Orioles @ Nationals series finale
*Not much in the way of pregame news following last night’s series win, but here’s a few notable stats from the Orioles’ notes..
*The O’s have the best road record in baseball at 15-5 and have won nine consecutive road contests, their longest such road winning streak since August 29-September 24, 1999 when they won 10 straight.
*The bullpen leads the Majors with a 2.08 ERA, allowing 33 earned runs in 143 innings pitched to start the season. Jim Johnson has converted his last 23 save opportunities dating back to last year, including all 15 this season. Johnson’s 15 saves lead MLB. Kevin Gregg has not allowed an earned run his last seven outings and Pedro Strop has made 12 straight scoreless appearances.
*Manager Buck Showalter pointed out this afternoon that the Orioles have played 21 extra innings so far this season, which is the equivalent of nearly three extra games. So, I did a little math and figured out that the team is on pace to throw 1541 innings this season. The record is 1506 by the 1964 Yankees, which are the only team to ever throw more than 1500 innings in a regular season. Hat tip to my colleague TR Sullivan of the Rangers beat, who informed me of that stat.
*Top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy is starting today against Hagerstown and my associate reporter, Greg Luca, will be covering the game. You can follow him on Twitter @GregLuca for live updates.
*Miguel Tejada is serving at designated hitter this afternoon for Triple-A Norfolk and –for those who asked — he got favorable reports in extended spring. Tejada has been playing mostly third base and is working to get back up here. That he’s been moved to Triple-A shows that he’s been impressive and also that the organization is incredibly thin positionally at third base. It will be interesting to see what happens with that position in the coming weeks, with Bill Hall and Ryan Flaherty getting a look up here and Mark Reynolds currently rehabbing down in Sarasota, Fla.
*Jason Hammel said last night that he feels like he’s still pitching on one leg and his stamina just hasn’t been there the last two starts as he’s restricted in his conditioning given the right knee injury that forced him to skip a start earlier this month. Showalter said the team’s athletic training staff is working on tweaking Hammel’s between-starts regimen –right now he’s still not running- to help combat the problem and the team could tweak the rotation following Thursday’s off day.
The Orioles are off Thursday the 24th and 31 and on June 4, and Zach Britton’s pending arrival will certainly shake up the rotation as well. Britton, who is expected to be sent out on rehab assignment later this week, could return on the team’s next road trip, perhaps as soon as the Boston series. Given the three upcoming off days close together, Hammels’ situation –as well as the performance of the other starters — will be monitored closely.
*Showalter is now 130-130 since taking over as the O’s manager. While he’s the last guy to take any credit, there’s no denying the impact he’s had since coming to Baltimore. Showalter has challenged guys since his arrival, but admitted this afternoon he “set the bar even higher” this spring with his young club. Whatever he’s done, it’s worked in the first quarter of the season: this is a team that is confident, poised and has each others backs. And it’s a refreshing change from past Oriole regimes.
Xavier Avery LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam JOnes CF
Wilson Betemit 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Robert Andino 2B
Luis Exposito C
Wei-Yin Chen SP
Danny Espinosa 2B
Bryce Harper CF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Adam LaRoche 1B
Ian Desmond SS
Xavier Nady RF
Tyler Moore LF
Jesus Flores C
Stephen Strasburg SP