The pitching staff is starting to pull its weight
One of the more frustrating things about the Birds’ slow start to the season has been their utter incompetence on both sides of the ball. Through Saturday, their hitters ranked last in the American League in adjusted OPS, while their pitchers were a lousy 14th in ERA+.
But while the Orioles have had a rough year on the mound, they experienced no such struggles in Oakland. All told, they posted a 2.30 ERA for the series, a more than respectable mark.
Andrew Cashner got off to a rough start in the first game, surrendering four runs in the first inning, but he settled down nicely from there, allowing just three hits over the rest of his night. On Saturday, Kevin Gausman delivered the start of the weekend, becoming the first Oriole to pitch nine scoreless innings and not get the win since 1988. Finally, on Sunday, Alex Cobb showed continued improvement, giving up one earned run over six solid frames.
All three of those starts were good enough for a win, but the lineup failed to keep its end of the bargain. The Orioles collected 19 hits but only five runs, a frustrating ratio for a frustrating series. With Gausman’s terrific outing, Saturday should have been a slam dunk, but after failing to plate even one batter in 12 innings, it was a well-deserved loss.
The Birds simply haven’t been producing at the plate, but they should pick it up eventually — over the course of a long baseball season, things tend to regress toward the mean. For now, at least the pitching staff is finally pulling its weight.