Orioles’ defense is offensive again

If the Oriole Way is all about pitching and defense, the 2012 team is missing half of that equation.

The Orioles committed three more errors tonight, and it would have been four if the official scorer hadn’t removed one from catcher Matt Wieters and given Erick Aybar a single.

Brian Matusz gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings but two of the runs were unearned. Who knows how much his outing would have changed without the two Robert Andino errors, or if first baseman Chris Davis had dug out the throws in the dirt.

I’m not busting on Davis here, but I will say that, while manager Buck Showalter pointed out that Mark Reynolds struggled at first base last year, I was impressed by the way Reynolds dug out throws in the dirt. I don’t see how anyone couldn’t argue that Reynolds possessed that skill.

The Orioles can’t keep giving teams extra outs, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. They’ve committed 16 errors, the same amount that the major league-leading San Francisco Giants committed before tonight. The mistakes are piling up like firewood on this road trip.

Matusz has lost 12 straight decisions. He wasn’t at his best tonight, but the defense offered no support, and that included Nolan Reimold in left field on his attempted sliding catch. Tough play, but one that could have been made.

The Orioles need to tighten up the defense or this season will play out like so many others. They’ve mostly won in spite of it on this road trip, but as tonight’s game illustrated, it won’t continue.

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