Mar 15, 2014; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman (30) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles – Boston Red Sox Opening Day Preview


 

Here at The Baltimore Wire, the first game of the 2014 MLB season is also an opening day for us in every way. Having just begun this new blog effort on the FanSided Sports Network, this is our first official big-league baseball game day. So, we are still sorting out exactly how we will do this and cover our favorite home team.

I trust that our coverage will have a sufficient objective perspective – being able to step back enough to see the larger picture of the Orioles within all of MLB, with a willingness to be critical and not just home-town homies. But make no mistake, we are fans of the Baltimore Orioles. We want to see them do well. This is FanSided – where the DNA from the founding of the network is to write with a passion from the fan’s perspective.

So I am sure we will morph along the way – writing previews, game summaries, and opinion pieces as a regular fare. And in experimenting with some ideas, I have thought to attempt some regular charting (primarily from the great baseball-reference.com site, as well as some home-made graphs – as we’ve been doing in all O’s coverage) – highlighting some of the pitching/hitting matchups on a given day.

Here on opening day, the Orioles go against the guy who is arguably their toughest pitching opponent in Jon Lester. As you can see in the chart below, he is 15-3 in 25 starts, with an ERA of 2.94 against the Birds…

G

W

L

R

IP

H

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SO/BB

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

WHIP

25

15

3

53

156.1

152

37

2

11

54

131

2.43

.255

.319

.380

.699

1.320

 

Even with these numbers, there are some Orioles who have had success against him. Check out how well Nelson Cruz has done, with Matt Wieters hitting 15-for-44 for a .341 average. Chris Davis has indeed had a more difficult time of it. And for his whole career, only Robinson Cano has more plate appearances against Lester than does Nick Markakis.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

Nick Markakis

70

66

16

6

0

0

1

4

15

.242

Adam Jones

61

53

16

3

0

0

5

8

21

.302

Matt Wieters

48

44

15

3

1

0

8

4

11

.341

Delmon Young

39

34

7

0

0

0

3

3

7

.206

J.J. Hardy

28

27

8

1

1

1

2

1

6

.296

Chris Davis

26

24

3

2

0

1

4

2

7

.125

Nelson Cruz

24

22

10

2

1

2

4

2

3

.455

 

On the other side, there are not as many Red Sox with long numbers against Tillman. Dustin Pedroia has typically good numbers with a .296 average. Ortiz has been kept in check with only a single in 20 plate appearances!  Here are the Boston numbers against Tillman…

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

Dustin Pedroia

30

27

8

2

0

0

4

2

2

.296

David Ortiz

20

16

1

0

0

0

0

4

4

.063

Mike Napoli

15

13

4

1

0

0

1

2

6

.308

Will Middlebrooks

14

14

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

Mike Carp

12

11

1

0

0

0

1

1

1

.091

Shane Victorino

12

11

4

0

0

1

1

1

1

.364

A.J. Pierzynski

10

10

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

.100

 

At last word, Markakis was hitting well in batting practice and would be in the lineup batting leadoff. Cruz is in left field and Delmon Young is the DH.

Our network is not one that is big on comment boards, but if you have an opinion on this style of pre-game write-up, I’d welcome the connection.

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles Chris Tillman Jon Lester