The Orioles playoff chances continue to dwindle faster than my interest in The Newsroom after a disappointing three games in Tropicana Field. It’s looking more and more like the 2013 season will be the team’s second best since 1997.
However, in the strangest of places, one positive note about our beloved Orioles caught my eye this morning. In his Monday column on TheMMQB.com, NFL writer Peter King praised Orioles catcher Matt Wieters for his superhuman abilities behind the plate.
Also hard to not have admiration for Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters (who has sat 20 games all season) after his four-day stretch in Boston and St. Petersburg last week. Wieters caught four days in a row (big deal) and four full games—two nine-winning games, as well as 12-, and 18-inning games. He never came out. All on the road, all with wild-card-race pressure, and the 18-innning job after the Orioles arrived at their St. Petersburg hotel after 3 a.m. Friday from Boston. The totals:
Innings caught: 47.
Hours between first pitch of Game 1 and last pitch of Game 4: 79.
Batters faced: 190.
Pitches called: 748.
Different pitchers: 14.
Passed balls: 0.
Wieters has been beat up by the Twitter bullies all season long for his disappointing numbers at the plate. As of Monday morning he’s hitting .230/.283/.410 in 559 plate appearances this season.
I wrote about Wieters on September 10 in my weekly guest column on MASNSports.com and concluded that if Buck Showalter wanted to see better numbers from the O’s catcher at the plate, he would limit his innings behind it. It’s my belief that Showalter values Wieters’ defense so much that he’s willing to sacrifice a few points off his batting average.