You can win a lot of games.
The O's starting pitching has probably been the biggest reason the Orioles are 11-6 since Buck Showalter took over.
The stats say that Orioles starting pitchers had pitched to an ERA of 5.61 before Buck. In the 17 games since he's been with the club, the starters' ERA is 2.82.
It's been quite a roll for the O's starters:
*They have 13 quality starts over the last 17 games.
*They have pitched six innings or more in 15 of the 17 games and have gone seven innings or more in 9 of 17.
*They have allowed one earned run or fewer in 9 of the 17 starts.
Here is how each starter has fared during the 17-game run:
Guthrie: 3-1, 2.79 in four starts.
Matusz: 2-1, 2.63 in four starts.
Arrieta: 1-1, 4.58 in three starts.
Bergesen: 1-0, 2.11 in three starts.
Millwood: 0-2, 2.14 in three starts.
In the last three games vs. Texas, the last two before the All-Star break and last night, the O's starters have been Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz. They have combined to allow just one earned run and 13 hits in 21 2/3 innings vs. Texas for an ERA of 0.42 in those three contests.
It seems like each night the starter goes out trying to keep up with or exceed what the guy did the night before. They are pushing each other to perform well - you don't want to be the weak link in the chain.
Also, it seems the O's defense has gotten better as the starters have gotten better. Maybe it's no coincidence that as the starter throws well and works fast with a good tempo, the defenders are in the game on every pitch and have made some huge plays lately.
Meanwhile, if you haven't seen this in our video lounge, check out Brian Roberts latest MASNsports.com video blog, where he talks about Showalter and his upcoming Brian's Baseball Bash.