Wednesday, September 15, 2010

O's win again

Jake Arrieta pitched six scoreless innings, and the O's offense finally broke through for a bunch of runs in an 11-3 win over the Blue Jays. Leading 3-0, the O's tacked on six runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth to put the game away for good. Overall, the O's pounded out 16 hits, including three doubles and two homers, and five walks. Nick Markakis and Adam Jones had the home runs, and Robert Andino, Markakis, Ty Wigginton, Felix Pie, Matt Wieters, and Jones all had multi-hit games. Also, every Orioles starter recorded a hit.

Arrieta was more than solid enough to earn the win, allowing just four hits. He also walked only one batter while striking out five. He hasn't walked more than one batter in a start since August 26, which spans only three starts, but that's still some progress considering he has 52 strikeouts and 48 walks on the season.

The O's are now 8-5 in September and 25-15 overall under Buck Showalter. They're also 8-2 in their last 10 games and could have won all 10 if not for the bullpen blowing two leads late in games. And for whatever the reason, the O's have won a lot more and been much more enjoyable to watch under Showalter. Hopefully that doesn't end and provides a nice lead-in for next season.

A few other notes:

- Since the All-Star break, Wieters is hitting .286/.357/.474 with five home runs. He's also walked 17 times and struck out only 21 times.

- Also, since the All-Star break, Jones is hitting .301/.376/.446 with four home runs. In those 45 games, he's also three walked more times (13) than he did in 87 games before the break (10).

- Here is the O's pitching staff ERA by month:

March/April: 4.62
May: 4.68
June: 5.72
July: 5.60
August: 3.38
September (so far): 4.07

Have they gotten a little lucky? Probably. But starters are throwing more innings and giving the bullpen leads to protect -- and fewer innings to throw.

- Brian Matusz, who had to leave the game on Monday after just one inning because of a line drive that struck his left triceps, may have been robbed of a chance to improve his Rookie of the Year chances. Matusz has more than held his own in his rookie season and has thrown a lot of innings, but there's a strong chance that the O's will hold Matusz out of his next start if he's not 100 percent healthy -- as they should. Unfortunately for Matusz, Austin Jackson continues to hit and still seems like the top ROY choice in the American League.

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