Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Orioles.
14-9 -- Baltimore’s record in series-opening games this season.
The Orioles lost Monday night’s series opener against the Detroit Tigers, but prior to that game, they had won five of their previous six series openers. So far this season, the Orioles are 14-9 in series openers. And if they won that game, they are 13-1 in those series, with the only series loss coming to the Minnesota Twins in the first week of the season. On the flip side, they are 2-5-1 in series after losing the opener, which isn’t that surprising given the probability of winning back-to-back games. We’ll see if they can make it 3-5-1 this afternoon in Detroit.
30 -- games since center fielder Adam Jones last drew a walk.
With 15 home runs and 51 RBIs, Jones is one of the most dangerous hitters in the Orioles lineup. Jones is third among Orioles regulars with a .301 average, but his on-base percentage is just .325. That's because Jones hasn't drawn a walk since May 18. He has earned just eight free passes this season, which is fewer than Nolan Reimold, who has appeared in just 31 games. And it's one more than Steve Pearce, who has had a little more than a quarter as many plate appearances as Jones has had. But considering the pop that Jones provides them, the Orioles can live with his lack of walks.
4.80 -- Jon Lester’s ERA against the O's since Sept. 28, 2011.
Lester lorded over the Orioles for much of his first six seasons in the major leagues. The left-hander for the Boston Red Sox won his first 14 decisions against the Orioles, but the O's started to turn the tide against him on Sept. 28, 2011, the thrilling final night of the 2011 regular season. In their past five games against Lester, including that night, the Orioles are undefeated. Lester has taken two losses in those games and posted a 4.80 ERA. The latest came Sunday when Chris Davis and the Orioles chased Lester after he allowed five earned runs on nine hits over five innings in a 6-3 Orioles win.
seven -- homers in Chris Davis’ last 10 games against Boston.
Speaking of dominance over Boston, Davis has thrived against the Red Sox since late last season. Davis homered against Lester and drove in three runs in Sunday’s win. Dating back to last September, Davis has seven home runs in his past 10 games against the Red Sox, including four in seven games this season. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that makes him the third player in franchise history to have that many home runs in a 10-game stretch against the Red Sox.
216 -- times the O's defense shifted in 2013, as of Thursday.
You might have missed this over the weekend, but my colleague Childs Walker wrote a really nice piece about how Buck Showalter and the Orioles have been shifting their defenders based on the tendencies of opposing hitters. According to Baseball Info Solutions, the Orioles had shifted 216 times as of last Thursday, which was the most in the majors -- even more than Joe Maddon’s Tampa Bay Rays, who had been “baseball’s most shift-happy team,” as Walker put it. The shift works both ways, though. Davis has been shifted against 83 times, fifth-most among MLB hitters.
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.