Monday, September 24, 2012

These 2012 Orioles are Record Breakers

This team has broken a lot of records on their way to their improbable playoff chase, individual and team, franchise and league. Here's a look at some of the notable, the obscure and downright bizarre.

Jim Johnson breaks the franchise saves record

It seems almost fitting that Jim Johnson broke the Oriole's single season saves record during the only winning season that the team has had since lefty fireballer Randy Myers set the old mark of 45 back in 1997. After years of being the best reliever in the Oriole bullpen and watching men not nearly his equal get big buck to come to town and fill that role, Johnson has shown that becoming a proven closer does not require receiving training from Ra's al Ghul to develop that poise and steely determination that all closers seemingly possess. You just have to pitch well, keep the ball in the park and generate outs. After watching that "proven closer" label being thrown around by Oriole management and having Johnson's ability to close questioned by a few in the local media, it's nice to see the guy succeed and get in line for his own huge payday, first in arbitration and then in free agency. 47 saves...and counting.

Adam Jones hits more doubles than any other Oriole centerfielder

Jones has racked up 31 home runs but he'll not sniff Brady Anderson's famous mark of 50 set in 1996 and no other center fielder is likely to. But what Jones has done during his breakout season is tie Anderson for the team record of doubles from an Oriole center fielder with 37. I like Jones' chances to break that record over the team's last nine games.

Strikeouts of various iterations

The Orioles set their franchise record for batting strikeouts as a team at 1019 in 1964. That total was not exceeded for 46 years when the 2010 Orioles took the crown with 1056. The 2011 Orioles blew right past that (thank you Mark Reynolds) with 1120. But this team is more than 100 strikeouts beyond the 2011 total and still has nine games to go. However many more strikeouts are added to the 1227 these batters have already been rung up, it's hard to imagine this total being approached again.

In addition, this team will also set the franchise record for most players with 100 strikeouts on a team. The 2011 Orioles only had 2. The 2008 team had 4. This team has 6! (Wilson Betemit, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters) And Robert Andino, with 97 is knocking on the door.

Manny Machado

Manny Machado is officially the most successful 19-year old to ever play for the Baltimore Orioles. Sure, he's actually 20 right now but this is his age 19 season. He has 14 extra base hits. (Brooks Robinson had 5 during his age 19 season). He has played in 41 games. (Wayne Causey played in 51 for the 1956 Orioles). His bWAR is 1.1 and his fWAR is 0.7. Nobody else is even close to half of those totals.

Winning Percentage in One Run Games

Even after yesterday's loss to the Red Sox, the 2012 Orioles are tied for first (with the 1981 Orioles) for the highest winning percentage in one run games since 1901. I'll give the 2012 O's the tie-breaker on the identical .750 winning percentages because they have won 6 more games and '81 was a strike shortened season.

Extra Inning Games

I believe, if the Orioles win their next extra-inning game, they will tie the record for consecutive extra inning wins. But even if they don't, this is still one of the greatest extra-inning performances in baseball history. Taken in terms of winning percentage and the number of extra inning games played, their 16-2 mark is only exceeded by the 1949 Cleveland Indians (18-1) and the 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates (19-2).

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