O's game blog: Burnes faces Wheeler as O's, Phillies decide series today

After the 2021 season, right-handers Corbin Burnes and Zack Wheeler finished first and second in a very close race to decide the National League Cy Young Award. Burnes won it with 151 points to 141 with Wheeler, as both pitchers got 12 first-place votes.

Today the same two pitchers match up as the Orioles and Phillies play the third and deciding game in this series.

Burnes (7-2, 2.08 ERA) is making his 15th start and Wheeler (8-3, 2.16 ERA) his 15th. Burnes is tied for fourth in the major leagues in ERA and Wheeler is sixth. Wheeler is fourth in WHIP at 0.935 and Burnes is tied for 13th at 1.004. In opponent OPS, Wheeler is fourth at .537 and Burnes is seventh at .562.

Both have pitched well just about all year, stepping up even a bit more in recent starts.

Burnes has allowed one earned run or less five times his past six starts, going 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA and .547 OPS against. He has thrown nine straight quality starts since April 28 and is 4-2 with a 1.73 ERA in that span. Burnes has 11 quality starts this year and has allowed two earned runs or less 11 times, giving up a season high three earned runs three times.

Bryce Harper is 0-for-8 in his career with five strikeouts against Burnes. Kyle Schwarber is 2-for-13 with a homer against him while Alec Bohm is 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. In four career games versus the Phillies in his career, Burnes is 1-1 with an 0.55 ERA. 

Over his past three starts, Wheeler is 2-0 with an 0.90 ERA. In his last five, he is 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA allowing a .476 OPS against. Wheeler has allowed two earned runs or less 11 times and one or less nine times with four scoreless starts. He finished second to Burnes for that 2021 NL Cy Young and also was sixth in the voting in 2023.

Philadelphia won 5-3 in 11 innings on Friday night and the Orioles evened this series with a 6-2 win Saturday. 

So the Orioles have outscored the Phillies 9-7 in the series. The Baltimore offense has 19 hits and three homers this weekend while the Baltimore pitching has allowed five earned runs over 20 innngs with five walks to 21 strikeouts.

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez produced his third-career seven-inning start on Saturday, allowing two runs. He is the first Oriole to win eight of his first 12 starts to begin a season since Chris Tillman in 2012.

Outfielder Anthony Santander launched his 16th home run of the season, a game-tying 424-foot shot in the fourth inning, and blasted a 425-foot shot in the eighth inning. His 71 home runs at Oriole Park are tied with Chris Hoiles for the 10th-most in ballpark history. That was his 14th career multi-homer game and first since Aug. 23, 2023 vs. Toronto; the 14 such games are tied with Jim Gentile for the eighth-most in Orioles history. His eight home runs in the month of June are the most in the majors and his 10 homers since May 23 trail only the Yankees' Aaron Judge (11) for the most in that span. 

Yesterday's attendance of 44,555 was Baltimore’s third sellout of the year, joining Opening Day on March 28 against the Angels (45,029) and Friday night against the Phillies (43,987).

The Orioles have drawn 1,031,213 fans through their first 38 home games of the season, the quickest they have reached 1 million fans since doing so in 37 home dates in 2017. Today's game is also sold out, marking the first three-game sellout for the O's since July 10-12, 2015 versus Washington (137,031 fans). According to Baseball Reference, the Orioles have drawn 248,836 more fans than they had at this point last year, the second-largest increase in the majors behind the defending NL champion Arizona Diamondbacks (+283,039).

Orioles hit four home runs off Wheeler in 8-3 win ...
Orioles and Phillies showing aces in today's serie...

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