After last night's game, Orioles pitcher Jake Arrieta seemed to second-guess himself on how he approached and pitched to some of the Cleveland hitters.
"I think the main thing about tonight is guys were too comfortable in the box," Arrieta said. "I didn't do a good job of establishing the inner half to lefties well enough and they were diving over the plate, and even when I made quality pitches to the outside part of the plate, sinkers down and away, they still put pretty good swings on it because they could for the most part eliminate the inner half."
I asked Buck Showalter today if pitching inside had become a problem with some of the young Orioles pitchers.
"I'm aware that we are last in the American League in hit by pitch. I don't know if ... you could make a lot of cases about that. It really came to light when I looked at where Boston was in comparison. It's something we were aware of," Showalter said.
"I think what I take out of that (is) that I don't believe Jake said what you said, I don't read it. I'm sure he did. I don't get real excited about a lot of after-the-fact things.
"Let's be proactive, instead of reactive - wish I had, should have done this, this and that, whatever. We've had enough innings and enough experience now that we should be putting some of that to use between the lines.
"Reacting after the fact, wish I'd done this or that. We need to beat them to the punch," he said.
Showalter was also asked today about the large number of two-out runs O's pitchers are giving up. Three of Cleveland's six runs last night were scored with two outs.
"I thought one of the keys to the game last night was the two-strike basehit we gave up to LaPorta," Showalter said of Matt LaPorta's RBI single in the top of the second, which came on an 0-2 pitch. "Can't do that. If he flares one in off the end of the bat with a great pitch, I'm OK with it. But that can't happen and it's happened too many times. They are aware of it. Sometimes where they are trying to throw the ball and where it ends up are two different things."
Showalter said too many pitchers are not commanding their fastballs right now and everything flows off of that.
"Our command of our fastball has been an issue for us for quite a while now. Once you do that, the whole plate opens up to you with a lot of different sequences and a lot of different pitches," he said.
If it starts with the starters, the Orioles are just not starting well these days.
The starting pitchers have allowed 11 earned runs in 10 innings in this series and have an ERA of 13.08 over the last six games, starting with the Boston series.
Over the last 29 games, a stretch where the Orioles are 6-23, the starters' ERA is 7.71.