The Orioles were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position today, making them 6-for-35 (.171) in the series. They’re batting .217 with RISP this season.
The Orioles hit two home runs in nine games on this homestand.
Kevin Millwood leads the majors with 19 homers allowed, including three today.
Opposing pitchers have made quality starts in 16 of the Orioles’ last 17 games.
Other than that, how have things been going?
“I thought early in that first inning, I don’t think (Millwood’s) location was as good,” interim manager Juan Samuel said. “I think he was missing his spots. Then he started settling down and started feeling better as the game progressed, but by then the damage was done and I think it was too much for us to overcome there.
“It looked like we had a game once we came back and scored a few runs, but after he settled down, we didn’t make a couple plays in the infield, kind of blow the game out of our reach there. A bunt play that I think the play should have been made, and the double play there gave those guys extra outs, and that’s something we cannot do, especially when we’re struggling as much as we are. We just can’t afford to give up outs. We need to play good, solid games.”
I vote for tomorrow.
Focusing on Millwood again, Samuel said, “Once he made the first pitch to (Jose) Reyes - I think (Matt) Wieters was set up away and he missed inside - we noticed right away. Kranny (pitching coach Rick Kranitz) said, ‘He just yanked that ball a little bit too much.’ That’s what happened that first inning. He was missing his spots and good hitters hit mistakes, and they took advantage of it.
“As you guys know, in this ballpark here, once the weather is like this, the ball carries a lot. I’m not really judging it because of that. Yes, we do need to keep the ball down, but we know the ball carries here when it’s hot.”
Asked if Millwood might have developed a mental block of sorts, Samuel replied: “Kevin is a veteran. He’s been pitching for a long time. To me, he’s a solid guy. Yes, he had a few issues in the first inning location-wise, but he’s a veteran. He’s a solid veteran guy and I’m not worried at all.”
The Orioles went 2-7 on this homestand. So much for that burst of energy with a new manager at the helm.
“I’m trying to stay as positive as I can for these guys,” Samuel said. “My job is to keep these guys going, keep them focused, continue to improve in some areas that we can improve. Running the bases, just doing the little things. Playing a different style of baseball whenever we have a chance to.
“Yes, we’ve all been through this the whole season, but we have seen some positive signs. Jonesy (Adam Jones) got three hits today. We’ve seen some guys starting to swing the bats a little bit better, so hopefully it gives us a chance to do more of the things that we want to do.”