The Orioles have been outhit, outplayed and outclassed the first two days in Boston. They’ve lost by scores of 7-3 and 10-3, and their starting pitchers allowed 17 hits and 14 runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Their run total of three was matched by their errors total of three on Saturday. Not a formula for success at Fenway Park - or anywhere for that matter.
Right-hander Alex Cobb figures to pitch pretty well for the club, but his first start for the Orioles was about as rocky as it gets.
Cobb was behind 3-0 just three batters into his debut. He gave up a leadoff walk, an RBI double to Andrew Benintendi and a two-run homer to left by Hanley Ramirez.
Cobb went just 3 2/3 innings and allowed 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned) with one walk and no strikeouts. Of his 79 pitches, Cobb threw 44 fastballs, 19 curveballs and 16 splitters. He got just three swings and misses and Boston hit nine balls at least 100 mph, including four in the first inning. Boston went 10-for-20 against the right-hander.
So Cobb will certainly have plenty of outings better than this and his late signing on March 21 means he’s playing catch-up right now. A debut at Fenway Park proved to be a tall order, even with his history of success there.
Orioles starting pitchers allowed just five runs over 20 innings in the Toronto series for an ERA of 2.25. But Cobb and Chris Tillman allowed 13 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings over the past two days for an ERA of 20.63.
The Orioles went 6-3 at Fenway Park in each of the past two seasons, but now have an 0-2 start there this year. They won 10 of 19 games in 2017 against the Red Sox and have gone 64-49 (.566) against Boston since 2012. And the Orioles lost just one of six series versus Boston last season. They must win the next two days to avoid losing this one at Fenway.
The Orioles have scored three runs or less 10 times already on the season and are 1-9 in those games. They went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Saturday. For the season, they are batting .217 with RISP with 44 strikeouts in 115 at-bats.
Orioles hitters are striking out too much again. Going into Saturday’s game, the Orioles had seven players already with 10 strikeouts or more, while Boston had just two.
The Orioles’ 5-10 start is their worst after 15 games since the 2010 team went 2-13.