Baltimore Orioles: Lineup Gets Easy after Davis

While attending last night’s game with a couple of friends, a realization came to me about this Baltimore Orioles team. There’s a hidden reason why the Orioles need an upgrade at the corner outfield spots. If you want to say it’s a little more toward obvious and ask what game I was watching, that’s okay, too.

In the sixth inning, they had already scored on Adam Jones‘ double to increase their lead to 7-2 and had runners at second and third with none out, when the following happened.

Chris Davis, first-pitch groundout. Travis Snider, strikeout. J.J. Hardy, popup to end the inning. You couldn’t blame Davis for getting confident after he’d homered in his first two trips.

Seven runs was enough, but it illustrated that opponents can go right after the 6-9 hitters in the lineup without fear. Snider is hitting .239, Hardy .239, and Chris Parmelee .215, Caleb Joseph .238, and Ryan Flaherty .225. Flaherty was playing second last night with Jonathan Schoop out of the lineup.

Admittedly, the Orioles happen to be 33-5 over Joseph’s career when he drives in a run, one of the weirdest stats you’ll see, but there it is.

As if to disprove my point, Hardy had a hit earlier, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, and is hitting .308 in that time. Jones is hitting .412 in his last four games and .340 with seven multi-hit games since the All-Star break. David Lough was inserted late in the game in left, and he is raking at a not very robust .218 clip for the season.

Not everyone can be expected to be on fire all the time. But coming into the Atlanta series, Davis, the last hot hitter opposing pitchers face in this lineup, and Manny Machado were hitting .348 over a recent, 12-game stretch, and the rest of the lineup was hitting .222. Davis can’t just play right field forever.

If you need a more scientific explanation, here’s a voice mail a friend left me recently. He called after the team had just taken two of three at Tampa Bay but was in a 5-15 skid before that. Don’t confuse him with facts, but it was fun to listen to.

Hey, Steve, listen, I’m just calling to see if you’re okay. I know that these are hard times with the collapse of the Baltimore Orioles. But as I told you last year … you have to remind me why I told you they were cursed. Getting rid of Nelson Cruz … so they’re cursed. I want you to, as the movie song goes, let it go. Move on to other interests, such as the Baltimore Ravens, but again they’re cursed, too, because of Anquan Boldin. I don’t know, the other option is to get a new field of something that would interest you in life.

“But anyway, I’m just calling to see if you’re okay, I know you take these things very hard. But as I told you, I’m never wrong about karma, and I’m just making sure you’re okay. Take care, let it go.”

As you can see, everyone has a theory. The recent tradewinds, starting with Troy Tulowitzki coming to the Blue Jays, whom the Orioles have to face a bunch of times, are a concern and make fans edgy about what the club has in mind.