Friday, June 26, 2009

Hot and Cold

Aside from her looks, I’m not a fan of Katy Perry by any means, but I think she’d be the perfect person to perform at one of those lame free concerts the Orioles put on every now and then.

She could sing the Orioles new theme song: Hot and Cold.

In late May, the Orioles won 7 of 8 games, including the amazing sweep of the Blue Jays that was capped off by a Nolan Reimold walk off home run in extra innings. Then they went 2-10.

Then they came back east and won another 7 out of 8.

Then they went to Miami and got swept by the Marlins.

What gives?

I know the Orioles aren’t a good team by any means, but how can they get so hot and so cold?

In one word, it’s the offense.

The pitching has been pretty consistent over the last month, with 2 or 3 solid starts, 1 mediocre start, and then 1 terrible start each time through the rotation. And that’s fine. Even winning teams usually get that from their rotation.

But even when it was in the middle of the most recent winning streak, the Orioles erased some disappointing offensive displays by getting some huge clutch hits late in the game, like the final game against the Mets and game 2 of the Phillies series. Even though the Orioles won those games in the 9th inning, they still left 10 and 14 runners on base in those games.

And that didn’t stop against the Marlins. In the series, in which the Orioles were swept, they left a total of 22 runners on base. The difference? They didn’t get that handful of clutch hits that would have made the difference, especially in the first 2 games of the series. Let’s face it, they weren’t winning that last game after Rich Hill and Chris Ray were shelled.

It also doesn’t help that Adam Jones has a .534 OPS in June.

Luckily, the Orioles come back home to face the Nationals, who are still the worst team in the majors. But after that, the Red Sox come to town, followed by another trip to the west coast.


The Orioles better start knocking in those runners soon. Because it could get really ugly.

Until then, expect to see this current cold streak continue. The hot water may have gotten all used up.


Chris Ray is in a word, terrible. After his pathetic 1.2 IP, 5 ER performance last night (including a grand-slam from Hanley Ramirez, his second in the series, the first allowed by Danys Baez), Ray’s ERA is up to a whopping 10.13. I know he still may be battling back from Tommy John surgery, but Ray is not getting it done. As a matter of fact, I’d say he’s close to getting released. So before they do that, Rick Kranitz should step in and attempt to overhaul Ray’s herky-jerky wind-up, which has contributed to Ray’s injuries…Danys Baez, who was once the Orioles most reliable reliever, has struggled mightily as of late, allowing 6 ER in his last 2 appearances, which have amounted to just 1 IP. He allowed the 3 run home run to Ryan Howard in game two against the Phillies, and allowed a grand-slam to Hanley Ramirez in game 1 against the Marlins. Baez was once considered to be the Orioles most tradable player, but you have to wonder now, after he’s pretty much resembled a home run derby pitcher lately…Nick Markakis showed signs of life last night, going 4-4 with 2 doubles. Markakis has been “slumping” by his standards since his hot start in April, with a .744 OPS in May and June.

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