'26 straight?' A dominant day for Bradish and the O's, by the numbers

June 9th, 2024

ST. PETERSBURG -- A lot of numbers can be used to convey how impressive the defending American League East champion Orioles have again been during the 2024 season. One can best showcase how dominant they were Saturday evening at Tropicana Field.

That would be 26 -- the number of consecutive batters retired by the trio of starter and left-handers and during a two-hit shutout of Tampa Bay in a 5-0 Baltimore victory. The stretch was sandwiched by the Rays’ only two hits, both by Yandy Díaz -- a leadoff single vs. Bradish in the first and a two-out single off Pérez in the ninth.

“We went 26 straight? Wow,” Coulombe said. “That’s pretty awesome.”

With a game that generated a ton of notable numbers, let’s highlight the digits ranging from zero (how many runs the Rays scored) to 100 (the MLB-high homer total for the O’s) as the Orioles improved to a season-high-tying 19 games above .500 (41-22) with their 12th win in 16 games.

0: Balls hit out of the infield against Bradish

Although Bradish couldn’t record his second hitless outing in a span of three starts -- he threw seven innings without giving up a hit on May 26 vs. the White Sox in Chicago -- the 27-year-old right-hander may have been more dominant in this outing.

The lone hit allowed by Bradish was Díaz’s single that came on a high chopper hit to the left side of the infield that Bradish couldn’t retrieve and throw to first in time to get the out. After that, he retired the next 18 Tampa Bay batters via nine strikeouts (two shy of his season high), five groundouts and four popouts.

“When you keep the ball out of the outfield, that’s an amazing performance,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

“Bradish has got electric stuff,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We know how talented Bradish is, for sure, and he had everything going today.”

2: Days of extra rest for Bradish (and consecutive starts vs. the Rays)

After a tough outing last time out against Tampa Bay at home (five runs allowed in 2 2/3 innings on June 1, both season worsts), Bradish was pushed back this turn through the rotation. The Orioles gave extra rest to the righty, who opened the season on the injured list due to a right UCL sprain that necessitated a platelet-rich plasma injection.

The decision worked out well, considering the excellence shown in his 88-pitch, six-inning effort.

“Health-wise, I think it benefited me,” said Bradish, who has a 2.62 ERA through seven starts. “I should have done that the last outing, but it didn't work that way. But we had a game plan, and we executed it today.”

6: Batters retired by Coulombe

With six starters on their roster, the Orioles’ bullpen has only seven relievers instead of eight. So it’s big for them to get outings like Saturday’s performance from Coulombe, who set down every hitter he faced and struck out the side (all looking) in the eighth.

Coulombe has used all of his five-pitch arsenal, featuring two plus offspeed offerings (sweeper and knuckle curve) to record a 2.42 ERA in 29 appearances.

“Just the way he can shape the ball, honestly, to righties and lefties and the way he can use different types of breaking balls with confidence and competitiveness,” Hyde said. “He’s having a heck of a year.”

20: Homers hit by

Henderson’s homer tear continued with a three-run blast in the ninth inning that sealed the win. It was the 22-year-old’s team-high 20th homer of the season, which ranks second in MLB behind only Yankees slugger Aaron Judge (23).

After hitting 28 home runs during his 2023 AL Rookie of the Year campaign, Henderson is on pace for 51 this year, two shy of the franchise record held by Chris Davis (53 in 2013).

“Just getting another year of experience and then also another year of development,” Henderson said. “Just being able to put together at-bats and then also just getting a little bit stronger each and every year.”

100: MLB-high homer total for O’s

The Orioles have reached the century mark in home runs after getting long balls from Henderson and Ryan O’Hearn on Saturday. It matches the fastest they’ve hit 100 homers in franchise history, having also hit their 100th homer in their 63rd game in both 2016 and 1996.

Baltimore has five players with 10-plus homers -- no other team has more than three. Meanwhile, only one other club has more than 83 homers -- the Yankees, who had 93 entering Saturday.

“I didn’t know that we led the league in homers, but that’s awesome,” O’Hearn said. “But that’s not our goal. Our goal is to win games.”