Results and Standings
The team is currently at 46-48, seven games back in the AL East, good for fourth place, although they are just 1.5 games back from second place. Their predicted record is 80-82.
Best Hitter / Worst Hitter
Manny Machado continued to crush major-league pitching to the tune of a .286/.444/.667 line with two home runs, good for a 205 wRC+. In fact most of the regular Orioles hitters did well offensively this week. One big exception was Matt Wieters, who struggled with a .167/.200/.167 line (-4 wRC+). So far in his return he has a 83 wRC+ and is striking out a lot -- 26.3%, more than 7% above his career rate.
Best Start / Worst Start
It's #stafface and it isn't even close. On July 18th, Chris Tillman pitched eight innings of one-hit, eight-strikeout, one-walk ball against the Tigers. We should start calling those Unicorn Starts because you have as much chance of seeing that mythical beast as you do such a dominating effort from an Orioles starting pitcher.
On the flip side, Ubaldo Jimenez had this week's worst start. Both his starts were so bad that it's hard to choose which one was worse. Is it the seven-run, five-strikeout, three-dinger, 4.2 -inning outing against Detroit? Or is it when he faced the Yankees and struck out only two, walked three, gave up a home run, and lasted only 2.1 innings? FIP says the latter start was worse, so we'll go with that one.
Have a Game, Why Don't Ya!
The Orioles lost 4-3 to the Yankees on Wednesday July 22nd, but it wasn't for lack of Ryan Flaherty trying. The Orioles were down 3-0 early, but in the top of the 3rd inning Flaherty hit a two-run shot off Ivan Nova to pull the Orioles within one. That's really all he did at the plate, but it was enough to increase the Orioles' chances of winning by 15%.
Clutchiest Relief Performance
There were no stellar relief performances this week. I had to dig down into the dregs of WPA to find out which Oriole contributed the most. It turned out to be Chaz Roe's outing against Detroit on July 19th. Roe entered the game in the bottom of the 6th with the game already a 7-2 laugher (thankfully, in favor of the Orioles). He worked around two hits to move the game along, then did the same thing in the 7th inning. Again, given the score and the fact it was so late in the game, it wasn't a clutch relief outing. But relative to all other outings in the past week, it was the clutchiest.
The Orioles try to end July on a positive note with a three-game series at Tampa Bay before returning home to face the Atlanta Braves and then the Tigers again.