Ok, What The Hell Is Going On With The Orioles ?!?!

Featured, Sports and Bets — April 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm by

I know it’s early, and our very own resident Oriole expert, The Chode, has assured me that the Birds are going to be okay, but I can’t help but feel a little frustrated, especially after a tough weekend home series with the Toronto Blue Jays.  The O’s wasted an incredible start on Friday, almost got umpire screwed out of a win on Saturday, and got demolished in the rubber match yesterday while their prized free agent pitching acquisition ran his April ERA to 7.31.  C’mon Ubaldo!

What the hell is going on?!

Starting Pitching

Ubaldo and his early struggles bring us first and foremost to the Bird’s biggest problem so far, starting pitching.  Besides Chris Tillman, who is off to a monster 0.84 ERA start, and besides one good start from Bud Norris, the Orioles starters have struggled immensely, amassing a 4.73 ERA as a unit.  Take out Tillman’s stats and the starter’s ERA jumps to 6.74, a blatantly obnoxious number that will lose you many a game.  Throw in the fact that Norris and Tillman are the only starters to go beyond six innings, and it’s even more obvious that this group needs to improve quickly.  Of course, Jimenez and Tillman are the only pitchers to get three starts, so the sample size is very small, but this was a unit that needed improvement over last year’s 85 win ball club.  The free agent Jimenez and the carryover duo of Miguel Gonzalez and Wei Yin Chen have struggled early.  These early season struggles don’t exactly calm the concerns of Baltimore’s anxious fan base.

Davis and Jones

With 1 home run a piece this season the two Oriole sluggers are on pace to each hit 14 home runs in 2014.  That is 28 combined homers, and that would be a bit disappointing considering the duo hit 86 homers in 2013.  Baltimore’s big boppers aren’t the only one’s struggling.  JJ Hardy has missed a lot of time and has 0 dingers, as does Nick Markakis, who’s power seems to have all but disappeared as his career winds on.  The only two Birds who are hitting with any authority are Demon Young, who is batting .400, and Matt Wieters who has 3 home runs and is driving the baseball well.  Nelson Cruz is being Nelson Cruz, which is solid,  but the offense goes through and is sparked by the power that Jones and Davis provide.  This isn’t a small ball or plate disciplined team that wears down pitchers with speed and a discerning eye, this is a free swinging, power-driven ball club.  Good D, good pitching, and the 3 run home run.  That is how this club is supposed to be built.  But when the two best hitters slump in the long ball department simultaneously, this team is going to struggle to score runs.  That is what is happening so far.  Frustration….

Manny Machado

Manny Machado is a beast of a ballplayer and a young ubertalent. His presence on defense and in the order is sorely missed.  With Machado at third, the Birds have one of the best defensive infields in history.  Without him, they have a minor league call up playing out of position at third.  And without Machado and Hardy, the O’s have had a downright questionable infield.  Just ask Chris Tillman, who was denied a win or in the least a no decision  by the errors of Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty on Friday night.  Plus, in the lineup, Machado is a good for average and is a doubles machine who fills the second spot in the order nicely.  With him back in the two hole, Delmon Young can move down to seventh or even eighth in the order and the lineup takes on a whole new shape and character.  Without Machado, Falherty and Schoop provide little at the bottom of the order.  And if Hardy’s back keeps acting up, the Lombardozzi, Flaherty, Schoop 7-8-9 just doesn’t look like an American East 7-8-9.  When Manny gets back things will improve, guaranteed.

I wish he was back yesterday.

Machado on the DL, the Hardy injury, the quiet bats, and the shaky starting pitching has added up to a 5-7 record so far.  Again, it is very early, and the O’s aren’t at full capacity while going up against an extremely difficult stretch in their schedule.  But the thing that made the Orioles of 2012 so good was their ability to pick each other up when one or more guys fell off for an at-bat, or a game, or a series of games.  The 2013 team powered their way to 85 wins with defense and the home run.  This year’s team has more talent than either of those teams.  It’s time for that talent to show, and it’s time for the Birds to pick each other up, because despite the “it’s early” excuse, no team wants to end April at five to seven games under .500.  But if the O’s don’t get going soon and keep up their current form, that’s right where they’ll be.

Let’s get this series against the Rays.  No better time than now for the Birds to get going.

Tonight:  Archer (1-0) vs Chen ( 1-1)

 

 

 

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