It was easy to look past the Orioles striking out 15 times in Monday's 9-7 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The game was so exciting there was no reason to focus on anything negative.
Still, that's a lot of strikeouts for a team that seems to have turned a new appreciation for on-base percentage into the best start in Baltimore franchise history. But this is still a team built around a lot of big strikeout guys.
In this case, though, it probably isn't that meaningful. The Orioles were facing Cy Young starter David Price, who has been known to strike out a few people. He didn't get that ridiculous contract from the Red Sox because he's a fading junk-baller.
Price struck out 496 batters over the past two seasons, so eight in five innings isn't exactly a statistical deviation no matter who's at the plate. Factor in the shadows that made it tough to see the ball in later innings and that setup relievers Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara are deceptive strikeout guys and Monday was the perfect storm for a strikeout-prone team.
Thanks to Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo, however, the Orioles still had a perfect ending.
The Orioles are going to strike out a lot, just not that much. They had struck out a total of 33 times in the first five games, which is an average of 6.6 per game. To that point, there were only five teams in the majors with a lower strikeout-per-game average. Monday's game jacked up their average to eight Ks per game, which still ranks the O's 10th in the majors for fewest Ks per game.