If you’re an Orioles fan, you can pinch yourself this morning -but it might hurt, because the Orioles really did win a series in the Bronx by outscoring the Yankees 12-1 the last two nights. They left New York with a record of 16-9, going seven games over .500 for the first time since July 19, 2005.
They continued their season-opening run of good baseball and amazing pitching in New York.
There are plenty of other stats worth noting after last night’s game:
* The Yankees entered this series first in the American League in homers, second in runs scored and slugging, and third in team batting average. They were averaging 5.6 runs per game before the Orioles got to town, but scored just three runs in the entire series.
* The Yankees went just 17-for-93 at bat in the three games for a batting average of .183 against O’s pitching. New York had hit 20 homers in its first 10 home games, but hit just two in this series.
* The Orioles are 8-2 over their last ten games and have given up just 16 runs in the ten games. Their team ERA is 1.40 over that span.
* Orioles starting pitchers have now posted nine quality starts over the last 10 games with an ERA of 1.65 during the stretch. When they get a quality start this year, the Orioles are 13-1, and when their starter goes six innings or more, they are 14-2.
* The Orioles have won six of eight series this year. Since last Sept. 12, the Orioles are 10-2-1 in series and are 27-15 in that time.
* Last night’s 5-0 win was the O’s first shutout at New York since Aug. 14, 2007.
* The Orioles held the Yankees to two runs or less for three straight games in New York for the first time since May 31-Aug. 4, 1978. Yes that was 34 years ago and there were 246 games between the two stretches.
* By the way, the Yankees didn’t have one hit with a runner in scoring positon last night - mainly because they didn’t have a single runner get into scoring positon. No Yankee even reached second base over nine innings last night.
* The Orioles began a stretch of 15 straight games against the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Rays by going 2-1.
A Yankee fan called my radio show to say the O’s fans should not get too excited with a 2-4 record against the Yankees. But the Orioles could clearly have a much better record than that this year against this team and the Yankees must sense by now that the 2012 Orioles may not be their whipping boys anymore.
How many times did we say over the winter that everything will revolve around the pitching? If it is improved, this ballclub could be improved.
It will be hard for the O’s staff to sustain pitching like this, but at least there are plenty of encouraging signs and something to build on. When you pitch like that, you get to seven games over .500 and don’t look like anyone’s whipping boy anymore.
The 2012 season has started with a real flourish. Next stop, Boston.