Thanks to a solo home run from Matt Wieters, the Orioles knocked Mariners starter Erik Bedard out in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game. But in allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings, Bedard helped the Mariners hang around long enough to break through against Jeremy Guthrie and steal a 3-2 win over the Orioles.
If you’re familiar with Orioles history, you know that Bedard, the former Baltimore ace, is left-handed. And if you’re familiar with Orioles present, you knew that the team would struggle against him Tuesday.
The slumping Orioles are now 6-12 this season when a left-handed pitcher makes the start for the guys in the other clubhouse. Three of their five straight losses on this West Coast road trip have come at the hands of lefties. Meanwhile, the Orioles are 18-17 in games played against right-handed starters.
According to Baseball Reference, the Orioles are batting .234 in games started by left-handers and have scored just 60 runs in those 18 games (and that’s including runs scored against relievers, regardless of handedness).
In games started by right-handers, the Orioles are batting .256 and have scored 154 runs in 35 games -- that’s an average of 1.1 runs per game higher than in the games against lefty starters.
Luke Scott, who is stuck in a nasty funk right now, is batting .103 against left-handed pitching in 2011. Mark Reynolds, another struggling slugger, is batting .106 against southpaws. The injured Brian Roberts was .188. And Nick Markakis is .257.
Looking ahead on the schedule, the last-place Orioles will face left-handed starters in four of their next six games. If they don’t improve at the plate against southpaws in a hurry, they could dig themselves into a deeper hole in the AL East.