After falling behind early Friday night and then watching Jake Arrieta give up a 2-0 lead in the last of the fifth last night, the Orioles need a win today against the Angels to avoid being swept three straight for the second time in 2012.
In the last few days - almost suddenly, it seems - the Orioles have had their share of problems on offense, defense and with their starting pitching.
The offense: Over the last five games, the Orioles have scored just 15 runs on 31 hits with a team batting average of just .195. The stretch has dropped the overall team average from .265 to .244.
The defense: The Orioles have made six errors in the two games of the series in Anaheim. They have now made at least one error in 11 of their last 12 games and have 15 in the nine games of this road trip. The Orioles lead the American League with a whopping 19 errors.
The starters: The starting pitchers’ ERA was 2.58 after the season’s first six games and is now up to 4.60 after O’s starters allowed 19 earned runs in 21 innings over the past four games.
Since the amazing starting pitching the Orioles got in that season-opening series against the Twins, they have just two quality starts over the past 12 games with an ERA of 6.00 in that span.
Then there is this fact: The Orioles are 0-5 against the Yankees and Angels and 8-2 against everyone else.
With the loss, the Orioles went from a tie for first place to a tie for third and now one game out of the top spot in the AL East.
It is not all bad, since the team is still over .500 and with a win today would return home for an off day with a 9-7 record. The Orioles are 19-13 over the last 32 games dating to last September.
The bullpen, while allowing some inherited runners in recent games, has given up just one earned run over 19 innings the past six games for an ERA of 0.47 in that stretch.
Buck Showalter sure seemed disappointed in Arrieta’s fifth-inning meltdown last night telling reporters after the game that he is no longer a young pitcher and that you have to win those type of games. He said there was no way Arrieta should have been out of the game in the fifth with the stuff he had in the first four innings.
Sounds like he expected Arrieta, who was dominant for the first four, to put down the hammer when he got a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth. He couldn’t and now the Orioles have a bit of a swing game today.
Win it and they come home feeling pretty good at two games over .500 with a 6-4 trip. Lose it and they come home reeling a bit after the trip’s uplifting start in Toronto and Chicago.