I tried to find a succinct way to sum up yesterday’s 11-inning loss to the Yankees, but I decided to let catcher Matt Wieters do it.
“It definitely stinks.”
Wieters also could have been talking about the weather or this 2-11 stretch that is starting to look a lot like the 2-16 start last season, except it’s been sugarcoated a bit because it’s following a 6-1 start. Make sense?
If the Orioles began this season 2-11, the anger and frustration would be dialed up even more. But either way, 2-11 definitely stinks, and so did yesterday’s outcome.
You want silver linings? Jake Arrieta turned in a quality start with three earned runs allowed in six innings, and he struck out a career-high nine batters. His stuff is good enough to win plenty of games in the majors. Just trust it, Jake. Go after hitters consistently, and maybe the walks will go down.
Mark Reynolds broke an 0-for-22 slump with a two-run homer off Joba Chamberlain. Two good things happened here: Reynolds broke his slump and he did it against Chamberlain.
Brian Roberts extended his hitting streak to 11 games. More important to me, he’s no longer tied for the team lead in home runs. Adam Jones hit his fourth over the weekend. Someone lower in the order needs to be ahead of the homer pack.
Now it’s time for someone to unseat Roberts as the RBI leader.
The Orioles rallied to tie the game in the ninth against future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera. Definitely a silver lining. That’s no small feat. Plus, I find it incredibly distasteful when Camden Yards erupts as the bullpen gates swing open and Rivera walks onto the field. Why not just cue up “Enter Sandman,” too?
Unfortunately, for every silver lining, there’s a dark cloud.
Pick your darkest.
This offense shuts down on a regular basis. I can accept when it happens against CC Sabathia, but the Orioles make everyone look like CC Sabathia - which means sales of “8 Minute Abs” must be lagging.
The Orioles have scored six runs in their last three games, and that total includes Jones’ three-run shot on Saturday night. They’re batting .230, which ranks 25th in the majors.
Bad news: There are only 30 teams in the majors.
Only two teams have scored fewer runs than the Orioles (77), including the Padres (63), but nobody feels sorry for them because they play in San Diego. Not a single black cloud there.
The offense isn’t entirely to blame for the 2-11 stretch. The starters keep putting the team in an early hole.
The Orioles have been outscored, 10-2, in the first inning this season. The Yankees led 3-0 and 2-0 after the first inning in their two wins.
You want manager Buck Showalter to shake up the lineup? OK, I guess you could replace .211-hitting Derrek Lee in the third spot with .208-hitting Nick Markakis, as many fans have suggested. Or maybe .179-hitting Reynolds or .213-hitting Luke Scott or the .229-hitting Jones, since he leads the team in home runs with four (the Yankees have five players with more).
Maybe the Orioles could find another leadoff hitter and lower Roberts.
Maybe they just need to pull out of this collective funk and start hitting like, yes, their track records suggest.
Do they miss J.J. Hardy this much? He was hitting .200 in six games, but he had three doubles, two RBIs, two walks and four runs scored.
I’ll remind you that the Orioles were 5-1 after six games. They also were 6-1 after seven. Now they’re 8-12.
It definitely stinks.