The Baltimore Orioles take the series from the New York Yankees with an impressive 8-0 victory.
The Orioles are now tied for second place and sit only a game and a half behind the Toronto Blue Jays, who have not been playing as well as in previous weeks.
Chris Tillman pitched an excellent game, while the offense came through to put the game away.
One thing to note is that Caleb Joseph was behind the plate again for an excellent pitching performance.
Fans questioned the decision to send Steven Clevenger down, while retaining Caleb Joseph. I was among the fans who did not understand the decision. Clevenger had the better batting average, and just appeared to be the overall better offensive player.
Clearly, Buck Showalter chose to keep Joseph on the roster because of his defense. Now that he has started more than twenty games, the reasons are clear why he is the obvious replacement for Matt Wieters.
The numbers are seen with the starters over the past two weeks. Joseph started most of these games, and the starters have put up an ERA of 2.45.
Between the games Wieters, Clevenger, Joseph, and Nick Hundley have played, the pitchers have the lowest ERA when Joseph is behind the plate at 2.72.
Joseph has directed Orioles pitchers to more than entire point lower ERA than Wieters, now that Caleb has surpassed 200 innings behind the plate this season. Wieters started 22 games before being placed on the disabled list, while Joseph now has 24.
With numbers this low, the pitchers are beginning to warm up to Joseph, which I believe contributes as a big reason for the recent success by the pitching staff.
With the low ERA, the opponents’ batting average is below .250 also. Joseph has caught nine runners attempting to steal, which is six more than the next closest catcher who has played this season.
I had noted several mentions by other Orioles writers that the reason for some of the poor pitching had been the absence of Wieters.
Joseph most certainly will not give the Orioles the same type of offense as Wieters, but I believe he can manage the pitchers for the remainder of the season.
24 games is only a small portion of the season, but I believe Showalter needs to put Joseph in front of Hundley for the starting job.
Hundley has not had as many opportunities, but with barely 100 innings behind the plate, pitchers have an ERA of 4.94. One more comparison is that Joseph has more than double the number of innings, and only seven more earned runs allowed by the pitchers.
Overall in hindsight, I feel Hundley was a mistake to pick up, and Clevenger deserves to be in the majors with his offensive capabilities.
I would pay close to attention to Hundley’s starts to see how the pitchers perform. If they do not pitch well, which the stats say they do not, Joseph needs to begin to play five (if not six) out of seven games .