Death, taxes, Orioles pitchers being taken deep

Those sweet, poor fools

To say the 2019 Baltimore Orioles’ pitching staff has been allowing dingers at a historic rate would be tragically shortchanging just how magnificently they’ve mastered the art. They’re on pace to allow 324 home runs, which would just squeak past the current record of 258 by the ‘16 Reds. The level of ease with which batters have gotten to pad their home run total vs. them is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and it’s not even close. So they love allowing homers, and I love numbers — here are my favorites, with some bullet points to provide a bit of perspective:

Making History

They’ve allowed 150 home runs thru 75 games

• No one else has ever given up more than 129 thru 75 (done by this year’s Mariners ... the ‘16 Reds had allowed 124 at this point)

• They could allow zero (0) homers for each of their next nine (9) games and still own the record for most home runs ever surrendered thru 84 games (even though in reality their pitching staff hasn’t produced a homerless streak this millennium longer than six games).

They allowed 5+ home runs in 7 of their first 50 games

• Only the ’99 Rockies (5) and ’01 Giants (4) have ever done so in more than three of their first 50 games

• No one but the ‘16 Reds has had an entire season allowing 5+ homers in more than 7 games

• These ’19 Orioles did so six times in April alone

• In all of MLB history entering this year, there were only 25 instances of a team allowing 5+ homers in back-to-back games. Then the Orioles did so twice in the first few weeks of 2019 (April 10-11 + April 26-27)

They allowed 69 homers in April

• No one else has ever given up more than 57 homers in a calendar month (done in May 1964 by the A’s ... the ‘16 Reds didn’t allow more than 48 homers in a calendar month)

Stuff to keep an eye on down the stretch

They’re on pace to have allowed 178 home runs by the All-Star break

• A team allowing even 150 homers by the break has only ever happened once (154 by the ’16 Reds)

• In 2014, the Rockies’ 173 home runs allowed for the entire season were the most in the bigs

They’ve married by far the all-time worst starting rotation at surrendering home runs with by far the all-time worst bullpen at surrendering home runs

• They’re on pace to allow 188 homers from starters (current record is 169 done by the ’87 Angels — though the good good baseball boys in Seattle are also on pace to allow 170 homers from starting pitchers this season)

• They’re on pace to allow 136 homers from relievers (current record is 103 done by the ’16 Reds — though this year’s Angels bullpen is trying its best to keep up with the O’s)

They’re on pace to have not one, not two, but three pitchers (David Hess, Dan Straily, Dylan Bundy) each allow 35+ home runs

• Only the ’01 Padres (Kevin Jarvis, Bobby Jones), ’00 Cubs (Jon Lieber, Kevin Tapani), and ’86 Twins (Bert Blyleven, Frank Viola) have ever had even two such pitchers

• Only the ’97 Angels have ever had three pitchers each allow more than 30 homers

• In 2014, not a single MLB pitcher allowed even 30 homers

And as a bonus last thing, the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres had a 29-at-bat stretch this season vs. the O’s in which he provided a souvenir to a fan in the outfield bleachers 10 times ... just edging out teammate Gary Sanchez, who had a 30-at-bat stretch this season vs. the O’s in which he provided 9 such gifts.

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