Reviewing the Brutal(ly Hot) Month of July
Record: 7-20. Yeah, I didn’t think it was that ugly either. I was wrong.
The story of this month was yet again horrible pitching and mangy offense. The offense scored 98 runs over 27 games, which may not seem awful but the team also allowed 181 runs. That’s almost allowing 2 runs for every 1 run scored, which makes it impossible to win. July consisted of only 9 quality starts (6 innings pitched or more, 3 earned runs or less) by the fluctuating starting rotation. If you want to win games, you can’t have your starting pitchers exiting early because of a high pitch count or giving up a lot of runs in 18 of 27 games. That is how a team goes 7-20 in a month. July also saw the departing of beloved strikeout machine Koji Uehara and veteran Derrek Lee who didn’t last for a year in exchange for two first basemen and the starting pitcher, Tommy Hunter. It also showed us that Guthrie will remain an Oriole, which will be a plus since he had 4 of the 9 quality starts in July. We need him here.
Now, let’s get to some awards.
Best Win: There aren’t many to choose from but I’d have to pick July 17th when the O’s beat the Indians 8-3. Why this game? Well, it marked the first time the O’s won consecutive games (they had beaten the Indians the night before 6-5) since June 19-June 20 against the Nationals and Pirates. It took almost a month before the O’s could win two games in a row, which gave the team and the fans something to smile about.
Worst Loss: Sifting through 20 losses took some time, but I had to go with the recent July 30 beating by the Yankees in the tune of a 17-3 rout. I almost went with the 5-4 loss to the Braves that was won on a grand slam given up by Arrieta but we care more about losing to the Yankees, especially in such embarrassing fashion. Zach Britton lasted 1/3 of an inning getting tagged for 7 hits, 9 runs (6 earned). The bullpen didn’t do much better as they went out and allowed 17 more hits and 8 more runs. This game actually had me laughing because I was hurting so bad.
Most Important Series: None. There hasn’t been an important series since May since the Orioles are so horrible and so far out of the race. If there was a gun held to my head and someone said I had to pick one, it would be the July 18-20 series against Boston because at least the Orioles made some money with so many Boston fans coming down to the park.
Top Hitter: Adam Jones
He hit .320 over the month with 5 home runs and 17 RBI. He’s been the best player on the team so far this season and is really having a career year.
Top Pitcher: Jeremy Guthrie
Like I said, he had 4 of the 9 quality starts this month. Besides that, his numbers weren’t great all around because the entire staff’s numbers weren’t great all around but he’s been the best of the rotation.