Orioles fans had to be a little envious. They watched the San Francisco Giants easily dispose of the Detroit Tigers. The Orioles had five more wins during the regular season than the Tigers.
They split their six games with Detroit. Surely, the Orioles could have done better against the Giants.
San Francisco had 94 wins, one more than the Orioles, but there was one important facet that separates the teams, starting pitching.
Everyone saw the Giants starters dominate the seemingly overmatched Tigers. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder did little in the World Series despite dominating regular seasons.
And for all the insipid in-game interviews with Justin Verlander, he had a rotten start in Game 1, and after that Detroit was done.
Now, about those San Francisco starters. The Giants’ five starters, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum all had 10 or more wins.
San Francisco got 71 wins from its five starters, who began all but two games in 2012.
Lincecum was 10-15, but the other four were all at least five games over .500. At 16-5, Cain was 11 over.
Just one Orioles starter, Wei-Yin Chen had more than 10 wins, and at 12-11, was just one game over .500.
Twelve Orioles started at least two games, and eight of them started 10 or more.
Even with those great starters, the Giants had only five complete games and 53 saves while the Orioles had just one complete game, by Jason Hammel, and 55 saves. Fifty-one of the saves were by Jim Johnson.
Offensively, the Giants scored just six more runs than the Orioles. They had the fewest home runs in the majors, 103 and just one player, Buster Posey had more than 12.
Baltimore had 215 home runs, more than double the Giants’ total. Five players had more than 20.
San Francisco had five players with more than 10 stolen bases, and their on-base percentage was .327. The Orioles had just two players with 10 or more steals, and their on-base percentage was .311.
Seven Orioles had more than 100 strikeouts. The Giants had just two.
There are players on the Orioles the Giants would surely covet: Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Manny Machado.
The franchises have few links. One of them is at catcher. Matt Wieters and Posey played against each other in college.
Wieters is a year older, and was chosen fifth by the Orioles I 2007 out of Georgia Tech. A year later, Posey was also picked fifth from Florida State.
This was Wieters’ first time in the postseason. Posey now has two World Series titles. Wieters was in the postseason for the first time.
It’s natural that these players, whose teams played last in June 2010 will be compared.
Next August, the Orioles will visit San Francisco for three games. Then, comparisons will be easier to make.