Baltimore Orioles’ starting pitching versus the American League

May 16, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter (26) takes the ball to relieve starting pitcher Wade Miley (38) in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
May 16, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter (26) takes the ball to relieve starting pitcher Wade Miley (38) in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Orioles’ starters have been much maligned coming off of their 1-6 road trip. The question is, how bad has it been?

Just three days ago, I looked at the Baltimore Orioles last ten starts and opined that it hasn’t been that bad.

Since then, it has been pretty bad.

Wade Miley went five innings on Tuesday and left up four runs, but he had a 7-1 lead and proceeded to give half of it back. He also was not economical with his pitches, putting an enormous strain on a bullpen that had to use all of its relievers to get to the 13th inning.

Ubaldo Jimenez went five innings on Wednesday and left up five runs. He had a 1-0 lead, and a 4-2 lead, but couldn’t protect either.

Dylan Bundy went six innings on Thursday and left up six runs. He had leads of 3-0 and 4-3 and let the Tigers take the lead for good.

The Baltimore Orioles’ starters aren’t pitching well with leads and are not getting shut down innings. They aren’t going deep enough in games to protect an overworked and shortened bullpen.

Let’s look at the Orioles’ rotation versus the rest of the American League. And, it is important to note that these numbers are from the entire season, which includes when the rotation was carrying the team. Remember, these statistics only included the starters, and are all from

AL Team Starting Pitching Stats

Provided by View Original Table

So, what does this tell us? The runs allowed per game isn’t good but isn’t far from league average.

The Orioles have a low number of decisions by starting pitchers. They have played in 39 games, and only have 21 decisions by the starters. Of the 23 wins, only 12 of those were by the starting pitchers. Of the 16 losses, nine were by the starters, giving the bullpen a record of 11-7.

Could this be due to short starts? The bullpen blowing games? Yes.

The Orioles’ starters also are not winning many games when the starting pitchers don’t earn a quality start. The reason for the lack of wins is partly due to the offense struggling so far and now combined with the rotation struggling.

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The bullpen has blown seven games for the starter, tied for the most in the American League, which is a problem, obviously. It shows to the problems with the bullpen.

However, the offense has also done a pretty good job of bailing out the pitchers. Of course, the fact that Kevin Gausman and Jimenez are a combined 3-5 are a pretty good testament to that.

Finally, the pitchers aren’t going deep enough in games. We knew this, but the statistics back it up. The Orioles are one of the worst teams in the AL in innings pitched per start. However, they have one of the highest numbers in pitches per start.

I’m not going to jump to conclusions and blame Roger McDowell for this. I don’t think that the approach is the problem. The problem, quite simply, is the location, or lack thereof.

Bundy’s approach all season has been good. But, on Thursday he wasn’t getting calls on the corner (thanks again, Bucknor) and left several pitches right down the middle to good hitters.

Jimenez goes through innings where he is superb, but the majority of the innings include way too many pitches that are so far out of the zone there is no way the batter will swing.

Gausman, I don’t know what is going on there. Nothing good, we know that.

Chris Tillman needs to get his feet under him and re-establish himself. I think we may see that start Friday night against Toronto.

Miley has been nibbling, and he needs to attack and play to his defense.

The Baltimore Orioles’ rotation goes through streaks, good and bad. Let’s hope this bad one ends soon, and a good one starts.

Because it is all about the starting pitching.