The Orioles are in fourth place in the AL East at 10-10, one game behind Boston and two games behind (shudder) New York. At this point their predicted record is 84-78.
Best Hitter / Worst Hitter
The Orioles continued hitting well this week. Young Manny Machado's bat broke out and led the charge with a 283 wRC+ (.400/.478/.950 with a couple of jacks). Manny 's strikeout rate is the same as last year but he's walking nearly twice as often, keeping his offensive value high. And although he made a favorable impression in his MLB debut, rookie Reynaldo Navarro carried the worst line of the week: .250/.250/.375 or 68 wRC+.
Best Start / Worst Start
Ubaldo Jimenez easily had the best start of this past week in the Ghost Game against the White Sox. In 7 innings he struck out 6, walked 1, and gave up three hits. He allowed no home runs or earned runs.
Miguel Gonzalez didn't have a terrible start against Boston on April 24th, but it was the worst of the week. In 6 innings he struck out one, walked one, and allowed two dingers. He gave up eight hits and four earned runs.
Clutch PA of the Week
Of course you already know what this is. On Saturday April 25th, playing at home against Boston while protesters clashed with police outside the stadium, David Lough stepped to the plate with the score tied at 4. The Orioles had entered the inning down 4-3, but Adam Jones had tripled off of Koji Uehara and Chris Davis tied the game with a sacrifice fly. All Lough did was work the count full and get a hanging splitter right in the middle of the plate. He swung and launched it into the seats for a walkoff home run, increasing the Orioles' chances of winning the game by 43%. The hit was even more important because it ended a five-game losing streak for the team.
Clutch Relief Appearance of the Week
This week the honor belongs to Tommy Hunter, who pitched on the 24th against Boston, replacing Miguel Gonzalez in the top of the 7th inning with the score 4-3 Red Sox. Hunter kept the game close; he gave up a single to Mookie Betts, got Dustin Pedroia to ground into a fielder's choice, then induced a double play from David Ortiz. In the 8th, he retired Hanley Ramirez and Mike Napoli before being lifted for Brian Matusz. Overall he increased the Orioles' chance of winning the game by 13%.
Unfortunately, Matusz walked the only batter he faced. The next batter, Allen Craig, faced Darren O'Day and reached on an error, and then O'Day surrendered a three-run jack to Brock Holt. The Orioles ended up losing, 7-5.