Baltimore Orioles: O’Day, O’Day-O’Day-O’Day … O’Day, O’Day


If you are not a fan of the Baltimore Orioles, you won’t likely understand the headline. And if you don’t understand it, I’m not going to tell you. Get your life in order and root for the Birds!

Darren O’Day of the Orioles bullpen has been one of the most consistent performers, not just for Baltimore, but in all of baseball over the past four seasons in Charm City. In that time, he is 18-6 with an ERA of 1.95.

But once in a while, he’ll scare you to death – like he did Friday night.

In the Orioles’ 2-1 walk-off win over the Rays, O’Day entered in the ninth inning in relief of Miguel Gonzalez – who pitched eight awesome innings of one-run baseball. But Evan Longoria slung a single into center field to lead off the inning. This was followed by a ground ball through the infield and a hit batsman. Bases loaded, none out.

O’Day came back to strike out Steven Souza and Asdrubal Cabrera, with Jake Elmore grounding out weakly to third base. It took 29 pitches to get through the inning, but the Rays did not score.

The Orioles did get the winning run on singles by Travis Snider, Chris Davis (he of the earlier homer – the fourth in four games), and J.J. Hardy. Gotta love that! I’d be going crazy about this inning if I was a Rays writer … but then again, I wouldn’t want to be seen or known doing something like that!

As referenced above, O’Day’s numbers over the four years with the Orioles have been wonderfully consistent. But let’s make a chart and look at how he has done each of those years in the months of April and May …


Again, we see a relative pattern of consistency. The fewer games pitched this season relates more to the O’s schedule than to him being used less. And there is certainly nothing to complain about with the ERA numbers.

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Because of the nature of O’Day’s delivery, particularly with breaking pitches, he is going to walk more than most pitchers and plunk a few more as well. He also strikes out a tremendous number of batters.

He will also give up some occasional home runs – 22 for the Orioles in 216 innings of his career. But even that is not a terribly bad number.

Darren O’Day is currently age 32. Of the Orioles players going into free agency after this season, O’Day would be at the top of the list for me as to whom I would want to re-sign to another contract. The value of a shut-down back end of a bullpen has been shown in the past couple of years to be a major contributory element of a winning organization that goes deep in the playoffs.

O’Day, O’Day-O’Day-O’Day … O’Day, O’Day!

UPDATE>> With the Yankees losing to the A’s last night 6-2, the Orioles are only a game out of first place. An O’s win and Yanks loss today could put the Birds in a tie for first place in the AL East – with a 25-25 record. This ain’t your grandpa’s AL East.

Next: Has Chris Davis turned his season around?