The Orioles dropped two of three to the Royals this week after winning two consecutive series vs. both Sox teams. The Royals capitalized on poor outings from Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman, two starters that are certainly headed in the wrong direction for the O’s.
Bergesen surrendered four runs on Tuesday night and left the game after five innings. The Baltimore offense put some runs up and Brad actually left the game with the lead. Jeremy Accardo quickly allowed a home run to Jeff Francoeur to tie the game and the O’s eventually lost in extra innings.
Tillman started Thursday afternoon and it wasn’t pretty. His 90 mph four-seam fastball simply doesn’t translate into major league success. Tillman’s breaking stuff looks sloppy and his changeup was getting hammered. His final line included 10 hits and eight earned runs.
The lone bright spot of the series was Jake Arrieta, who pitched brilliantly in the middle game. He struck out eight Royals in seven innings Wednesday night, allowing just one run to earn the victory. Kevin Gregg, who is also pitching well recently, picked up his sixth save.
The highlight of this game was in centerfield, where Adam Jones slyly left a Mike Aviles gapper to stay stuck under the fence padding for a ground-rule double. If this ball had been played, Aviles would certainly have had an RBI triple and given the Royals a golden opportunity to tie the game. Instead, the eighth inning ended with just one run scoring and a 3-2 lead for Baltimore.
While this series exposed the two weaknesses in the starting rotation, my real concern with the Orioles is on offense. The lineup is stacked with veteran hitters like Derrek Lee, Vlad Guerrero, Brian Roberts, and Luke Scott. However, instead of supplying the consistency we were all expecting, the offense has struggled mightily at times.
Guerrero’s .267 batting average is the highest among the regulars, with Luke Scott being the only other starter hitting above .250. The on-base percentages are equally dreadful and the only solace here is that the team has shown a little bit of power, slugging 32 home runs.
Since the Orioles started the season 4-0, they are 10-16 and struggling to stay near the .500 mark, making Oriole Magic seem more like witchcraft.
About the Author
Written by Sven Jenkins
My name is Sven Jenkins, and I’m an independent baseball analyst from Poughkeepsie, NY. I own 60ft6in.com and do freelance work for STATS Inc. In the past, I've done research for the St. Louis Cardinals and worked one season with Baseball Info Solutions in 2007. I have also spent many nights as an official scorer in the minor leagues and played NCAA D-III baseball at SUNY New Paltz. In the off-season I travel the world, having enjoyed over 1,100 days on the road through 40 different countries. You can email me at: jenkins AT 60ft6in DOT com.