It was somewhat of a rare sight last night, when an opposing starter ended the first inning and his pitch count was at 31.
But that was the number for Texas right-hander Josh Lindblom, who would go on to give up six runs over 5 1/3 innings, throwing 119 pitches.
Orioles hitting coach Jim Presley said that was probably more a product of how the O’s did on that night against a specific pitcher rather than any directive to try to work the count more.
“I think it was the guy on the mound more than anything,” Presley said. “We knew he nibbled a little bit and that had more to do with it than us going up there saying we are taking pitches.
“You can’t go up there and say I’m taking. You have to take the bad ones and hit the good ones. That is what it comes down to. The past week, we’ve kind of struggled with that a bit. Hitting, it goes in cycles. First two to three months, we were pretty good at it. Whenever I see a team that struggles for a week or 10 days, it is usually the arms you are facing.”
Several hitters said this week they would not change their pregame and in-game approaches, since it had worked so well for them for most of this season. Presley agrees that is the way the players should feel.
“We are too good hitting of a ballclub to change what we do,” Presley said. “We just have to be a little more selective when we get guys in scoring position. Like J.J. Hardy two nights ago, he was 1-2 (on the count) he gets a big base hit and gets us back in the game. That’s a big at-bat.
“We had a meeting a few days ago and I reminded them that up to a week ago, ‘Hey, we were probably the best hitting club with runners in scoring position in baseball. That’s out of 30 clubs.’ We’ve run into some good arms here. It’s not going to be just this week. That is baseball.”
O’s get the lead: The Orioles took a 2-0 lead to the fifth tonight on solo homers from Chris Davis and Brian Roberts. For Davis, it was No. 34 to set a career high and RBI No. 86 to also set a career high. Davis had been 0-for-17 and 1-for-24 over his last seven games. For Roberts, it was his first Camden Yards homer since April 4, 2011.