The doubt is back and settling into every Orioles fan’s heart and soul. The O’s have now dropped 7 games in a row to fall to 6-8, now third place in the AL East behind the Yankees (8-5) and the Blue Jays (7-8). Although 7 losses on the road isn’t something to smile about at all, it’s not something to cry about either. In July, there may be quite a few teams who have 5 or 6 or 7 game losing streaks. But, it won’t be as noticeable because the total games played will be much much higher. So early in the season, every win and loss is so highly magnified and blown out of proportion. And O’s fans, this shouldn’t be very surprising, it’s not like the team is supposed to be contending for a playoff spot this season. The team is supposed to be better. And they are. This time last season, the O’s were 2-12. So, for now, stop moping and look on the bright side. And remember: if the O’s go on a 10 game winning streak in the next few weeks, this does not mean they will make it to the playoffs. Every team has good spurts, even the Pirates. And, to top it all off, the 3 teams that the 7 losses have come to have been the Texas Rangers (10-4; first place in AL West), the New York Yankees (8-5; first place in AL East), and the Cleveland Indians (11-4; first place in AL Central). Those aren’t teams to turn your nose up at; they’re really good clubs. Hopefully, the O’s can put this road trip behind them and get back on track with their upcoming 10 game home stand, which is kicking off tomorrow night against the Minnesota Twins (they play a 4-game series). Oh and also, something to note: Wednesday’s game against the Twins is being televised on ESPN. When was the last time the Orioles were on ESPN? When they weren’t playing the Yankees or Red Sox? Yes, it’s awesome. And the Twins are 5-10. So, they’re playing pretty badly right now so this is definitely the Orioles’ chance to get some more wins and get back above .500.
So, sorry about my rant. Let’s recap the 3 game sweep the Indians pulled over the O’s.
Final score: 8-2
Winning pitcher: Masterson (3-0; 1.33 ERA)
Losing pitcher: Zach Britton (2-1; 2.75 ERA)
Pitching. That’s what it came down to. Britton gave up 5 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings whereas Masterson was on fire giving up only 1 run on 4 hits and striking out 3. Masterson had 4 1-2-3 innings and Britton had 3.
-But, in the bottom of the 3rd, Britton gave up 6 hits and 4 runs including a lead-off triple by LaPorta followed by an RBI single by Marson. He then gave up 4 singles in a row. Britton’s struggles with getting out of innings cost him. After he became rattled by the triple and RBI single, he just could not control his pitches. This was his only bad inning, but it was enough.
-Then Josh Rupe came in to relieve Britton and gave up 4 hits and 3 runs in his first and only inning out on the mound. That’s not relieving, Josh, that’s worsening.
-Masterson, on the other hand, also only had one “bad” inning (if you can call it bad), but his wasn’t as “bad” as Britton’s (who’s was actually bad). He only gave up 3 hits and 1 run.
-As for the offense, I’m going to address that at the end because my thoughts are the same for the offense on all 3 games.
Final Score: 8-3 (Yay, we scored another run!)
Winning pitcher: Josh Tomlin (3-0; 2.75 ERA)
Losing pitcher: Jeremy Guthrie (1-2; 3.32 ERA up from 0.64)
-Guthrie had it even worse than Britton. Giving up 6 runs on 10 hits in only 5 innings. Tomlin went 6 innings only giving up 2 runs on 6 hits.
-Again, the ability to get out of innings in a problem for the Orioles pitchers so far. Only the first inning did Guthrie retire the side in order. Tomlin did this three times.
-Guthrie gave up 3 hits and 2 runs in the 2nd, but got 2 strikeouts to end the inning. That wouldn’t be too bad. But, the next inning he gave up a home run to Choo followed by a double, a single, a double, and another single in order all with 2 outs in the inning. NO. NOT ACCEPTABLE. This scored 4 runs on 5 hits. That was all the damage Guthrie would do but, uh, it’s way too much.
-These starters really need to settle down.
Final Score: 4-2 (Yay, we didn’t allow 8 runs!)
Winning pitcher: Fausto Carmona (1-2; 4.74 ERA)
Losing pitcher: Brad Bergesen (0-2; 3.38 ERA)
-Bergesen pitched 5 giving up 6 hits and 3 runs, including 2 home runs to Santana in the second and Sizemore, who was playing his first game after returning from the DL, in the third. He only had one 1-2-3 inning, but he really pitched a decent game (he also fanned 3), but the offense just didn’t back him up (rant on that coming up).
-So, unfortunately they lost, and Carmona went 7 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and striking out 5.
Just a little fact: Koji Uehera gave up his first walk in the 8th in 36 games (over 10 months); actually he walked two batters in that inning. This streak was actually the third longest among MLB pitchers since 1954, so that’s pretty impressive.
Last thing I want to talk about is the offense. As of now, the Orioles are ranked 25th overall in runs (49), 25th overall in batting average (.230), and 28th overall in on base percentage (.284). I’m sorry, but I thought acquiring Reynolds, Guerrero, Lee, and Hardy (I know he’s on the DL) were supposed to make the offense better. The highest batting average on the team is Felix Pie with .294 who has only seen 17 at-bats compared to everyday starters’ average of about 55. The second highest is Brian Roberts with .267. Yes, you read that correctly. Not one single player has an over .300 average. How can that be???
Actually, Brian Roberts leads about every offensive statistic. He has the most home runs on the team with 3 (pathetic), most RBIs with 11 (also pathetic), and most hits with 16. Really, this is a one-man offense right now and that offense is Brian Roberts. The only stat he isn’t leading in is on base percentage, and Mark Reynolds takes that one with .308.
And let’s just look at this: Friday night the Orioles hit a combined .235, Saturday a combined .270, and today a combined .200 averaging for a combined batting average of .235 for the series against the Indians.
The Indians, on the other hand, went a combined .375 Friday, a combined .351 Saturday, and a combined .241 Sunday, making their combined batting average for the series a .322. That’s a .87 difference. The O’s will NOT win games if the offense remains this low and if the pitching remains mediocre and not brilliant like it was the first week of the season.
Come on O’s, give us something to cheer for again! Orioles magic, where’s it at?