In battle of bullpens, Kansas City gets the two-game edge

The Orioles bullpen has allowed five runs and nine hits over 10 1/3 innings of the American League Championship Series for an ERA of 4.36. The O's 'pen pitchers have seven walks and 10 strikeouts.

Darren O'Day has taken the loss in each of the first two games after losing twice in 68 regular-season appearances. O'Day and Brian Matusz gave up homers in the 10th inning of Game 1.

The Orioles bullpen has not pitched to the level fans are used to over the first two games.

Adam Jones was asked about his confidence level is in the O's bullpen right now.

"I think it's 1-10, probably about a 15," Jones said. "I have confidence in every person in this clubhouse. Not on the roster, on the roster. Our strength guy. We brought our cook with us. I've got confidence in every last person that took that team flight out here with us."

No surprise there, still backing the bullpen and everyone else for that matter.

Nelson Cruz expressed a similar opinion.

"They are the ones that took us here. There is no reason why they cannot do the job they've been doing all year long," Cruz said.

britton-hundley-fist-bump-sidebar.jpgAfter Saturday's Game 2, when he struck out two batters, Zach Britton mentioned there may be times when he needs to go for strikeouts against a Royals team that makes such good contact.

But yesterday, he said that is not exactly the case. He may try for a strikeout on certain pitches, but overall that is not his game as a groundball pitcher.

"We've faced better lineups and I pitched to contact to those guys, so not going to change my approach based on this team," Britton said. "Sometimes, if you are a groundball guy, they go through a hole. Just continue to make quality pitches.

"It's not my philosophy (to go for strikeouts). My philosophy is staying the same. It worked pretty good during the regular season and against the Tigers. We are not going to change our approach just because we are behind in this series."

Kansas City has hit four homers in this series after finishing last in the majors with 95.

"It's hard to explain," Britton said. "They've got good hitters though. I played against a lot of their guys coming up through the minors and they had good power numbers in the minors. You have to give them credit for what they are doing. Plus, they can make things happen when they get on base."

While the O's 'pen should take the fall for giving up two homers in extra innings on Friday night, O'Day and Britton made better pitches on Saturday and got beaten by an infield hit and a grounder down the first base line. That can happen, and it did to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Kansas City's big three in the bullpen - Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland - have given up just one run in eight innings in the series and the O's have hit just .172 versus that group.

The Royals win the battle of the bullpens through two games. Now we see how it goes from here.

O's pitchers have allowed eight and six runs in this series, so it doesn't take much analysis to figure out they've got to give up fewer runs to get back into the ALCS.

Operation October: From Camden Yards to Kauffman S...
Still raining, Chen vs. Royals, Walling retiring

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to