Jul 8, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) singles in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles: A Pond Full of Ducks

The acronym “RISP” (runners in scoring position – usually used in conjunction with a batting average in such situations) often looks to me at first glance like “RIP” (rest in peace). Well, resting in peace is usually what a team with a lousy average in RISP situations will be doing, because they are dead.

For the Monday night opening game of the Orioles/Rangers homestand, the Orioles were 1 for 12 while the Rangers were 6 for 11. So, what else is there to say about this game? Oh? Yes … the Rangers won by a score of 8-5.

The Rangers did not exactly crush the ball all evening, but they made the most of eight singles (about half of them dinkers that fell in) and four doubles (including a bases-loaded zinger by Ian Kinsler) to score eight runs. Seven of those runs were charged to starter Scott Feldman, who showed periods of excellence, yet seems thus far to have rather average stuff. Three of those seven were inherited runners allowed to score by Troy Patton, along with one of his own, as he elevated several pitches.

Earlier, the Orioles had come back from a 2-0 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. This was done with the assistance of a throwing error by Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland, who threw the ball past pitcher Derek Holland covering the bag. Manny Machado drove in a go-ahead run on his third single of the evening. Holland was not sharp this evening, but sufficiently scattered the 10 hits and 3 walks he gave up over 6.2 innings to get the win. One of those hits was an opposite-field homer by Matt Wieters in the seventh to cut the score to 8-5.

But the margin of difference for the evening was the lack of ability of the Orioles to score early in the game when multiple opportunities were present.

BirdsWatcher Observations

  • About the defense of Manny Machado – The play yesterday in foul territory was totally amazing. That was the kind of play that Brooks Robinson made, as he was especially adept at going to the backhand side. I saw Brooks play for many years. My eye for the game is different now and the times and players are different. But I do not think that Brooks had nearly the arm that Machado possesses. Brooks had unbelievable reflexes and quickness, but no arm like we see now. It is likely true also that the players are, for the most part, faster down the line now than they were 40 years ago. I would love to know how fast Machado could throw a fastball!
  • About Orioles RISP on the recent road trip – They were only .143 (5 for 35) with runners in scoring position and 2 for 17 in New York. With numbers like that, we can be thankful to have seen two wins in the six games.
  • About Chris Davis participating in the home run derby – I view this as a mixed blessing. Some people fear that this messes with a guy’s swing and can throw them off. I’m not sure I have this as a major concern for Crush, but I confess to having a lack of both interest and affection for the entire All-Star experience. The 2013 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN beginning at 8:00 on Monday, July 15.
  • About the Feldman/Wieters battery – Feldman is definitely too slow to the plate – is so clear to even the untrained eye compared to other Orioles pitchers … BUT, it is still Matt Wieters behind the plate, and opposing runners should bear this in mind!

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles

  • margaret

    what has shocked me maybe more than the RISP problems is the rising strikeout count. Wieters & Davis both struck out 4 times tonight, as the 4th & 5th spot hitters, the meat of the order, that just can’t happen. the number of strikeouts the team has accumulated over the past 7 games (going 2-5) is nutty. kudos to Markakis, Machado & Jones who have really kept the team in games that could have been much uglier. food for thought: Manny Machado is hitting .315, Chris Davis is hitting .316…

    about the Derby, I’m not concerned about it for Davis, he’s said in interviews they play HR derby in BP a lot. While I don’t always like the idea of the derby, I enjoy watching the camaraderie of the guys, they’re really supporting each other & that’s fun. the AL team is stacked, with Cano, Prince Fielder & Davis (#4 is TBD) against an NL team of David Wright, Michael Cuddyer, Bryce Harper & Carlos Gonzalez, woah.

    • Randy Buchman

      Those two guys seemed to be guessing wrong all night and swinging at the bad pitches and letting the good ones go by. As I wrote before, I think they’ve seen some tough pitching recently, though not so much tonight. And Davis will be fine in the derby. Ain’t nobody who can hit them out with easy swings on batting practice pitching like Davis can – he could set some records on it.

      • margaret

        He has a swing built for the derby, I think he’ll be fine, it’s going to be a treat in a hitter’s park like Citi Field. Davis doesn’t concern me as much, the guys are pitching around him a bit & he’s swinging at some stuff he shouldn’t, that’s fixable. It’s the guys who don’t get as much playing time whose strikeouts and GIDP seem to be right when the team needs the hits. Nick Markakis isn’t getting enough credit nationally, I know Davis & Machado are flashier, but Markakis has put together a crazy strong last couple of months. Davis is a monster, but Markakis is my vote for most valuable Oriole thus far.