Baltimore Orioles’ offense being figured out by the competition?
The Baltimore Orioles have a prolifict offense both in practice and on paper. However are opposing teams starting to figure them out to a degree?
First off, a win’s a win for the Baltimore Orioles. It doesn’t matter how it comes or who “the hero” is, they all cout the same in the standings. Furthermore, baseball’s a funny game sometimes, and that was especially true last night at Camden Yards.
The O’s are supposed to be this prolific offensive team, capable of mashing the ball to smitherines with one swing. Yet they played New York to a scoreless tie for nine innings plus. Again, a win’s a win – I’m just not sure that’s how it was drawn up on the chalkboard.
Kevin Gausman was brilliant last night. Gausman’s line: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. You can’t pitch better than that – you just can’t. At one point he retired nine straight New York hitters before allowing a base hit. That’s about as dominant as I’ve seen Gausman, and last night very well may have been the best start of his career.
Both teams had a few chances here and there, but it wasn’t until extra innings that the Birds reall got things cooking. Hyun-Soo Kim led the inning off with a Baltimore chop to the pitcher, and legged out an infield single. Schoop followed with a line drive single up the middle, which allowed Kim (who a moment later was subbed out in favor of Reimold) to go to third base.
So with nobody out the Birds had runners at the corners, needing only one run to
take the game and the series. Pedro Alvarez lifted a sac fly-RBI to center, and the game was over. You take victories 1-0 or 10-0…however they come. Perhaps the best news of the day for the O’s was that Zach Britton was able to pitch in the end, so he appears to be okay – he was even credited with the win.
However the question is whether or not teams are starting to figure the Orioles out a bit. In their last four games, the O’s have scored a grand total of six runs. Now in fairness, four games is hardly a sample size when you’re dealing with a total of 162, However, is their greatest weapon perhaps being neutralized?
The answer is in what I just said above; small sample size. You can hardly take four games out of 162 and say there’s a trend. Teams go through phases where they have trouble scoring, and then suddenly in other phases the runs come in bunches. The weather has hardly been compatible with good hitting, so you have to throw that bit in as well.
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But at the end of the day, if there’s one thing about which fans shouldn’t worry, it’s Oriole bats. Jones will come around and at some point have the ball bopping out of the ballpark regularly. Trumbo will contiune to be a force, and so on and so forth. It’s like in basketball; even the great Pete Maravich (who I believe to be the greatest college basketball player of all time) had games where he struggled from the paint. It happens.
As I said above, perhaps the best news of the day was that Britton got into the game. The Orioles had indicated that perhaps he would be ready by the weekend, however we saw him last night and he was strong. That’s a load off of the minds of a lot of people, as for awhile the O’s thought they had lost two key players this past week. Now it turns out it’s only one.
There are those who will say that the Orioles should have swept this hapless New York team. While on paper they probably should have, keep in mind that it’s tough to sweep someone – especially in your own division. I used the term “hapless,” and I thought it was timely. I’ll be interested to see how long before wholesale changes come in the lineup up in the Bronx, because right now they appear to be headed nowhere.
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The O’s will open up a three-game weekend set with Oakland at Camden Yards tonight. Ubaldo Jimenez will be the Orioles’ starter, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Rich Hill – also a former Oriole. Game time is set for just after 7 PM…weather permitting.