Game 18: Orioles vs. Twins

The Orioles took game three of this four game series, and can take the series with a win tonight.  As Jeremy Guthrie said in an earlier tweet, they can start to “protect this yard tonight with a big win.”  Hopefully the O’s can get back up to .500 tonight.

Twins:

Batting Fielding fWAR
Denard Span     .306/.342/.403 3 0.7
Alexi Casilla .128/.190/0.179 -1 -0.3
Jason Kubel .323/.362/.492 1 0.6
Michael Cuddyer  .254/.319/.349 -2 -0.1
Jim Thome .163/.280/.279 0 -0.2
Danny Valencia .238/.324/.302 -1 0.0
Luke Hughes .200/.200/.240 0 -0.2
Drew Butera .174/.174/.217 1 0.0
Jason Repko .200/.273/.200 0 0.0

Morneau and Young are still out with flu-like symptoms, and Mauer remains on the DL.  The Twins struggle offensively without these guys and will continue to struggle until they return.  Kubel and Span have held their end of the workload, but Cuddyer and Thome really need to improve offensively if they want to win games without three of their better players.

Scott Baker:

ERA FIP xFIP K/9 BB/9 GB% fWAR
4.50 5.60 4.13 7.5 3.5 38.5% -0.1

Baker’s numbers aren’t very good, and though he did well in his last start (7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, ND), he has struggled this year.  That high ERA can be attributed to his low GB%, which leads to more fly balls, which means more home runs (averages 2 per 9 IP).  He also needs to bring down that BB/9 to get more efficient starts.

Baker brings a 91 MPH fastball which he works in with a nice slider.  He’s more about working well and spotting with his decent stuff than blowing hitters away.

Batting Fielding fWAR
Brian Roberts .274/.293/.466 -1 0.2
Nick Markakis .215/.288/.338 -2 -0.3
Derrek Lee .206/.306/.270 0 -0.2
Vladimir Guerrero .268/.268/.408 0 -0.1
Luke Scott .211/.295/.421 2 0.2
Adam Jones .237/.258/.407 1 0.3
Mark Reynolds .200/.286/.345 -3 -0.3
Matt Wieters .250/.333/.500 0 0.5
Robert Andino .318/.400/.318 2 0.3

The Orioles got the win yesterday, with 5 runs on 8 hits, but only walked once (yikes).  Really need better plate discipline, and they also left 6 on base.  Though the power was there (Wieters and Guerrero both hit their third homers of the year), the walks need to be there if the O’s want to win more ball games over the ling-haul.

Jeremy Guthrie:

ERA FIP xFIP K/9 BB/9 GB% fWAR
3.32 3.94 4.41 4.3 1.2 38.5% 0.3

Guthrie got knocked around in his previous start against the Tribe, but still comes into today having been decent so far this season.  He doesn’t make many people miss, but he walks very few as well.  Though his GB% is low, only about 7% of his flyballs actually leave the yard (compare that to Scott Baker’s 18%).

Guthrie mixes in a good number* of pitches but again, none major swing-and-miss stuff.  He has a big drop off in velocities from his fastball to his curve (90 MPH to 72 MPH, respectively), so he occasionally catches hitters off balance then, but he uses that curve sparingly.  Pretty good change up to complement the fastball as well.

* The PItchFX is all over the place, with the fastball showing a wide range of movement. Hard to say where one ends and one begins, or if the one fastball just has a wide range of movements, or if there are PitchFX calibration issues (some of all three I’d guess). Given that, it’s being presented as-is.


Stats: UZRWARERAFIPxFIPK/9 & BB/9GB%PitchFX