Chris Tillman #24 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
A little over a month ago, Camden Chatter Dr. J posted an excellent Fan Post about the Orioles' level of success when the starting pitcher turns in a quality start. Dr. J's research showed that , this season, the Orioles have been the most successful team in the AL to convert a QS to a W. The value of the so-called quality start is debatable, but the idea is that since the team's major strength is its bullpen, a quality start will keep the game close even when the offense has trouble scoring runs.
When Dr. J wrote his Fan Post on the Orioles had played 98 games with a quality start in 45 of them. Since then, in 32 games, the O's starters have had a quality start in 16 of them. In those 16 games, the Orioles won 15. FIFTEEN. Here is the list, if you're interested:
|Chris Tillman||2012-07-26||BAL||TBR||W 6-2||6.0||5||2||4||5|
|Wei-Yin Chen||2012-08-04||BAL||TBR||W 4-0||7.0||5||0||1||4|
|Miguel Gonzalez||2012-08-05||BAL||TBR||W 1-0||7.0||2||0||4||4|
|Chris Tillman||2012-08-06||BAL||SEA||W 3-1||7.1||5||1||1||5|
|Steve Johnson||2012-08-08||BAL||SEA||W 9-2||6.0||5||2||2||9|
|Miguel Gonzalez||2012-08-10||BAL||KCR||W 7-1||8.0||6||1||1||5|
|Wei-Yin Chen||2012-08-14||BAL||BOS||W 7-1||6.0||9||1||1||4|
|Miguel Gonzalez||2012-08-15||BAL||BOS||W 5-3||6.0||6||2||1||2|
|Tommy Hunter||2012-08-17||BAL||DET||L 3-5||6.0||5||3||2||3|
|Zach Britton||2012-08-18||BAL||DET||W 3-2||7.0||6||0||3||5|
|Chris Tillman||2012-08-21||BAL||TEX||W 5-3||6.2||6||3||1||7|
|Zach Britton||2012-08-24||BAL||TOR||W 6-4||6.2||4||2||2||6|
|Steve Johnson||2012-08-25||BAL||TOR||W 8-2||6.0||4||2||2||7|
|Wei-Yin Chen||2012-08-27||BAL||CHW||W 4-3||6.0||4||2||1||8|
|Chris Tillman||2012-08-28||BAL||CHW||W 6-0||7.0||1||0||4||5|
|Zach Britton||2012-08-30||BAL||CHW||W 5-3||8.0||7||1||0||10|
So the Orioles in the last 32 games have gone 21-11, with 15 of those wins coming in the same game as a quality start. In case you're bad at math, that means they went 6-10 in non-quality starts.
The Orioles are ready for the postseason, or at the very least ready to make a hard charge for the postseason. Their starting rotation has increased its number of quality starts in the last month-plus, thereby increasing the team's chance to win. The newly found success of Chris Tillman and Zach Britton, along with the return of Jason Hammel in the next week or so will, in my opinion, keep those quality starts a comin'. Not to mention the removal of one Tommy Hunter from the starting rotation.
This Orioles rotation will never go down as one of the best, even if you're just comparing it to other teams in 2012. But we don't need them to be the best, we just need them to give their team a fighting chance.