The Baltimore Orioles are in the hunt for the AL East title and hold a 1.5 game lead over Detroit for the second wild card spot precisely because their offense does one thing better than any other baseball club: They mash so many dingers.
Baltimore only has the best eighteenth-best OBP in the majors but they’ve managed to hit 205 dingers. They’re the only team to clear 200 so far, and they have knocked in 45 more home runs than the average AL team. Mark Trumbo is the only player in the league right now with 40 dongs. Their 5-3 win over the Blue Jays tonight was a neat encapsulation of the sort of team they are.
Starter Ubaldo Jimenez had a decent enough outing, but did not stick around to collect the decision. But their power overcame their mediocre pitching, as Matt Wieters hit a decisive two-run shot in the eighth to seal it. More impressive, however, was Manny Machado’s fifth-inning dinger.
This dinger didn’t travel particularly far or particularly high, but he hit it so hard. To be precise, it left his bat at 112.7 MPH, which is the hardest he’s hit any pitch this year.
I feel reasonably confident asserting that if Machado keeps hitting the dogpiss out of baseballs and the rest of the team keeps up their end of the deal, the Orioles will make the playoffs, at least. I’m sure that the ability to conjure a run out of nothing will come in handy if they make it there.