Fresh off taking two of three from the Yankees in the Bronx, the O’s look to continue their strong pitching when they head to Boston for a weekend series with the Red Sox. The O’s held the Yankees to three runs in three games including handing the Yanks their first shutout in the new Yankee Stadium. I know we are only 25 games into the season, but the O’s are starting to look more and more like they are going to be in the mix come September. If the starters can continue to go seven innings and the bullpen stays fresh, I don’t see why we can’t play competitive baseball all season, especially with the bats the O’s have. Of the 25 games the O’s have played, the starting pitchers have combined for 14 quality starts and have compiled a 2.83 ERA, which is third in the majors.
Chris Davis – The hot-hitting first baseman is batting .409 over his last seven games including two doubles, three homers and eight RBI. Davis is now hitting .316 on the season and has provided the O’s with some big hits lately. He has had two three-hit games over the past week, including a home run in each contest.
Matt Wieters – I could put Wieters in this category every week considering how dominant he has been so far. He is hitting for average (.303), power (seven home runs, 17 RBI), and has come up with a clutch hit just about every time his team needs one. In addition, he has contributed to the success of the starting rotation with his superb play behind the plate.
Jake Arrieta – Arrieta pitched the best game of his young career in his most recent start, shutting out the Yankees in a 5-0 O’s victory. He allowed five hits, struck out nine and issued no walks in eight strong innings of work. This is a good sign for Arrieta, who hadn’t won a game since Opening Day.
J.J. Hardy – One of the few bright spots for the O’s last season was Hardy, who finished with a career-high 30 home runs and 80 RBI. This season, however, he has been anything but stellar at the plate. He has a miserable .196 average, which ranks close to the bottom of any player with as many at-bats as he’s had this season. He has been hitting the ball better lately, though, but the O’s would like to see much more production out of their No. 2 batter.
Mark Reynolds – This season has been downright horrendous for Reynolds. He can’t do anything right in the field or at the plate, where he has only nine hits in 66 at-bats for a measly .136 average. He has no home runs yet, which is strange for a guy who has hit close to 30 a season throughout his career. The only thing he has been doing with any consistency lately is striking out. He has now struck out in 19 consecutive games, putting him two behind Jim Palmer and eight behind Steve Barber for the O’s record. It’s never good when you’re paired with pitchers when it involves batting statistics. But that’s just the type of season it’s been so far for Reynolds.