Home field advantage + 3 home runs = another loss

The O’s started their 10 game home stand against the Minnesota Twins and recorded yet another loss, pulling their losing streak to 8 in a row. I don’t really want to get all statistic-y tonight. It’s not about that. It’s about the lack of clutch hitting and clutch pitching.

The Twins finished with 2 more hits than the O’s and just as many runs with a final score of 5-3. Tillman gets the loss and goes 0-2 while Liriano for the Twins gets his first win of the season (1-3) after some pretty terrible outings. To get the stats over with, Liriano went 6.1 innings giving up only 2 runs on 5 hits. Tillman went 6.2 (finally a decent length outing) giving up 3 runs on 6 hits.

Tillman did not pitch a loss. He shouldn’t have gotten the loss. 3 runs is not a bad outing at all. The problem has been the offense. This has been going on for quite a few games now: the starters pitch a mediocre/decent game, good enough for a win at least 50% of the time for other teams, but they get absolutely no run support.

This refers to lack of clutch hitting. Take, for instance, the bottom of the 1st. Brian Roberts was on third, Derrek Lee was on second with 2 outs and Mark Reynolds at the plate. What does he do? Strike out. I know he does this a lot but it hurts so bad when you have 2 runners in scoring position and a chance to get an early lead and some confidence back in the line-up. Bottom of the 5th, not as good of an opportunity comes up but Andino is on second and Roberts on first with 2 outs. Markakis grounds out to end the inning. If this was any sort of good offensive team, at least Reynolds or Markakis would have avoided an out if not got an RBI.

2 of the 3 home runs of the night came to Adam Jones and Matt Wieters in the 7th. The only other home run came in the 9th with Luke Scott pinch-hitting for Andino with 2 outs. If there were no outs, a come back could have happened. But no way with 1 out and DEFINITELY no way with 2 outs given the offense’s current problems.

But wait? Weren’t the O’s down 3-2? Wasn’t Luke Scott’s 9th inning home run a tying run?
Nope. I forgot to mention one little thing. Kevin Gregg gave up 2 runs in the 9th. No, I don’t think he is allowed to be called the closer. To be a closer, you have to close games. Not give up 2 runs and then close games. He failed yet again. And he really should get some advice from the Twins’ ex-closer Joe Nathan. He blew 2 saves already this season and told the Twins manager Ron Gardenhire to take him out of that position because he clearly sucks at it. So, Gardenhire put Matt Capps in that position. Yes, he did give up a home run to Scott, I know. But, he didn’t blow the save. So Kevin, would you mind talking to Buck about this and letting Koji get the job. He earned it last season. His command is brilliant.

One positive thing we can take out of this is that Clay Rapada pitched 1.1 innings with no hits no runs and 3 strikeouts. Hopefully, he can show some consistency in the bullpen in the future.

The only thing us fans can do anymore is say “Well, maybe we can win tomorrow night.” And with that I say: hoping for a win tomorrow night. Go O’s.

Tags: Adam Jones Baltimore Orioles Brian Roberts Buck Showalter Chris Tillman Clay Rapada Derrek Lee Kevin Gregg Koji Uehara Mark Reynolds Matt Wieters Nick Markakis Robert Andino

  • duluthosfan

    Gregg’s performance tonight is inexcusable…34 pitches…only 16 strikes. Rapada should have stayed in for the 9th…or bring in Koji. Otherwise…I blame poor management on this one. Seriously…where is the intensity or passion to want to win? I bring in Gregg in a one run game in the ninth..and he starts by walking his first batter…….he’s GONE. These guys are paid a lot of money to deliver results…not occupied a seat or uniform. A close game…a desperately needed win to end an awful losing streak…and we bring in one of the worst pitchers in the game at the moment. We had a chance at grabbing this one. Why is it that most O’s fan can see what is not obvious to mgmt? How long do we have to suffer before this “dumpster-diving” acquisition, which the O’s have perfected so well in their dynasty of mediocrity, is placed where he can do the least amount of damage? and while we are doing that maneuver…lets toss Hernandez in there. Send these guys to Norfolk. You cant tell me that we don’t have some minor league talent that can at least match the ability of these guys. and lets move Derek Lee to the low part of the order until he can consistently hit again. Terms like “seasoned vet” are just Orwell for on the way out.Who wants to devote 3 hrs out of a day to suffer through this crap…for the umpteenth year in a row. GO CAPS!!!!

    • Lauren Tilley

      I couldn’t agree with you more. It definitely seems like Showalter has lost his spark with this team for right now. He needs to find a way to motivate and inspire these guys to get out there and do SOMETHING. The Gregg situation is just…I’m speechless over it. I would have liked to see Rapada get the opportunity to pitch a little more tonight since he was doing so well but he is only a few batters kind of pitcher. I know it seems like, as fans, that what we think would be a better situation would work out and that management makes horrible decisions. I agree with you on that one sometimes. But you do have to remember that these guys are pros and are paid a lot of money and we are not and are writing blogs about a team. There’s a reason they are managers and we are blog writers. Say Rapada stayed in for more batters than he can handle and he gets hurt or Koji is put in and he (though this is rare) gives up a run or too. The grass is always greener on the other side right? Like I’ve said before though, I think Koji deserves the job as closer. This team is starting to like like any other over the past decade. A losing one. And it’s definitely more disappointing than ever because a lot of fans, including myself, were optimistic and looking to a winning season. But even a .500 season is starting to slip from my hopes.

      And yes, without a doubt GO CAPS!

  • duluthosfan

    Yes, they may be pros and they may be well compensated but if the results are losing seasons year after year after year….the perhaps management(owner and management) should be writing blogs like the rest of the armchair savants.