Everyone knows the Orioles are going to strike out. I could say they’ll strike out early and often, but in Tuesday night’s game, they fanned 19 times in 13 innings, and most of those strikeouts were late in the game,
How bad was it?
According to Elias, Houston Astros relievers set a team record by striking out 16 Orioles in 7 1/3 innings.
Nine of the 12 Orioles’ outs in extra innings came on strikeouts.
At least it wasn’t an Orioles team record. On Sept. 12, 1962, Washington’s Tom Cheney struck out 21 Orioles in 16 innings. In a 1996 Division Series game, they struck an amazing 23 times in 10 innings, and still won.
When the season began, there was hope that the Orioles weren’t going to strike out as often as in 2015, but even in their season opening seven game winning streak, they were fanned 10 or more times twice.
In their more recent seven-game run earlier this month, they didn’t strike out in double figures at all.
Over their last five games, they’ve struck out 54 times. In their 3-1 win on Saturday night, they struck out 13 times.
As Adam Jones told reporters in Houston after Tuesday night’s game, it’s in the Orioles DNA to strike out.
Overall, the Orioles are only eighth in the American League in strikeouts. In their 43 games, they’re averaging 8.23 strikeouts a game, but they’re 11th in walking, getting an average of three bases on balls per game.
Their on-base percentage has fallen since their torrid offensive start, but it’s still .322, which ranks fourth in the league, and well above recent years.
But, they have players who strike out a lot. Chris Davis is on pace for his second straight 200 strikeout season. Mark Trumbo could strike out more than 180 times. Manny Machado, Joey Rickard and Jonathan Schoop are all on pace to strike out more than 100 times this season.
No one will complain about the strikeouts if they hit home runs and win. Their 65 home runs are tied with the New York Mets for the most in baseball, and until last night, they’d been at the top of the division for the bulk of the season. The Orioles are now in second place, and for the first time, they trail Boston by a full game.