Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles: Magic Number is Four

The Baltimore Orioles followed my template for success against the Kansas City Royals, and even took it to the next level.

The offense scored the perfect number in four (explanation below) and received excellent pitching. The offense and pitching surprised me and were more than the template needed for success.

Chris Tillman pitched a spectacular five-hit complete game, while shutting out the Royals. This is the Orioles’ third shutout on the season, first complete game shutout, and Tillman’s first career complete game shutout and second career complete game.

With the win, the Orioles now have won two-in-a-row improving their record to 22-18 to maintain a hold on first place ahead of the New York Yankees. The Royals are now below .500 at 20-21.

Tillman outpitched Jeremy Guthrie, who had a 2-0 record and 1.89 ERA against the Orioles coming into Friday’s game.

The Orioles’ offense did just enough with eight hits over eight innings against Guthrie, while scoring four runs. Not enough to give Orioles’ fans discounted pizza, but enough behind Tillman’s start to bring home the win.

Guthrie did limit the Orioles’ chances with runners in scoring position as they went 1-for-3.

The offense successfully put up four runs, but did leave five men on base throughout the game. Even with the chances missed, four runs is the favorite number for the Orioles.

With the 4-0 victory, the Orioles are now 14-4 when they score at least four runs. The Orioles scored four runs in attempted comebacks in three of the four losses.

That does leave the Orioles with an 8-14 record in situations when they score less than four runs.

When the Orioles can put up four runs in non-comeback situations, the pitching actually works with the offense to have a .933 winning percentage.

When analyzing the 14-4 record deeper, later in the season, this stat could become clouded by bad pitching and failed comebacks.

The key to focus on is when the offense scores four runs with the lead, the Orioles win. If the offense can maintain some consistency, the Orioles’ pitching has the track record to play well with the offense.

As a fan who watched the Orioles during the bad years, this is a new type of play for them. The pitching had no real consistency, and did not complement the offense.

Now, the numbers seem to say this, but I will hold off on saying this is for certain until later in the season. In the meantime, I will analyze the last two seasons to see how true my analysis is.

But as of right now, the Orioles’ offense needs to go for the number four.

Danny Duffy is the next pitcher the offense will have to deal with. The Orioles faced Duffy as a relief pitcher in Baltimore.

The Orioles scored one unearned run on Duffy as he only faced three batters. The last time Duffy faced Orioles’ batters was in 2011 with many players no longer on the team.

This is the Orioles’ chance to take another win away from Duffy, who has much less experience playing against Baltimore.

However, that also means the Orioles’ batters have not faced Duffy much at all. There are only two players, Delmon Young and Jemile Weeks, who have more than five at-bats against Duffy since 2011.

If the offense can reach the magic number of four, according to my numbers, the pitching should lead the Orioles to a win.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles

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