The Orioles drop their fifth game in a row to drop to an MLB worst 1-5, tied with the Rays and Padres.
The past four loses came via lackluster starting pitching and all around poor hitting, but that wasn’t the case in yesterday’s game. Dylan Bundy came out and further solidified his role as the ace of the Orioles’ pitching staff. He went six strong innings allowing five hits and two runs all while fanning eight Astros hitters. I think it’s safe to say that Dylan Bundy is the real deal. I know it’s only two games into the season but let’s break down his stats. Through 13 innings pitched he has a 0.69 ERA all while allowing a .196 BA. I get it, it’s early why are we talking about his stats already? Well because it’s been a long time since the Orioles had a starting pitcher of this quality. The last one that comes to my mind was Chris Tillman’s one magic season where he went 16-6 in 2016, behind let’s be honest probably one of the best offenses in baseball, and Erik Bedard in 2007 when he went 13-5 with just above a 3 ERA and the Orioles record of 221 strikeouts. Also, to give you an idea of how good Dylan Bundy actually is compared to the rest of our pitching staff so far this season lets compare the numbers. Excluding Bundy, Orioles starters have a combined 8.5 ERA and an opponent BA of .275. That’s mind-boggling. The good news is that we add Alex Cobb to our rotation in the early part of next week, so we know that we have two pitchers we can count on.
Now let’s get to our hitting and fielding play. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, our hitting has flat out stunk. Before yesterday’s game, the Orioles were ranked 24th or lower in every major hitting category. I know the Orioles haven’t been known in recent years to hit for average, but .176 as a team is laughable. It was all stemming from Chris Davis leading off. He went 1-for-20 from the leadoff spot. Yeah, that’s not a misprint I said 1-for-20. It’s awful hard to score early on when you can’t get your leadoff man on base more than one time in five games. Notice yesterday that Tim Beckham had no problem getting on base from the leadoff spot. However, the worst part of the Orioles hitting is without a doubt hitting with runners in scoring position. In five games so far, they are 7-for-38 with RISP…THAT’S A .184 BA! To quote the great John Madden, the team who scores the most wins the game. It’s really simple. The Orioles just aren’t putting it together right now in the batter’s box. Lastly, let’s get to the fielding. Not much to really say here. Sure there have been a few miscommunications here and there but when you move your shortstop and third baseman around, those kinds of things are bound to happen. But when your “All-Star” shortstop goes to cut-off a throw, drops it, and then proceeds to walk to the ball with no enthusiasm whatsoever and allows a baserunner to advance, you might want to sit down and have a talk with him. I mean c’mon, Manny. We get it you’re likely going to leave for greener pastures at the end of the year, but don’t you think you could act like you care just a little bit?
The Orioles have a pivotal series starting today against the Yankees in the Bronx. If they could at least split the series here, it would be monumental for the rest of the season. The Yankees and Red Sox are the two teams who will compete to win the division this year. If the Orioles want any shot at that division or more likely a wild card, they need to prove to not only us the fans, but prove to themselves that they can compete with the elite teams in baseball. The old adage is it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. Let’s just hope Buck can find a way to take Baltimore to the promise land.