Baltimore Orioles: Three Big Numbers From Series Against Red Sox
The Baltimore Orioles head to Tampa Bay after splitting a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox.
Now 17 games into the 2019 season, the Baltimore Orioles are far exceeding expectations from fans and the media. They leave Boston after splitting a series against the defending World Series champions, a series that saw Chris Davis put his historic drought to bed and put an exclamation point on a drubbing of the Sox on Patriots’ Day.
We didn’t learn anything new about this team against the Red Sox. As the Orioles head to Tampa Bay, Trey Mancini continues to hit the cover of the baseball, the pitching staff continues to be rocky, and Cedric Mullins has yet to figure things out. Instead, let’s look at three big numbers from this past series and find some positive moments from a solid weekend of action.
Chris Davis helps propel Baltimore Orioles to victory.
What a series for Chris Davis. Entering Boston with a major league record 0-54 stretch weighing him down, Davis went 4-13 off the Red Sox pitching staff, including his first home run since August 24, 2018, six RBIs, and two doubles. His performance raised his .000 batting average to .089 on the year.
Laugh if you will, but I was genuinely excited to watch as Davis ripped his first double into the outfield and let out a loud cheer to myself as I watched him hit his first home on Monday afternoon. No one except for Davis knows how much his hitless streak bothered him and no one wanted it to end more than him.
The biggest reason why his four hits were such a big story from this weekend- the reaction from his teammates. No one that matters gave up on Chris Davis, not his teammates or his manager. When he broke the streak, they were all there for him, celebrating harder than anyone else. Now, we move on and put the streak behind us.
We assumed a big performance from Renato Nunez was coming.
Last week, I discussed Renato Nunez, his ability to torch a baseball, and how a hot streak was bound to happen for the Orioles designated hitter. He entered the Boston series with a .250 batting average and leaves Beantown with .293 average and an impressive six-game hitting streak.
Against the Red Sox, Nunez went 7-18 with five RBIs and four runs scored. Oddly enough, he didn’t rely on his hard-hit balls to find success. His average exit velocity on balls in play dropped about five mph through the first three games in the series, dropping his average exit velocity on balls in play to 92.3 mph on the year (from 93.8 mph when we discussed last week) and his hard-hit percentage to 48.7% (a drop from 59% last week).
Per Brandon Hyde, Nunez is now healthy enough to play third base, but he’s been pretty successful as a DH this season and his defense is pretty suspect. It’s at least another opportunity to keep Nunez in the lineup.
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Can Nunez extend his hitting streak to seven games? Tyler Glasnow climbs the mound for Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. He’s 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA to start the year for the Rays. Nunez has just one at-bat against Glasnow and is 0-1.
The biggest number for the Baltimore Orioles this weekend- Zero.
Entering Monday afternoon’s game, odds were fairly high that the Baltimore Orioles pitching staff would break the Major Leauge Baseball record for most consecutive games with a home run allowed to start a season. They tied the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon, after making it 16-straight games with a HR allowed.
Dan Straily had already given up four home runs in his first two appearances with the Orioles, so odds seemed likely he would give up another to a powerful Boston lineup. Straily’s coffee must have had a little something extra Monday morning as he allowed just two hits in five innings, neither of those hits landing for a home run.
A bullpen combination of Evan Phillips, Jimmy Yacabonis, Miguel Castro, and Paul Fry helped the cause and put an end to yet another historic streak by allowing zero home runs against the Red Sox. No record-setting moment in Boston on Patriots’ Day, just a solid drubbing of an American League East foe in their own home.
Whew. I know this season is going to be tough to watch, but hopefully, the Orioles can avoid giving the national media more fuel for their played out jokes.
The Orioles continue their road stretch with a series against the Rays. Tampa Bay is one of the better hitting teams in baseball and has one of the most dominant pitching staffs, at the moment. Rays’ pitchers rank first in ERA (2.44), second in strikeouts (169), second in lowest batting average against (.203), and second in WHIP (1.01). This won’t be easy for a young O’s lineup.