Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Orioles.
2.41 -- Chris Tillman’s ERA in his six road starts this season.
Tillman picked up his sixth win of the season Sunday, allowing three runs (two earned) in six innings against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. It was yet another quality start for Tillman on the road. Tillman is 5-0 on the road this season with a 2.41 ERA. He has pitched at least five innings in each of those games, all Orioles victories. Meanwhile, in seven starts at Camden Yards, Tillman is 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA. What has been the biggest difference for Tillman pitching at and away from Camden Yards? The 25-year-old righty has given up 12 home runs at the hitter-friendly Baltimore ballpark while allowing just four on the road.
.341 -- J.J. Hardy’s batting average in 135 at-bats since May 3.
The Orioles shortstop had a slow start to the season, hovering near or below the Mendoza Line until early May. His bat started to heat up shortly after that, as he batted .273 with seven home runs, 17 RBIs and a .518 slugging percentage in the month of May. He has been even hotter in June, batting .485 with three home runs, seven RBIs and a ridiculous .879 slugging percentage in 10 games. Hardy has a .341 batting average since May 3 and he now leads all American League shortstops -- by far -- with 13 home runs and 39 RBIs.
eight -- straight save opportunities converted by Jim Johnson.
Johnson allowed two hits and an earned run in Tuesday night's 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels, but he picked up his 23rd save of the season. Since that ugly stretch last month in which Johnson blew four of five save opportunities, he has converted eight straight to tie New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera for the league lead in saves. Johnson had gone 6 1/3 innings over seven appearances without allowing a run before Tuesday night.
58 -- games it took for Chris Davis to hit 20 homers and 20 doubles.
Last Wednesday, in a loss to the Houston Astros, the first baseman added yet another quirky milestone to his 2013 resume. By hitting his 20th double in that game, Davis reached 20 home runs and 20 doubles faster than any player in major-league history. He did it in 58 games, the fewest by any previous player (Mel Ott and Ivan Rodriguez both did it in 60), according to Elias Sports Bureau. Davis has cooled off a little since then, though, with just three hits (none for extra bases) in his past six games.
four -- catchers drafted by the Orioles in the first 10 rounds in 2013.
The Orioles selected 41 players in the 2013 MLB draft over the weekend -- 23 college players, four from junior colleges and 14 straight out of high school. Of those 41 players, four were catchers, and each of them was drafted in the first 10 rounds, starting with high-school backstop Chance Sisco late in the second round. Starting catcher Matt Wieters can’t become a free agent until after the 2015 season, but the Orioles are clearly covering themselves in case they aren’t able to re-sign him while also adding organizational depth at a position that has been relatively barren.
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