The Orioles went 4-3 against Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Milwaukee last week. They scored 43 runs and allowed 40.
26-23, third place in the AL East and 2.5 games behind the scorching hot Blue Jays, who have won seven in a row and have the best run differential in the division by far. At this pace the Orioles are looking at an 84-78 finish.
Best Hitter / Worst Hitter
Chris Davis showed a return to form this past week with a 345 wRC+ (.421/.542/.1.158), swatting four home runs (including three in one game) and two doubles in the process. The week's worst hitter was Jonathan Schoop, but he didn't hit badly: 100 wRC+ (.259/.259/.481). A 22-year-old second baseman with league-average offense is a valuable asset. And when your worst hitter is average, you know the team as a whole had a solid offensive week.
Best Pitcher / Worst Pitcher
On the starting staff, Miguel Gonzalez had two great starts. In 12 innings he struck out 11, walked four, and gave up just one home run. He also got a lot of ground balls. Unfortunately his rotation-mate Chris Tillman, who looked so good to start the year, seems broken. In two starts he totaled just 6.2 innings. He struck out eight but walked an astounding seven, although he allowed just two home runs. Hitters teed off on his fastball the most, scoring 2.3 more runs off it vs. the average major-league fastball.
In the bullpen, Preston Guilmet gets the hat tip as the week's best pitcher. In 3.1 IP he faced 11 batters and did not allow a hit. T.J. McFarland was the worst in the 'pen; he also threw 3.1 innings but yielded five hits and three earned runs.
Clutch PA of the Week
This week's honor goes to Ryan Flaherty. In the bottom of 6th on May 22nd against the Indians, the Orioles were behind noted sinkerballer Justin Masterson 0-3. That is, until Steve Clevenger singled, J.J. Hardy singled, and Flaherty tied it up with a three-run shot to deep right field. The blast immediately swung the game's chances in favor of the Orioles.
Clutch Relief Appearance of the Week
The May 22nd game against the Indians also featured the week's best relief appearance in Guilmet. He entered the game in the top of the 11th with the score tied 6-6. He struck out Nick Swisher and got Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana to ground out. In the 12th, he got David Murphy to pop out, Mike Aviles to ground out, and Michael Bourn to fly out. He retired Justin Sellers in the 13th before yielding to Troy Patton, who eventually gave up the game-winning runs.
Don't let Patton's disaster spoil the fact that Guilmet had the best relief appearance for an Oriole reliever all year.
Steve Clevenger recorded only 2 hits in 13 plate appearances this week, but he also walked twice to keep his OBP at a respectable level. Steve Pearce continued hitting well: six hits in 14 plate appearances, including a double, for a 160 wRC+ (.429/.429/.500). Steve Lombardozzi even made a big-league appearance this week, entering the 9-0 blowout loss when Showalter removed several of the regulars in the top of the 8th.
The series against Milwaukee continues this week, and then the team travels to Houston for a four-game set with the Astros.