Baltimore Orioles: Breakfast Bits before a Lunchtime Game


May 20, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (16) pitches during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Today the Baltimore Orioles are playing an unusual midweek day game with a 12:35 start time against the Seattle Mariners. Also weird about this game is that I’m going to go to it. So there is only time for a few quick thoughts at breakfast before hitting Interstate 70.

Bad News / Good News – The bad news is that the Orioles dropped a 4-2 Wednesday night game to the Mariners. The good news is that every other of the four AL East teams lost one-run games. The bad news is that again the Orioles struggled to score, while the good news is that they put up a lot of fight at the end—like a good team that refuses to lose easily. The bad news is that Wei-Yin Chen gave up four runs and picked up another loss, but the good news is that he became the sixth consecutive starter to go at least seven innings.

The Way to Beat the Orioles – It is not a real secret as to a successful strategy for beating the O’s. If a pitcher has pretty good stuff at all, what he needs to do is pound the strike zone. Live on the edges and the oft overly-aggressive Orioles will swing away at the offerings. This will induce weakly-hit balls and hold down the pitch count. Mariners lefty Roenis Elias pitched well, throwing 96 pitches (66 strikes) in 7.2 innings of work. He was charged with only one run on six hits, while walking none.

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Bad Look about Today’s Matchup – Chris Tillman will get the start after missing a turn due to back spasm issues. It has been a difficult first quarter for the presumptive ace of the staff. He has a 6.34 ERA and record of 2-5. Another tough lefty is going to the hill for the Mariners.  J.A. Happ is 3-1 with a 2.98 ERA. He has been consistently good this year.

Mariners Add Kevin Gregg – Yep, yesterday he signed a deal to go to AAA. Gregg began with the Reds this season but suffered to an ERA of 10.13.  If readers think I’m hard on Flaherty, you should have read what I wrote (on a previous blog) about Gregg. In 2011 he averaged 6.0 walks per nine innings pitched and drove me totally crazy! But I did love him the day he stood up to Big Papi.  Greg is actually taller by an inch!

Chen Stats – As I did recently with Miguel Gonzalez, I thought it might be interesting to lay out the comparative statistics over four years of Chen with the Orioles – setting side by side the numbers through the first eight starts of each season…


The numbers show clearly that he is having his best season in every category except wins and losses, especially with the batting average against. Chen really did have the good fortune of great run support in 2014, but he is having the opposite experience this year.

The best news for today is that the Orioles almost always win when I attend a game in person.

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