Game 37: Orioles vs. Indians

Very nice win for the Birds last night, with offense, defense, and pitching all being displayed. The O’s are in an easier part of their schedule now, and so far they’re making it count – winning 3 in a row and 5 of their last 8. They have a chance to guarantee themselves a series win against the Indians tonight in a favorable match-up, with Brian Matusz squaring off against Mitch Talbot.

Indians’ line-up:

Bat Pos Batting Def WAR
Cabrera, Asdrubal S SS .294/.331/.381 -4.9 0.0
Grudzielanek, Mark R 2B .290/.343/.290 0.4 0.2
Choo, Shin-Soo L RF .296/.405/.448 3.4 1.4
Kearns, Austin R LF .341/.418/.518 2.8 1.2
Hafner, Travis L DH .250/.379/.380 0.3
Peralta, Jhonny R 3B .229/.323/.367 -4.7 -0.1
LaPorta, Matt R 1B .210/.264/.247 1.4 -0.6
Marson, Lou R C .192/.263/.247 0 -0.1
Crowe, Trevor S CF .000/.000/.000 0 0.0

Crowe and Nick Markakis were actually born on the same day. Trevor is making his 2010 debut in this one.

Talbot:

K/9 BB/9 HR/9 GB rate FIP^ xFIP^ WAR^
3.7 4.4 1.1 52.0% 5.37 4.94 -0.1

The groundballs are nice, but you really can’t survive for long with more walks than strike-outs.

His stuff^:

You can see why Talbot’s strike-out rate is so low, since he doesn’t get a lot of whiffs on the slider and none on his fastball. The change looks like his best pitch, and the sink Talbot gets on his pitches helps explain his above average groundball rate. I think the strategy is pretty simple; make Talbot throw strikes, and then… lasershow. The Orioles will probably ground into at least one double play though.

O’s line-up:

Bat Pos Batting Def WAR
Patterson, Corey L LF .462/.500/.769 3 0.3
Jones, Adam R CF .245/.274/.371 -2.7 -0.3
Markakis, Nick L RF .301/.396/.441 -1.3 0.8
Tejada, Miguel R 3B .288/.333/.440 0.7 0.7
Scott, Luke L DH .232/.290/.475 0.2
Wigginton, Ty R 2B .304/.377/.635 -3.8 0.9
Wieters, Matt S C .270/.338/.397 1 0.8
Atkins, Garrett R 1B .250/.280/.313 -0.9 -0.4
Izturis, Cesar S SS .202/.262/.223 0.9 -0.3

Man, look at that sparkplug at the top of the line-up there!

Matusz:

K/9 BB/9 HR/9 GB rate FIP xFIP WAR
7.4 3.1 0.5 26.6% 3.21 4.80 1.0

He got roughed up in his last start, even though it was the first time all year that he got more groundballs than flyballs. He’s the only O’s player at 1 WAR though.