The Orioles are 0-9-2 in their last 11 series after today’s 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays. They haven’t won a series since June 24-26 against the Reds.
“It’s frustrating because it’s something that, we’d like to win all three,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Where we are, we need to make up some ground just from a W and L standpoint. Chicago’s coming in here for four and hopefully we get some of our people back and start playing a little more consistently. We’ll see.
“You just want pitchers that you’ve got an idea what you’re going to get and you can trust, instead of not knowing which guy is going to show up. And when we get that established, I think a lot of things will come together.”
Alfredo Simon couldn’t ease Showalter’s mind today. He allowed six runs (four earned) and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
“He’s pitched better,” Showalter said. “You’re always looking for guys you can trust about what they’re going to do when they go out there. Command of the fastball was a challenge for him today. You’re going to have to pitch real well to match up with someone like (Ricky) Romero, so there wasn’t much margin for error. We’ve obviously seen him a little better. He didn’t throw many splits early for a while. He couldn’t get to many counts. He wasn’t quite as crisp with the breaking ball.
“I thought Bergy (Brad Bergesen) threw the ball real well. That was good to see. He had a good, tight slider.”
Simon lowered his arm slot more often today than he’s done in past starts.
“He does some on the right-handers. He’s been doing it. He drops down and throws a breaking ball and a fastball sometimes down there,” Showalter said.
“Rick (Adair) asked him about it because he seemed to be doing it more than normal today. He does it, part of the repertoire. He told Rick he wasn’t really aware he was down there that low, which was a little surprising because it’s part of his approach to right-handed hitters. It’s something we’ll definitely look at, but I don’t think it’s anything to do with a physical issue.”
Cesar Izturis, starting at second base, left the game in the fifth inning with a strained left groin.
“We’ll reevaluate that and see where we are tomorrow,” Showalter said. “Way too early to know what we’re dealing with there. Not sure how he did it. Haven’t talked to him yet.”
Romero held the Orioles to two runs and four hits over eight innings, and he improved to 3-0 with a 1.11 ERA in his last three starts against them. He’s gone at least eight innings in all three of those starts.
“We’ve had our challenges mostly up there, but I was looking on the plane coming back, numbers and whatever, and he’s a good pitcher, period, but it’s one of those things you know exactly what he’s going to try to do and he’s able to do it,” Showalter said.
“It’s hard with the cutter. He just pounds the inner half and it just opens up so many things for him. We talked a lot about the approach. He’s pretty adjustable, too. He won’t just stay one way. If he sees you make an adjustment, he’ll go a different way. He’s a good one, and a really good athlete. Repeats his delivery. He’s a challenge for everybody, but it seems like especially us.
“Unfortunately, it’s normal for guys to want to hit him early in the count before he gets to a count where he can expand the zone on you, and that plays right into his hands, because as soon as he knows you’re hitting him early in the count, he goes there. And as soon as he sees you trying to be patient off him, he attacks you and now you’re hitting 0-2, 1-2. So there’s a fine line. That’s why he’s been successful.”
He couldn’t figure out Mark Reynolds, who homered twice off him today. Reynolds became only the second player to reach the second deck at Camden Yards during a game.
“He centered it up pretty good,” Showalter said. “I think that was one, regardless of the score of the game, you’re waiting for the tale of the tape, just to get an idea. But it’s too bad it only counts as one. That way you could stretch it out and maybe get an extra half a run for it.”