Orioles Weekly Wrap: June 3rd - June 9th

Rob Carr

Adam Jones was the best hitter in baseball this week, Nick Markakis and Zach Britton came through in the clutch, and Nelson Cruz tried to deke the Athletics.

Results

The Orioles went 4-3 this week against Texas, Oakland, and Boston. They scored 34 runs and allowed 34.

Standings

The Orioles are at 32-30, second place in the AL East, 5.5 games behind Toronto and one game ahead of the Yankees. Their predicted finish is 83-79.

Best Hitter / Worst Hitter

Adam Jones led the team, and indeed all of baseball, with a 301 wRC+ this week (.483/.500/.931, 4 HR). He even walked once! J.J. Hardy didn't look so good though. He posted a 35 wRC+ (.192/.241/.269) and made several errors in the field.

Best Pitcher / Worst Pitcher

In the rotation, Kevin Gausman put together a great start during his second callup this season. In seven innings he struck out six and walked one, giving up just one run on a solo shot. And this was against a red-hot Oakland team that leads the major leagues un runs scored per game.

In the bullpen, Zach Britton continued his run of success on the year. In three innings he struck out four and walked one. He gave up three hits but no runs. More about him later.

Clutch PA of the Week

Against Texas on June 4th, the Orioles entered the top of the sixth tied at 5. Jonathan Schoop singled against Nick Martinez and David Lough walked. Caleb Joseph tried to bunt the runners over, but he bunted back to the pitcher who was able to force Schoop at third base. One out. Ron Washington brought in Aaron Poreda to pitch to Nick Markakis. On the first pitch, Lough and Joseph went for the double steal; Joseph was safe, but Lough was thrown out at third. Two out. Markakis came through, singling into left field to bring Joseph home easily and putting the Orioles up 6-5. The score would stay there for the rest of the game.

As a side note, Markakis is doing really well this year, hitting .312/.369/.431 with 6 HR (121 wRC+). Note that offense is down league-wide this year, so Markakis looks better by that comparison. He's relying on his highest BABIP since 2010, which doesn't bode well for his average, but his walk and strikeout rates remain better than average. It's a good sign that he already has six dingers on the year, more than halfway to last year's total of 10 in a little over 1/3 the games. And having his high OBP at the top of the lineup doesn't hurt.

Clutch Relief Appearance of the Week

As you might expect, Zach Britton recorded this week's most clutch relief appearance. On June 6th against Oakland, he came into the game in the top of the 9th with the score knotted up at 3. He struck out Brandon Moss and got Alberto Callaspo and Kyle Blanks to ground out. The Orioles couldn't score, so in the 10th, he struck out Nick Punto before giving up a double to Coco Crisp. Jed Lowrie flew out to right field and Josh Donaldson walked to add some intrigue. But Yoenis Cespedes struck out and Orioles fans everywhere applauded (until Evan Meek came in the next inning, that is).

For what it's worth, Britton also recorded this week's second-most clutch appearance (June 4th against Texas). He has been so good this year.

Upcoming Week

The Orioles finish the series against Boston, remain in Baltimore to host the scorching-hot Blue Jays, then begin a quick AL East road trip in Tampa Bay (well, technically St. Petersburg).

Your Moment of Zen

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