With a team batting average of just .216 for the season and a club that is scoring just 3.3 runs per game, today the Orioles face a two-time Cy Young Award winner.
Right-hander Corey Kluber, the AL Cy Young winner in 2014 and 2017, will face the Orioles this afternoon at Camden Yards. Baltimore beat Cleveland 3-1 Friday night behind Dylan Bundy but was shutout 4-0 yesterday and held to two hits in a complete-game outing by Mike Clevinger.
In becoming the 19th multiple winner of the Cy Young, Kluber went 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA last year. He produced a WHIP of 0.869 and averaged just 1.6 walks for every nine innings with 11.7 strikeouts.
He made one start versus the Orioles in 2017 and pitched a complete-game three-hit shutout in a win June 19 at Camden Yards. He fanned 11 without a single walk. Yep, dominant. In six career starts, Kluber is 2-1 with a 2.76 ERA against the Orioles. In 42 1/3, he has walked seven and struck out 52 batters.
This season the 32-year-old Kluber is 2-1 with a 1.52 ERA and 0.742 WHIP through four starts. In 29 2/3 innings he has permitted just 16 hits with six walks to 33 strikeouts. He has four quality starts and allowed two earned runs or less each time out.
After producing an ERA of 2.40 his first two starts, his ERA is 0.68 his last two. Over 14 2/3 he gave up seven hits and one run and opponent batters hit .135.
So yeah, this should be a challenge.
Right-hander Andrew Cashner (1-2, 3.00 ERA) will try to match him as he makes his fifth start for the Orioles. He gave up five runs in his season debut. But, over his past three starts, he is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA. In that span he gave up 13 hits and four runs over 20 innings.
Lefty batters are hitting .300 with an OPS of 1.028 versus Cashner while right-handers are batting .156/.580. American League batters are 0-for-18 this year when facing Cashner with runners in scoring position.
On Saturday, catcher Chance Sisco threw out three Cleveland baserunners attempting to steal. He caught Michael Brantley in the sixth inning, Francisco Lindor in the seventh inning, and pinch-runner Rajai Davis at third in the ninth inning. Sisco has caught 7-of-11 would-be base stealers this season. Saturday marked the first time an Orioles catcher had three caught stealing in a game since Matt Wieters got three on Aug. 25, 2012 versus Toronto.
Over his last 14 games, Orioles shortstop Manny Machado is batting .393 (22-for-56) with six homers, 15 RBIs and six multi-hit games. In his past four games, Machado is 7-for-15 with two doubles, three homers and six RBIs.