Peter Schmuck's Orioles observation deck (Week 5)
Each week of the 2013 baseball season, columnist Peter Schmuck gives his take on four subjects involving the Orioles, then clears the bases with a final thought.
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Coming up short
There has been a lot of speculation about the inability of Orioles starting pitchers to go deep enough into games during the first month of the season, but a cursory look back over the course of April reveals that endurance was not the real issue. It's true that last year's starters averaged more innings per start, but the difference between 2012 and 2013 was not that significant. Last year's rotation averaged 6.04 innings per start. This year's averaged 5.72 innings, or an average of about a third of an inning per game. The issue was effectiveness. The 2012 rotation pitched to a 3.63 ERA, allowing nearly a run per game less than this April's 4.55 ERA. Throw in a 20 percent increase in walks per 9 innings and the mystery is solved.