What a bad four-day run for the Orioles on offense.
On Thursday, John Lackey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and two-hit the Orioles. On Friday, they failed to score in the last 11 innings of an 18-inning loss. On Saturday and Sunday, they were shut out until the ninth inning.
Were it not for the Tropicana Field roof, they may be looking at a 29-inning scoreless stretch. But David DeJesus lost a Chris Davis fly ball on Saturday in the ninth and it went for a triple, and Matt Wieters hit a double off the catwalk in the ninth yesterday.
With all this concern over the Orioles’ offense consider this stat: When the Orioles score their next run they will equal the 2012 playoff Orioles in runs scored.
The Birds scored 712 runs last year for 4.4 per game and are at 711 now, for 4.6 runs per game. Yep, even as bad as it has gotten this month for the offense, the Orioles will score more this year. Last season, the O’s finished ninth in the American League in runs scored and they are fourth right now.
The team batting average (.258 to .247), slugging percentage (.428 to .417) and OPS (.738 to .728) are all up from last year.
The one area the O’s have not made any advancement in is with on-base percentage, which was .311 last year and is .311 this year. League average is .320.
I’m probably stating the obvious here, but the Orioles are too reliant on the home run and they need more variety from their offense.
They could use more speed, better situational hitting, more batters that work the count and more walks.
How do they get that?
Adam Jones is a lightning rod for criticism when he chases pitches. Fans want him to walk more, but after nearly 900 games with the Orioles is hoping for and/or expecting that realistic?
I say it isn’t, and most of his stats have been trending up the last few years. If more Orioles could say that, the offense wouldn’t be up for these questions.
Maybe some Orioles can make improvements in plate discipline. Even if they are small improvements, it could make a difference.
But if you really want more team speed and a better team on-base percentage, it may have to come from acquisitions and players that are not already on the roster.
As you look at the Orioles offense, in what areas do you see a need for improvement and how can they get it done?