This stat surely will not hold up forever, but when the Orioles get a quality start from their starting pitcher this year, they are 9-0.
By definition a quality start is one where the starting pitcher works six innings or more allowing three earned runs or less. Yes, that is a 4.50 ERA, but most quality starts produce single game stats much better than that.
Right-hander Jake Arrieta will try to extend that streak tonight for an Orioles pitching staff that has worked to an ERA of 0.73 during a four-game win streak. That run has lowered the team ERA on the season from 3.77 to 3.12 a figure than now ranks third best in the American League.
Since Tuesday night, Orioles' starting pitchers have now gone 16 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run heading into tonight.
Over the four wins, Orioles' starters have given up just two earned runs in 25 1/3 for an ERA of 0.71. In that span the starters have allowed 16 hits with nine walks and 18 strikeouts.
This weekend's matchup features two of the top three clubs in team ERA in the AL right now.
Current AL team ERA leaders:
2.62 - Texas
2.71 - Oakland
3.12 - Orioles
3.32 - Chicago
Oakland ranks second in starting rotation ERA at 2.88 and the Orioles are tied for fifth at 3.73.
Maybe the Orioles strong recent pitching will continue this weekend against an Oakland team that is 10-10 but has scored just 59 runs on the year, the fewest in club history after 20 games.
The A's are last in the AL in runs, team batting average (.205) and team OPS (.591). Their starting lineup tonight features five players that are currently hitting .200 or lower.
Update: What did I say about the stat not holding up much longer. Oakland got three runs with two outs against Arrieta in the top of the second tonight to grab an early 3-1 lead. If Arrieta allows another earned run tonight he will not get a quality start for this game. The Orioles could still win, of course and would remain 9-0 when getting a quality start. A long way to go tonight.
Update 2: Arrieta allowed a solo homer to Josh Reddick in the sixth and was taken out after 5 2/3 tonight, allowing four runs. No quality start for him or the club tonight. Troy Patton came on and the Orioles head to the last of the sixth trailing the A's 4-1.
The Orioles have lost 22 of the last 30 games between these two teams.