By Dan Connolly
6:00 AM EDT, May 15, 2012
The Orioles fast start has been pretty simple:
The starters have pitched well, going deep into games and keeping the Orioles in most contests.
Strong starting pitching has allowed the bullpen to stay fresh – and be effective.
And the offense, which is solid, has been able to mount rallies, partially because the games are rarely out of reach.
Even shoddy defense has been somewhat negated by the way the starters have pitched.
Sure, there are more complex answers, but simply put, the Orioles rotation has done well, and so have the Orioles.
Heading into this homestand, the Orioles had a collective 2.78 ERA, which was the best mark in the American League and second behind only the Washington Nationals.
Now, that ERA sits at 3.55 – it has gone up almost an entire run in eight games.
And the rotation is mostly to blame. In those eight games, the club is 3-5 and the Orioles’ rotation is 2-4 with a 6.95 ERA.
How bad has it been? The rotation has allowed 35 earned runs on 59 hits and 17 walks in just 45 1/3 innings since the 17-inning contest in Boston.
That’s averaging fewer than 6 innings per game.
Only twice in that span have they had a quality start – six innings or more. One was delivered by Wei-Yin Chen. The other was Dana Eveland’s six walk game; hardly a quality performance regardless of the official stat.
The numbers are even worse if you add in Tommy Hunter’s rough start in the Boston Marathon.
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