Reynolds struggling with runners in scoring position but still one of O's' best

August 04, 2012|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — After the kind of night that Mark Reynolds had in Friday’s 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays – in which the Orioles first baseman was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts while stranding six base runners – it seems as if Reynolds is at the plate an awful lot in key situations, and most of the times leaving Orioles fans disappointed.

“We had a bunch of chances,” Reynolds said. “I know I had a lot of chances tonight; we just didn’t come through. I know we got to get better; I got to get better in those situations. I think tonight I was overthinking a little too much.

"[I was] trying to go along with [Rays catcherJose] Lobatonback there, trying to figure out what they were trying to do against me,” Reynolds said. “They kept it switched up tonight on me. I didn’t really get pitches I was looking for in the count I was hoping to get them. Tip your hat to them; they kept me off balance.”

So Reynolds acknowledged that he was thinking too much at the plate. But here’s something you probably don’t know: Reynolds is actually one of the team’s best hitters with runners in scoring position.

Now, that tells you two things. One, that Reynolds is far from being that bad in key situations. But it also tells you exactly how bad the Orioles are as a team with runners in scoring position.

Reynolds entered Friday night’s game hitting a team-high .279 with runners in scoring position. An 0-for-3 night with runners in scoring position slid him down to fourth with a .266 average (17-for-64). However, he has 22 strikeouts in 64 at bats, so that’s obviously not a good thing.

As a team, the Orioles are hitting .232 with runners in scoring position, worst in the American League. Only the Florida Marlins, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres have worse team averages with runners in scoring position than the Orioles.

They were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Friday and are hitless in their past 22 at-bats with runners in scoring position, going 19 innings without a hit in those situations.   

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