What’s The Bigger Miracle? O’s At .500 In April or Chode Turns The Patapsco Into Beer. Either Way, The Pitching Better Step Up

Featured, Sports and Bets — April 28, 2014 at 3:48 pm by

It’s been a weird April for the Birds.  The fact that they’re .500 is incredible considering the injuries they have sustained, the lack of quality starting pitching they have received from their rotation, and the quality of opponents that they have faced.  Throw in the fact that the disjointed lineup has struggled to score at times and the fact that guys like Adam Jones and Chris Davis and JJ Hardy have a combined 3 home runs and .500 Oriole baseball is actually a miracle akin to The Chode turning the Patapsco River into a rushing torrent of Natural Light.

Let there be light….beer that is….

The injury news isn’t getting any better.  Chris Davis is now on the 15-Day DL and he’ll probably be out even longer than that. The Birds do expect to get Manny Machado back Tuesday or Wednesday, but how much can they expect out of a guy who has been out for 6 months and played in only a handful of minor league games?   I know he’s a baseball Superman but, dude, even asking a superstar to just jump back into the deep end and perform like a superstar is a lot to ask.  But I guess having him dominate the minors isn’t really all that productive and with Davis out, the possibility of having Ryan Flaherty, Steve Lobardozzi, and Jonathan Schoop as your starting infield and 7-8-9 hitters respectively in the lineup isn’t all that enticing either.  That Flaherty/Lomba/Schoop lineup possibility was just one of the reasons that Nick Markakis played first of Sunday.  Just one reason, but a good one nevertheless.

Who’s on first?

Now with Davis out we will probably have to wait until almost Memorial Day to see this lineup at full strength.   That sucks for sure and there is nothing the O’s can do about it.  Guys just need to get healthy.

The starting pitching hasn’t been anything to write to Camden Yards about either.  The starters are 8-10 combined and have an ERA of 4.74.  That ERA is the 4th worst in baseball.  The O’s starters have given up 156 hits in 138 innings of work and opponents are batting .273 against them.  These are not acceptable numbers for a club that expects to contend for a playoff spot and a division title.

I know it’s early in the year, but it’s never too late to panic when it comes to pitching.  Pitching is everything.  In order to overcome the injury bug that is affecting this club someone obviously needs to  step up in the lineup, but it may be even more important for the starting rotation to get itself righted quickly. The Orioles know this. It is absolutely imperative that Ubaldo Jimenez steps up as the weather warms, he was paid to be a solid two and he needs to act like one. Gonzo and Chen need to get deeper into games consistently. Bud Norris needs to quit giving up the big hit in the wrong moment, and everyone needs to quit giving up so many damn home runs.  Because while injuries are just injuries, the Birds can do something about pitching personnel. The Birds are already limiting the work of Kevin Gausman in the minors to save him for big league play.  Also don’t forget that Johan Santana is also rehabbing and looking to come back as well.  He could be an interesting option.  I think the O’s want to really win now, so even trading for a starter would remain a distinct possibility.  The O’s won’t hesitate to explore any avenue possible to improve this rotation.  It’s becoming put-up or sit-down time.

Don’t sleep on Johan…..

In the meantime it’s going to be up to Tillman, Chen, Gonzo, Norris, and Jimenez to start putting up quality starts consistently and to start throwing up zeroes like gangster rappers throw up gang signs.  Because with Davis out, Machado coming back off of an injury and Hardy probably not playing at 100%, May isn’t going to be any easier than April has been. With injuries and without good starting pitching being just .500 is a miracle, or simply impossible.





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