The Orioles have lost 9 of their last 11 games after dropping a frustrating 3-1 game to the Minnesota Twins, last night. The Twins, with several key injuries, resembled their AAA team more than a MLB team. Despite this, the O's only managed to split the 4-game series with the Twins after coming off an 8-game losing streak.
The series split was akin to a cat allowing a wounded mouse to get away.
Now the Yankees come into town. And then the Red Sox. And their fans.
It would have been nice to steal last night's game from the Twins and head into the Yankees series with a 9-9 record. But it still doesn't change the fact that the Orioles have a tough task ahead of them. And despite a 2-game stretch where the bats finally woke up, the offense is still struggling to find their groove.
You know it's bad when Robert Andino leads the offense with a .308 batting average. And Brian Roberts, Vlad Guerrero, Matt Wieters and Felix Pie are also hitting well. But the big boppers in the line-up -- Nick Markakis, Derrek Lee, Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds -- all have averages .222 or under with slugging percentages that wouldn't even be good batting averages.
The Orioles are throwing Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta against the Yankees. All the pitchers are very up and down, although Arrieta has had success against the Yankees in his brief career thus far.
So it looks like the probability of getting swept or stealing just one game from the Yanks is high.
And while the Red Sox got off to a poor start, they're playing better as of late and are only a game behind the Orioles in the win column.
If the Orioles are going to take any steps forward in 2011, now is the time to do it.