The Orioles ranked third in bullpen ERA after Yennier Cano registered the save Sunday afternoon in Detroit. They assembled at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City yesterday ranked first.
Success finds the Orioles even when they are away from the field.
The Yankees’ Albert Abreu allowed six runs in one inning Sunday in Texas, and Nick Ramirez surrendered two in 2 1/3. The Rays were in Chicago blowing a 9-5 lead in the ninth, with Jalen Beeks charged with five runs and Garrett Cleavinger two.
What the Orioles did that day at Comerica Park was more typical. Kyle Bradish lasted only 4 2/3 innings, fading after four scoreless, but Cionel Pérez, Austin Voth, Danny Coulombe and Cano shut out the Tigers on one hit over 4 1/3.
Before starter Tyler Wells stepped on the mound last night, Orioles relievers were 10-4 with a 2.86 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and .208 average against in 110 innings. The innings total was tied for sixth in the majors.
They were averaging a combined 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings, ranking sixth in the majors.
The rotation, however, was 24th in the majors with a 5.28 ERA and 26th with 139 2/3 innings.
The 2.42 ERA difference between rotation and bullpen was the largest in the majors, according to STATS. This could become a problem later, according to just about everyone.
Mike Baumann allowed three runs last night in the seventh, but 2 1/3 scoreless followed from the next three relievers. Bryan Baker struck out the side in the eighth. Cano gave up his first hit, an infield single after opponents were 0-for-32 against him, but that was it.
Tampa Bay went overboard last night, with only one run surrendered by the bullpen in 8 1/3 innings. The Yankees' 'pen registered three scoreless. And the Astros turned in 4 2/3 scoreless to now rank second at 2.84 behind the Yankees' 2.83 and ahead of the Rays' 2.85. The Orioles tumbled to eighth at 3.03.
The Orioles’ bullpen hasn’t finished first in ERA since 1973 at 2.52 in 95 games. Yes, only 95. Jim Palmer had 19 complete games, Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally 17 each, Doyle Alexander 10, Jesse Jefferson three and Don Hood one.
The game has changed.
Grant Jackson was 8-0 with a 1.90 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and .198 average against in 45 appearances. Bob Reynolds was 7-5 with a 1.87 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and .215 average against in 41 appearances.
* Jorge Mateo is one of the fastest players in baseball. He’s also one of the fastest Orioles ever to reach 25 hits and 10 stolen bases in a season.
Mateo needed 23 games to do it, second only to Brian Roberts, who achieved those numbers by his 22nd game in 2005.
Tied with Mateo are Delino DeShields in 2000 and Curtis Goodwin in 1995.
Roberts and Alan Wiggins needed 24 in 2004 and 1985, respectively.
* Mateo entered Kansas City with a .625 average on inside pitches that ranked first in the majors. He also had a .583 average on middle-middle pitches and a .360 average on low pitches.
Work him away, I guess.
Adam Frazier still had a .000 average on inside pitches.
Some other keys to Mateo’s offensive surge: He had a .405 average against non-fastballs and a .440 average against breaking balls that ranked fourth.
Mateo had a .293 average on two-strike counts, the second-highest on the club behind Adley Rutschman’s .298. Gunnar Henderson had an .049 average in those situations.
* As long as we’re munching on numbers, which I’ve heard are low in carbs, closer Félix Bautista had generated the highest whiff percentage among pitchers in the majors at 46.4 percent (minimum 200 pitches). His 41.8 chase percentage was eighth. He also was fifth at lowest percentage of pitches thrown in the zone at 38.4.
Baker and Baumann were third and fourth, respectively, in first-pitch strike percentage at 75.9 and 75.
Left-hander Cionel Pérez hasn’t been as effective this season, and the Orioles need him back in 2022 high-leverage form. Opponents had a .522 average against Pérez’s fastball that was second highest behind the Tigers’ Chasen Shreve’s .556.
Pérez had retired 45 percent of batters with runners in scoring position.
* The Orioles have won six consecutive series, which, as I wrote Monday, is three short of the club record set in 1968 and nine away from the Mariners’ major league record set in 2001.
Four teams won 14 series in a row, most recently the 1993 Atlanta Braves and also including the 1893 Boston Beaneaters and 1889 Brooklyn Bridesgrooms. Six teams won 13 straight, most recently the 2002 Braves and also including the 1899 Brooklyn Superbas.
I thought you should know.
* BetOnline (www.BetOnline.ag) has adjusted the odds for the Orioles winning the World Series from 100/1 on March 29 to 80/1. They were 50/1 in November and December.
They are 40/1 to win the American League pennant.
The Braves are 11/2 to win the World Series, and the Astros are 7/1.
Rutschman is 28/1 to win Most Valuable Player in the American League. Shohei Ohtani is 5/6.
Henderson and Grayson Rodriguez are 14/1 to win AL Rookie of the Year. Masataka Yoshida is 11/4.
DL Hall was 20/1 in March but he’s off the board.