A look at the rotation’s struggles and Kevin Gausman’s latest outing

The Orioles rotation just can’t get seem to develop much consistency. The night after Tyler Wilson pitched eight scoreless against Boston, Mike Wright gave up eight runs. Orioles starters have pitched five innings or less in four consecutive games, five of the last six and seven of the past nine.

Over the last four games, O’s starters have an ERA of 8.68, allowing 18 runs over 18 2/3. In the past 11 games, O’s starters have an ERA of 6.83. For the season, the rotation ERA is 4.97. That is just not good enough.

For now, the Orioles lead the American League East. They have been resilient. They have lost J.J. Hardy, Yovani Gallardo, Darren O’Day and now play without Manny Machado. Yet they remain on top of the AL East.

Can it last with a rotation ERA that high?

Kevin-Gausman-gray-sidebar.jpgOn our game blog last night, fans weighed in on Kevin Gausman’s latest outing. In my opinion, it came down to the fact that he simply made too many poor and hittable pitches. The location was not there and he let a 3-0 lead get away.

Gausman has an ERA of 6.32 his last six starts and it seems he has too much talent for that. I see him turning that around. And yes, I would be fine with seeing a few more split-changeups buried down in the zone when ahead in the counts. The pitcher and catcher are in it together each night. Matt Wieters is part of the duo, but he can’t throw the pitch.

As we seem to do with every loss now, we nitpick every at-bat and bounce of the ball. The O’s scored just three runs on 15 hits. They left too many men on base. They loaded the bases with no outs once and failed to score.

The biggest issue to come out of Monday’s loss for me was another subpar game by Gausman. Whatever combination it is of pitch location, pitch calling and pitch execution, he has to start producing better results. I expect to see it soon.

IronBirds to honor fallen heroes: The short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds play their home opener on Wednesday night. That evening, the IronBirds will pay tribute to two fallen Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies - Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon - who were killed in line of duty in February 2016.

During the pregame tribute ceremony, the IronBirds will unveil the badge numbers of Dailey and Logsdon painted predominately in the outfield, where they will remain on display for all 38 IronBirds home games. The family members of the fallen deputies will also be present to throw out the game’s ceremonial first pitch, followed by the release by more than a dozen white doves.

The IronBirds will also debut a specialized jersey patch, featuring a grey American flag with a blue stripe through the middle as a season-long dedication to Daily and Logsdon, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and for law enforcement everywhere who dedicate their lives to keeping our communities safe. The patches are featured on all four sets of uniforms worn by the team on the road and at home.

The IronBirds will host the Auburn Doubledays from June 22-24, followed by a three-game series against the Connecticut Tigers. For more information, visit IronBirdsbaseball.com or call the IronBirds box office at 410-297-9292.

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