Bad finish to first half

Remind me again whether Orioles fans are supposed to be more concerned about the rotation, offense or defense.

The Orioles didn’t stagger into the All-Star break; they crawled to it on their hands and knees.

They’ve lost 13 of their last 19 games and haven’t scored in their last 22 innings. They served up four home runs to the Angels today in a 6-0 loss, and starter Wei-Yin Chen didn’t record an out in the fifth before manager Buck Showalter gave him the hook.

Otherwise, things are pretty good.

Of course, we must remember that the Orioles are five games above .500 and hold one of the two wild card spots. Again, most fans would have signed up for that deal in blood - using one of Showalter’s favorite expressions - if offered it back in March.

Brad Mills is pretty bad, but he’s 3-0 lifetime against the Orioles, allowing only three runs in 17 1/3 innings. He’d be a junkballer if he were right-handed, but since he’s a lefty, he gets to be called “crafty.”

His career ERA of 8.57 before today suggests that he’s crappy, but not when the Orioles provide the opposition. He has three wins in 15 major league games, all of them against the Orioles.

Jamie Moyer watches this guy and says, “Wow, his fastball is slow.”

Shortstop J.J. Hardy needs this break. He batted .193 in June and is 3-for-31 this month.

How much longer can he stay in the No. 2 spot?

More roster moves are coming. Nick Markakis and Taylor Teagarden could be activated from the disabled list on Friday. Chris Tillman will start next Sunday’s game against the Tigers at Camden Yards. And there’s always the possibility of a trade.

An arm, a bat, a glove. Take your pick.

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