Orioles need Morse to beef up lineup.


Former seattle right fielder Michael Morse is expected to be in the Orioles’ lineup Sunday. Photo: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

While watching the Red Sox series this week, I told a friend that you can’t pitch around Shane Victorino because Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz are up next. The Baltimore Orioles’ trade for Michael Morse yesterday was a small step in a better direction than they are headed now. The number of times Chris Davis has been intentionally walked, or made to chase and strikeout, says that despite the Orioles leading the majors in home runs and having three players with 20 or more homers, upgrades are needed around him.

When Davis hit 5th, the results were decent. Pitchers do not respect the Orioles’ lineup the same way they do the Red Sox lineup, or the other division leaders’ lineups.

In addition to the longball, can Morse hit behind the runner? Can he make a pitcher work? Can he hit sac flies? I’m interested to see.

With the score 7-5 in the seventh inning of last night’s loss to the Yankees, the game was still winnable. It’s just my take, but Buck Showalter‘s postgame quotes about Miguel Gonzalez‘s fifth-inning collapse struck me as defensive. He’s probably as much at wit’s end about Gonzalez as anyone is. But C.C. Sabbathia essentially left just as early. The Orioles could not get the hits against Yankees’ bullpen.

After Thursday’s series-salvaging win over Boston, this game had the obvious potential to continue on a high note, and was poised to do so until the fateful Yankee fifth.

Danny Valencia‘s flyout in the eighth inning was maybe an eighth of an inch on the bat from being a game-tying homer. Coulda-shoulda-woulda.

And by the way, didn’t most Orioles fans think Mark Reynolds would strike out to their hearts’ content when he came back to face the O’s pitchers in a pennant race? If nothing else, Oriole pitchers, of all people, know how to get him out, right? This is an argument in support of not re-signing him when Cleveland let him go, since he K’d too much. You couldn’t prove it by last night, as he was 3 for 4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run.

At this writing, the Orioles are being shutout on two hits by Ivan Nova, through seven innings, and there’s only one thing to say. Hurry up, Morse.

P.S. Happy 78th birthday, Frank Robinson.