So how much will the Orioles have left in the tank as they try for a three-game sweep in Seattle tonight?
You could almost understand it if the team lost to Felix Hernandez tonight. Not feel good about it, but understand it. The team has met just about every challenge this year and here is the latest. I'm sure they realize the Mariners played 18 innings, too, so both teams have to try and find the energy and intensity this evening.
Here is a stunning stat: Over his last three starts, Hernandez is 0-3 with an ERA of 9.00 and has allowed a batting average against of .400. I don't know what is going on with the King, but he has allowed 30 hits in 75 at-bats over 16 innings in those games after yielding a .218 average over his first 27 starts.
Right before this three-start stretch, Felix went 9-0 with a 1.40 ERA over his previous 13 starts. In his last three starts versus the Orioles, he is 0-1 with a 4.67 ERA.
Thinking back to the amazing 18-inning Orioles win last night/this morning, one stat stands out the most to me: The Mariners went 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position. That is a ton of chances for a big hit that eight different O's pitchers never let them get.
More amazingly, the Mariners went 0-for-12 with RISP in extra innings. The Mariners got the potential winning run into scoring position in the 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th, 16th and 17th innings. At any point, they could have walked off the Orioles and handed them a critical defeat. They got leadoff doubles in the 12th versus Pedro Strop and the 17th against Tommy Hunter.
But the bullpen combined for an amazing 12 2/3 scoreless inning on the night, allowing six hits with four walks to 16 strikeouts. A great performance.
The Orioles' bullpen ERA this year in extra innings is 0.82. The Orioles have played 55 extra innings this year, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in that time.
By the way, according to the O's media guide, the Orioles last swept a three-game series in Seattle from May 16-18, 1997. Didn't that season end with playoff baseball?