For a while, the Orioles bullpen had the best ERA in the majors and/or the American League. Yesterday, before the game, the Orioles' bullpen ERA of 2.87 ranked second-best in the AL, but after giving up 12 runs in the 19-7 loss at Minnesota, the Orioles' bullpen ERA is up to 3.16 and they have fallen all the way to fifth in AL.
2.75 - Oakland
3.04 - Boston
3.13 - Seattle
3.14 - Kansas City
3.16 - Orioles
In four games since the All-Star break, Orioles starters have pitched just 15 1/3 innings while the bullpen staff has had to work 23 2/3 innings. The 'pen ERA is 7.99 in those games.
If you go back over the last 17 games, the O's 'pen ERA is 6.18, raising its season mark from 2.30 up to that current 3.16.
In just his last two outings, Jim Johnson has seen his ERA jump from 1.21 to 2.56. In those contests, he has allowed eight runs (six earned) in 1 1/3 innings. It was strange to see Johnson pitching in a game where the score was 14-5 since he had just pitched on Saturday. But I guess you need to use a lot of pitchers when your starter goes just 2/3 of an inning.
Darren O'Day gave up three runs in an inning last night as his ERA went from 2.50 to 3.16.
Meanwhile, Chris Tillman, after two starts, has given up nine runs in nine innings, but just one earned run for an ERA of 1.00. It's still pretty bizarre to go 8 1/3 in one game and not survive the first inning the next time out.
At this point, there seems little else to do but give Tillman the ball again Saturday when his turn comes up again. It looked like the Twins were very aware of his velocity spike up and were sitting on his fastball early in yesterday's game. Making matters more difficult for him, he could not locate his curveball.
I am not ready to say Tillman can't pitch like he did in Seattle or that outing was a good one only because the Mariners don't hit well. But error or no error, Tillman has to do a lot better than that. His inability to consistently locate pitches in the past has been a problem for him and it was yesterday, as well.
No pressure on Zach Britton, right? He'll make his season debut tonight for a team that has lost 16 of 23 games and could use both a win and long outing from its starting pitcher.