Orioles’ Performance in ALCS Is Embarrassing Baltimore
By Mike Franz
Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
The Orioles lost again tonight to the Royals by a score of 6-4. This puts them down 2-0 in the series. The Birds’ performance this series has been embarrassing. I know some fans are going to dismiss this article after that statement, but let me explain.
What the Orioles have prided themselves on all season long– good starting pitching, strong bullpen and timely hitting– has vanished. Both Chris Tillman and Bud Norris have failed to pitch five innings in each of their starts. The defense is so tentative in their actions they are making mistakes, including Steve Pearce not hugging the line in the ninth inning which ultimately cost the Orioles the game.
And speaking of Pearce, the guy has failed to record a hit in the series. For someone who was considered one of the more clutch hitters this season, he has failed to come through with base hits when he is needed. It is not just Pearce. Other than Nelson Cruz, everyone in the Orioles’ lineup is so frantic to get a base hit that they swing way too early in the count and hit weak pop flies. Come to think of it, the Orioles have to play catch up so much that they have yet to get a lead in either one of the ALCS games.
Also the thing the Orioles prided themselves on most is now their weakest attribute: the bullpen. Other than Andrew Miller, every pitch that relievers like Darren O’Day and Zach Britton look like meatballs crossing the plate. The bullpen gives up hits with ease. In fact, until the top of the eighth inning of Game 2, the Royals have had a man on base for 17 consecutive innings.
It is going to take a miracle for the Orioles to come back and win this series. Don’t believe me? Look at the facts.
Since 1985, the team that wins Game 2 of the ALCS has advanced to the World Series 22 times, including 13 of the last 15 (one of those two teams was the 2004 “miracle” Red Sox). Everyone needs to pray because for the Orioles to somehow come back they are going to need a miracle or two since Kansas City looks like the team of destiny this season.