Orioles offense goes from dormant to dominant
Sept. 2, 2013
The Orioles' offense went from dormant to dominant this holiday weekend, posting seven runs apiece on Sunday and Monday after a run of 18 consecutive scoreless innings that started in the late innings of Friday night's loss at Yankee Stadium. The O's got all those runs at once on Sunday versus the Yankees with a seven-run seventh inning. They stretched their seven runs over nine innings on Monday at Cleveland.
The late-weekend offensive surge is more in line with the Orioles' overall effort in 2013 as the team currently ranks second in the American League with a .437 slugging percentage. Compare that to the .417 slugging percentage they posted last season, which was sixth in the A.L. The Birds are a heavier-hitting outfit this season, but not for the reason you may think - i.e. it's not the home runs.
As I discussed in my weekly MASN guest post last Friday, the Orioles are hitting homers at roughly the same rate that they did last season. The team simply has fewer players hitting more home runs.
The O's current top five for homers looks like this: Davis 47, Adam Jones 28, J.J. Hardy 24, Matt Wieters 20, and Manny Machado 12. Compare that to 2012: Davis 33, Jones 32, Mark Reynolds 23, Wieters 23, and Hardy 22. The numbers at the top of the O's home run leaderboard have gotten larger, but they drop off as you move further down the list.
The difference for the Orioles in terms of slugging percentage is due to doubles. The O's currently rank fifth for doubles with 247 after finishing seventh in the A.L. for doubles in 2012 with 270. Here's the top five for 2013: Machado 46, Davis 38, Jones 31, McLouth 26, and Wieters 23. And here's the top five for 2012: Jones 39, Hardy 30, Nick Markakis 28, Wieters 27, and Reynolds 26. The increase in doubles will likely extend across the team's top five by season's end.
Even with the recent frustrating stretches of futility at the plate, the 2013 Orioles are a slugging bunch. And it's the doubles, even more than the home runs, that makes them so.