Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Orioles.
20 -- home runs on off-speed pitches for Chris Davis since the start of 2012.
With his four home runs in the first four games of the season, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis had 11 home runs in a span of 11 regular-season games. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Davis did most of his damage on off-speed pitches to the outer half of the plate. Seven of those 11 home runs came on such pitches. It should come as no surprise, though, as Davis has hit 20 home runs on off-speed pitches since the start of 2012, according to ESPN Stats and Info. That's second to only Los Angeles Angels slugger Josh Hamilton, who has 25.
three -- one-run losses for the O’s in the first week.
Traditional critics and number crunchers alike said the Orioles wouldn’t duplicate their success in one-run games from a season ago, when they went 29-9 in such games. The season is still very, very young, but maybe they were on to something. The Orioles are 0-3 in one-run games this season. On Saturday and Sunday, they lost back-to-back one-run games to the Minnesota Twins. Before then, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Orioles hadn't lost two straight games, each by a one-run margin, since September of 2011. No, it’s not a good start, but the Orioles have plenty of time to buck this trend.
5.45 -- ERA for Orioles starters in their seven starts.
While the bullpen has been tagged for two of Baltimore’s losses, it has actually been the starting pitching that has put the team in a bind so far. The Orioles have gotten one quality start each from Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen and Jason Hammel, but their starting pitchers have a 5.45 ERA overall. That number is inflated after poor outings from Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman, who each allowed five earned runs in their first starts of the season, but Hammel and Chen have had minor struggles. The bullpen has had some shaky moments, but Orioles relievers have a 2.95 ERA in 21 1/3 innings so far.
.043 -- batting average for Orioles designated hitters.
After opting to not acquire another big bat in the offseason, the Orioles, who are without Wilson Betemit, have gone with a committee approach when filling the designated hitter spot in the lineup. Steve Pearce, Nolan Reimold and Ryan Flaherty have each been the designated hitter, but none have had much success. They have combined to go 1-for-23 as designated hitters -- a .043 batting average -- with nine strikeouts and four walks. Pearce, who was the last position player to make the Opening Day roster, has had the roughest go of it, going hitless in 11 plate appearances and striking out five times.
36 -- runners thrown out by Matt Wieters since 2012.
Opposing base runners have looked feeble so far this season when attempting to run Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who was named an All-Star and who won his second straight Gold Glove in 2012. Wieters has thrown out four of the five runners who have attempted to steal a base on him, which is tied for the league lead. And with 36 runners caught stealing since the start of 2012 -- he has thrown out a would-be stealer 40.9 percent of the time -- Wieters ranks in the top five catchers in baseball in that category over that span.
Bloggers note: Have a nifty stat you want to share? E-mail me at email@example.com 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.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun