Frustrations are spilling over in Birdland as the Baltimore Orioles continue to slide and play mistake-filled baseball.
The Baltimore Orioles are bad and manager Brandon Hyde is frustrated. The hardcore fanbase watches on, knowing this was coming, while more casual fans have seemed to tune out. It’s easy to sit back and say “trust the process” and “in Elias we trust” but when this organization means so much to you as a fan, it’s difficult to take in a game at Camden Yards and watch a disinterested team as you are surrounded by Boston Red Sox jerseys and chants of “Let’s go Red Sox.”
I sat inside Camden Yards on Saturday afternoon and made a big mistake. After watching Dylan Bundy keep the Red Sox scoreless through five innings, I got my hopes up. I refreshed my beer, treated my brother to another, returned to my seat, and waited to watch this Orioles team redeem themselves from Friday’s embarrassment.
The Orioles lost Saturday’s game by a score of 7-2 and fell to 21-49 on the season. There was no redemption for Friday’s performance. Only the sights of one fan angrily yelling at Chris Davis until he was red in the face, literally falling over he was screaming and flailing his arms in disgust so much. Their record at home now stands at 9-27. That’s two fewer home wins than the Detroit Tigers (Orioles have played two more home games in total) and they are the only team in the majors with single-digit home wins.
Brandon Hyde’s team hasn’t won a series since taking two of three from the Chicago White Sox at home back in late-April (April 22-24). Regardless of Sunday’s outcome, the Orioles won’t win this series against the Red Sox and immediately hit the road for a seven-game west coast trip to take on the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners, two of the best power-hitting teams in baseball (at least Edwin Encarnacion won’t be in Seattle’s lineup).
The Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants, and Tigers have all scored fewer runs than Baltimore, but the Orioles’ run differential of -149 is the worst in baseball by 23 runs (Tigers). It’s been tough to watch and it’s getting even more difficult as the dog days of summer approach.
After Saturday’s lackluster performance, Brandon Hyde let his frustrations out.
Over the past month, a major portion of the starting lineup has been non-existent. Utility man Stevie Wilkerson owns a wRC+ of 29, is hitting .184, and has a strikeout rate of 30%. Shortstop Richie Martin has flashed some power (three home runs), but he’s hitting .194 with a .231 OBP and a 30% strikeout rate. Recently acquired outfielder Keon Broxton has been less than impressive both at the plate and in the field. Broxton is striking out 43% of the time, owns a 3% walk rate, and has a .231 OBP to go along with his .218 average.
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We should also note the recent performance of third baseman Rio Ruiz who owns a wRC+ of 29 over the last 30 days, only Chris Davis and his wRC+ of 5 ranks worse among O’s hitters with regular playing time. Remember, 100 is league-average.
You can’t fault Dwight Smith Jr.and DJ Stewart for going down to injuries. Their time away has given guys like Broxton and Wilkerson a prime opportunity to shine, but both have failed in their endeavors to make positive contributions.
Fans have “taken inventory” of this roster all season and now mid-way through the month of June, it’s safe to make more declarative statements about certain players. With the draft behind us and the trade deadline quickly approaching, will we see any major moves? How much trade value is there for the few tradeable assets the Baltimore Orioles have who aren’t named Trey Mancini?
We’re a few hours away from Sunday’s series finale and despite what we have had to sit through during the first two games of the series, I’m anxious to see how this team responds to having their manager call them out publicly after two dumpster fires in front of a stadium full of Boston red. With John Means leading the way on the mound, can the Baltimore Orioles salvage a win and a bit of their pride on Father’s Day?