Yes, it’s only been two games and no one will confuse this Minnesota lineup with the Yankees. But the back to back solid starting pitching outings by Jake Arrieta and Tommy Hunter may remind you of how the O’s starters started last year.
In the first series of the 2011 season, the Orioles swept the Rays in Tampa Bay as Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Tillman and Zach Britton combined to pitch 20 innings and allow just six hits and one run in that three-game sweep.
The next game was the home opener and Arrieta gave up just one run over six innings in a win over the Tigers as Orioles starters allowed just two earned runs over the season’s first 26 innings.
The Orioles would go on to a pitching-led 6-1 start on the year with a team ERA of 2.00 through seven games.
In the first two games this weekend against Minnesota, Arrieta and Hunter have combined for 14 innings allowing eight hits and no earned runs with three walks and seven combined strikeouts. The Orioles’ team ERA is 1.00 so far.
Minnesota batters have posted an average of just .167 (8-for-48) against Arrieta and Hunter with only one extra-base hit and that was a double last night. The duo has faced the minimum three batters in nine of 14 innings.
After having the worst starting pitching in baseball last year with a team ERA of 5.39, the Orioles will certainly take this. Even if it is only two games and against a lineup that is likely not as good as many in the American League in 2012.
So, it has gone well for the O’s pitchers so far. Meanwhile, in New York, two high-salary Yankees starters have not fared well.