez may not have earned any wins, but the Rays and Royals have only hit a total of three runs off of him. He ended July with an ERA of 6.56, which is lower than his July high of 7.19.
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Dylan Bundy‘s latest start against the Royals on August 1 was also impressive. He gave up one run. He threw in eight innings in that game, earning another win, setting his record to 10-8.
Fewer walks recorded
Could this be a trend in the right direction? Or is it merely a fluke?
Wade Miley only gave up two runs in his last start, too. But the best part of his last outing was the fact that he only walked one batter. Miley is leading the AL in giving up the most walks – he’s at 63. He’s followed by Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers, who has 60. In the third spot is Miley’s teammate, Gausman who has 52 of them.
Next: What do the Orioles need to increase playoff chance?
This trend towards better pitching is exactly what the team needs if the players are going to make a run for that second Wild Card spot. They could be encouraged by the team being buyers rather than sellers at the Trade Deadline. If the pitching continues to improve and the batters continue to provide run support, the chances of that Wild Card spot could become closer to reality.