Orioles Weekly Wrap: May 27th - June 2nd

Bob Levey

Manny Machado hits a grand slam, Nelson Cruz remains scorching hot, and Steve Pearce gives the team a big boost.

Results

The O's went 2-4 against the Brewers and Astros this week. They scored 24 runs and allowed 25.

Standings

At 28-27, the team is in third place in the AL East, 4.5 games out of first and half a game behind the second-place Yankees. At this point their predicted record is 82-80.

Best Hitter / Worst Hitter

Nelson Cruz destroyed worlds this week, racking up an astounding 397 wRC+ (.529/.591/.1.53). That has to be one of the best weeks ever for a baseball player. Chris Davis was just about his polar opposite though, recording a -73 wRC+ (.080/.115/.080). He struck out in half his plate appearances.

Best Pitcher / Worst Pitcher

On the starting staff, Ubaldo Jimenez takes the honors of the week's best pitcher. He pitched 6 innings, got 57% ground balls, struck out 8, and walked three. That led to just one earned run. Bud Norris was the goat of the week. In his six innings he struck out one and walked three, giving up four earned runs.

In the bullpen, Ryan Webb excelled this week. In 3.1 innings he struck out three, walked one, and did not give up a home run. His ground ball rate was 100%, meaning every single ball that someone made contact with went on the ground. That will absolutely keep runs off the board!

Preston Guilmet, who was our best reliever when I last posted this article, turned it around (in a bad way) this week. In 3 innings he struck out five and didn't walk a batter, but he gave up four hits (including two home runs) that led to four earned runs.

Clutch PA of the Week

This one is easy. On May 27th the Orioles were facing the Brewers on the road, down 5-3 in the 7th against Matt Garza. Nelson Cruz walked, J.J. Hardy lined out, Nick Hundley reached on an error, and Jonathan Schoop grounded out. With the pitcher's spot due up, Buck Showalter sent in Steave Pearce to hit for Guilmet, who had just pitched a scoreless inning. Pearce worked the count to 3-1 and cranked a three-run shot deep down the left-field line to put the Orioles ahead 6-5.

They'd lose the game eventually, but Pearce's shot gave the Orioles the singlest biggest boost they've had all season.

Clutch Relief Appearance of the Week

In the same game, Brian Matusz helped the same lead stand up. In the bottom of the 8th with the Orioles still ahead 6-5, Darren O'Day loaded the bases around a groundout by Carlos Gomez and a lineout by Mark Reynolds. The Brewers looked like they'd claw their way back into the game, but it was not to be. Brian Matusz came in and threw five pitches to retire Irving Falu on a groundout, preserving the lead.

Upcoming Week

The Orioles start against Texas this week and then return home to host Oakland and Boston.

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