O's game blog: The Phillies series opener features Bradish and Suarez

It's going to be an exciting weekend of baseball in Baltimore. Big crowds - sellout crowds expected for at least two of the three games between the Orioles (45-23) and the Philadelphia Phillies (46-22). It is the start of a six-game stretch featuring three each with the Phillies and Yankees with an off-day on Monday.

While Baltimore and Philadelphia are separated by just one game, the Phillies lead the National League East by nine games over the Atlanta Braves. The Orioles are in second in the American League East, and are 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees.

New York (49-22, .690) has the best record in the majors with Philadelphia second (.676), the Orioles third (.662) and Cleveland fourth (.652).

The Orioles lost the series finale to Atlanta 6-3 on Thursday. But they have won six of the last seven, 11 of 15 and 16 of their past 21 games. They are 23-12 at home and their pitching recently allowed just nine runs during a six-game win streak.

A stat sheet can show us some key reasons that the Orioles, Yankees and Phillies are three of baseball's best to this point.

MLB team leaders, runs per game:

5.10 - Orioles
5.07 - Phillies
5.06 - Yankees

MLB team leaders, OPS:

.774 - Dodgers
.771 - Yankees
.758 - Orioles
.740 - Phillies

MLB team leaders in ERA:

2.90 - Yankees
3.08 - Phillies
3.10 - Orioles

MLB leaders, rotation ERA:

2.78 - Yankees
2.85 - Phillies
2.99 - Orioles

While the Orioles lead the majors with 107 home runs, Philadelphia ranks sixth with 77.

The Phillies lost the last two games of their series at Boston and have lost three of their past four games. They are 8-4 over a 12-game stretch but are just 9-8 the last 17 games. The Phillies are 19-12 on the road and are 10-4 in games versus American League teams.

Since Rob Thomson took over as manager of the Phillies just over two years ago, they’re one of only four teams to accumulate 200 regular-season victories. Baltimore is also one of them.

MLB, best win percentage - Since June 3, 2022

.639 - Atlanta Braves (216-122)

.638 - Los Angeles Dodgers (219-124)

.611 - Baltimore Orioles (207-132)

.589 - Philadelphia Phillies (201-140)

Right-hander Kyle Bradish (2-0, 2.62 ERA) gets the start for the Orioles, his eighth. Over his seven games he has allowed just 24 hits over 34 1/3 innings with an average against of .190 and an opponent OPS of .557. He has a 3.7 walk rate and 12.8 K rate with a 34.0 strikeout percentage.

Three starts ago, Bradish threw seven no-hit innings at Chicago against the White Sox, and in his last start he pitched six scoreless innings on one hit at Tampa Bay.

In Statcast numbers, he ranks among the top one percent in the majors in best average exit velocity allowed and hard-hit rate against, and in the top nine percent in groundball rate. Lot of strikeouts, lot of grounders, weak contact, pretty good trifecta.

Lefty Ranger Suarez (10-1, 1.81 ERA) makes his 14th start tonight and to say the least is having a remarkable season where he is keeping very, very good company.

Suárez’s 1.81 ERA (16 ER, 79.2 IP) is second in MLB among qualified pitchers. He became the fourth pitcher since ER became an official stat in both leagues in 1913 to go 9-0 with a sub-1.50 ERA in their first 10 starts and the first since Juan Marichal in 1966.

He became the first pitcher in baseball to earn 10 wins this season. Suarez is now the third Phillie (fourth instance) to earn 10 wins in their first 13 games, joining Steve Carlton (1980) and Grover Cleveland Alexander (1917 & 1911). And, he is the first MLB to do so since Lucas Giolito in 2019.

Suárez was named NL Pitcher of the Month for March/April. He went 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA (6 ER, 41.0 IP) with 40 strikeouts 5 walks and with a 0.63 WHIP.

Per Statcast, Suárez has limited hitters to an average exit velocity of 86.2 mph, which ranks sixth-best in MLB (min. 150 batted ball events). He has also posted a 33.3 hard-hit percentage, which ranks in the 80th percentile.


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