My Orioles postseason media guide just arrived in the mail.
Spoiler alert: In this version, they make the playoffs.
Flipping through the pages, provided by the Orioles’ first-rate PR staff, I’m reminded that:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Orioles won 34 games from the start of August through the end of the season, the most since 1996, when they won 35 games on their way to the Division Series and ALCS.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Orioles won 34 games after suffering their 73rd loss to tie the all-time record held by the 1997 Phillies.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Orioles became the first team to have three different managers for 50 or more games.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Dave Trembley was 15-39. Juan Samuel was 17-34. Buck Showalter was 34-23.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ At the time of his All-Star selection, Ty Wigginton was the only player in baseball to homer while playing three different infield positions. But not all at the same time.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Five Orioles made their major league debuts: Jake Arrieta, Josh Bell, Rhyne Hughes, Frank Mata and Brandon Snyder. I’ll predict that Arrieta is the only one who cracks next year’s Opening Day roster.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Orioles are the third team since the save became an official stat in 1969 to have their first four wins saved by a different pitcher. Can you name them? (Answer below)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Koji Uehara struck out 44 batters since issuing his last walk on July 16, a span of 32 appearances and 34 innings. That’s the longest stretch of strikeouts between walks in the AL since Pedro Martinez fanned 49 batters in 2000. Uehara is tied for the sixth-longest streak in the majors since 1920.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Oriole outfielders recorded 35 assists, third in the AL after leading the league in 2009 with 36. They cut down 15 runners at the plate, eight at third base and six at second, and doubled off six at first. Adam Jones led the team with 12 outfield assists, which also tied for second in the league. He led all major league center fielders.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ In their last trip through the rotation, Brad Bergesen, Kevin Millwood, Chris Tillman, Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Matusz went a combined 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ In the last 57 games, the rotation recorded 36 quality starts and posted a 3.16 ERA. The Orioles had 80 quality starts, compared to 58 in 2009.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The team ERA was 5.18 in 105 games before Showalter’s arrival, and 3.54 in 57 games after he was hired.
Here are the final numbers for the starters after Showalter assumed control on Aug. 3:
Jake Arrieta: 3-3, 3.78 ERA, eight starts, 47 2/3 innings, 15 walks, .263 opp average
Brad Bergesen: 5-3, 2.88 ERA, 11 starts, 75 innings, 21 walks, .229 opp average
Jeremy Guthrie: 7-3, 3.14 ERA, 11 starts, 77 1/3 innings, 14 walks, .218 opp average
Brian Matusz: 7-1, 2.11 ERA, 11 starts, 64 innings, 14 walks, .211 opp average
Kevin Millwood: 2-5, 3.29 ERA, 10 starts, 65 2/3 innings, 23 walks, .247 opp average
Chris Tillman: 1-1, 4.08 ERA, five starts, 28 2/3 innings, 18 walks, .172 opp average
Rick VandenHurk: 0-1, 6.75 ERA, one start, four innings, two walks, .267 opp average
Answer: Michael Gonzalez, Jim Johnson, Cla Meredith and Alfredo Simon.
Admit it, you forgot about Meredith, whose save came after 271 career relief appearances without one - the longest active streak in the majors.