For the second night in a row, the Orioles face a pitcher who doesn’t look very good on the stat sheet. It didn’t turn out that well for Baltimore last night.
That is when Aaron Harang began the night with an ERA of 11.37 and batting average against of .362 and then shut out the Orioles for the first five innings of the game and got the win, allowing two runs over six innings for Seattle.
Tonight, the Orioles face the Angels’ Joe Blanton, who is 0-4 with a 7.09 ERA in five starts. Opposing batters are hitting .379 off the right-hander so far and he has allowed 47 hits and seven homers in 26 2/3 innings. Not exactly a good start to his season.
Only three Orioles have more than 10 at-bats against Blanton. Nate McLouth is 3-for-15 with a homer, Nick Markakis is 6-for-12 with a homer and four RBIs, and J.J. Hardy is 4-for-12 with a homer. Matt Wieters and Chris Davis are both 2-for-3 off Blanton.
Blanton has a few unique stats and maybe it’s the small sample size of just five starts this year to look at. But lefty batters are hitting .403 off him and leadoff batters are batting .643 at 18-for-28 with four homers. That is the leadoff batter of an inning.
But then there is this number: When he pitches with runners in scoring position, Blanton gives up an average of just .146.
Maybe he needs a real challenge.
Will the O’s be up for one against him tonight?