Ew is right. Guess we really did jinx them – ever since we posted the shot of the standings with the Birds at the top of the AL East, the 2008 O’s have been WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!! That is, 1-7, and a team that looks like they will struggle to win 60 games. In quickly plummeting below the .500 mark, the O’s haven’t won a series since taking 2 of 3 from the Yankees nearly 2 weeks ago, losing 2 of 3 to Tampa Bay, then 2 of 3 in Anaheim, and finally having been swept out of Oakland in extra innings today. They’ve been the bizarro – O’s compared to what we saw during the first month of the season, going 1-3 in one-run games and 0-2 in extra innings over the past 7 days, and either not getting the clutch hits needed to win games, or having the bullpen squander a small lead late.
The main culprit, in typical B’More fashion, has been a disgusting lack of offense. The Birds have managed just 21 runs total over their past 8 games, were held to 2 runs or fewer in 5 of those games, and are now 12th in the AL in runs scored. The team’s 3 leading hitters are Luke Scott (.286), Nick Markakis (.270), and Aubrey Huff (.266). The Birds also had a couple brain farts on the basepaths that probably cost them the game Sunday in Anaheim, when Brian Roberts was picked off first base in the 9th inning and Ramon Hernandez was thrown out at 2nd when he went into his home run trot on a ball that bounced off the wall. Yikes.
A silver lining to the crap cloud that has been the last week has to be the starting pitching. Arguably the biggest question mark coming into the season, at least for now, the O’s rotation (with the glaring exception of Steve Trachsel and his 7.43 ERA) has looked to actually be a strong point of the team.
O’s starters over the past week (not named Steve):
Jeremy Guthrie: 12.2 IP 6 ER
Daniel Cabrera: 7.1 IP 3 ER 2 BB
Brian Burres: 11.1 IP 6 ER
Garrett Olson: 7.1 IP 1 ERA
Alright, so nobody is going to confuse them with the mid-90’s Braves, but those numbers are far from terrible. Just to reiterate: the team won ONE game out of all those starts.
On Deck: The O’s travel to the Barbeque Capital of the US to take on the 14-18 Royals for 4 games.
In the hole: A short 2-game series at Camden Yards looms against the defending World Series Chumps, the Red Sux.