Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Orioles.
.341 -- Matt Wieters’ career batting average against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters has been slumping over the past 10 days, and his season batting average dipped below .200 during the New York Yankees series over the weekend. But if there is a sure bet to get him out of his slump, it might be playing the Tampa Bay Rays. Wieters hit a solo home run in Tuesday night's 5-4 win. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Wieters is batting .341 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs in 60 career games against the Rays. Elias says that no “other player has produced against Tampa Bay the across-the-board numbers in the Triple Crown categories” in the way that Wieters has since the start of the 2009 season.
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7-15 -- Wei-Yin Chen’s career record when allowing a homer.
Wei-Yin Chen gave the Orioles another quality start on Sunday night, allowing three runs over six innings. But he got stuck with the loss as the Orioles got shut out, 3-0, by the Yankees. Chen's only major mistake was allowing a two-run home run to Brett Gardner in the fifth inning. According to ESPN Stats and Info, the Orioles are now 7-15 when Chen allows at least one homer in a start, and Chen has a 4-9 record in those games. He is 8-0 and the Orioles are 12-1 in starts in which he doesn't allow a home run.
.065 -- batting average for the Orioles’ No. 8 hitters in 2013.
You are probably aware that the Orioles have only gotten three hits from their designated hitters this season. But they have also gotten very little production overall from the final three spots in the batting order, particularly the eighth spot. After Tuesday night's game, the team's No. 8 hitters have combined for three hits in 46 at-bats -- that's a .065 average -- with one home run, two RBIs and three walks. Ryan Flaherty has often been hitting out of that spot, but so have Steve Pearce, Taylor Teagarden and Chris Dickerson in recent games. Combined, the team’s No. 8 hitters have struck out 22 times this season.
two -- players under the age of 21 throughout Orioles history who have hit a home run at Fenway Park.
When 20-year-old third baseman Manny Machado hammered a three-run home run to left field in the top of the ninth inning last Wednesday night, he didn’t just cap off an Orioles comeback. Machado also made history. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Machado is the second player under the age of 21 in Orioles history to homer at Fenway Park. The other? A 20-year-old Jim Palmer did it on April 13, 1966.
49 -- division wins for the Orioles since the start of the 2012 season, tops in the American League East.
With their win over the Rays on Tuesday night, the Orioles improved to 6-4 in the AL East this season. Only the Boston Red Sox, who are 8-4 in the division so far, have a better record in the early going. But since the start of the 2012 season, the Orioles have won more games, 49, within the division than any other team. The Orioles are 49-33 over that span, giving them a winning percentage of 59.8. The Yankees, who are 3-3 in the division after taking two of three games from the Orioles over the weekend, are second in the AL East with 44 wins and a 56.4 winning percentage since the start of 2012.
Bloggers note: Have a nifty stat you want to share? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on Twitter at @mattvensel. If I end up using it, I’ll be sure to give you a nice plug on the blog.