That one word pretty much sums up that past road trip for the Orioles.
After taking their fourth consecutive L against division rival New York to start the 6 game trip, the frustration of being able to squeak out wins against lesser competition but never really being able to compete against powerhouses such as Boston and New York began to build in the minds of Orioles faithful.
Was this just another great start that they would squander when it was do or die time against two of the annual playoff contenders (well almost annual, sorry Boston) or would they finally rise to the occasion and show these big boy clubs that they mean business?
The Orioles stepped up to the plate and delivered, literally and metaphorically, going 5-1 on the trip including a sweep of the Boston Red Sox. I would have been happy if the Os would have gone 3-3 on this trip. I’m not about to get greedy when this club is playing some amazing baseball after 14 years of losing. Ultimately, 82-80 works for me.
So what happens now?
After watching our bullpen completely exhaust itself in Boston the O’s desperately needed a 6 or 7 inning start from Brian Matusz against the reigning AL champion Texas Rangers to give our relievers a much needed rest. Unfortunately, Matusz couldn’t get past the 6th inning – actually, he couldn’t even get an out in the 6th which would force Buck to bring in reliever Stu Pomeranz, just called up from Norfolk earlier in the day. “Stuuuuuu” as the OPACY crowd quickly came to know him, pitched 3 scoreless innings for the Birds. Things got ugly when Jason Berken came into pitch the final inning for the Orioles as he gave up 7 runs on 6 hits.
Its tough to watch guys like Matusz and Berken get slaughtered as bad as they did. I honestly want both of them to be successful and be a part of this club. Matusz has been one of the more confusing players to watch develop. He got rushed into the majors and found early success but eventually fell of due to a shattered confidence and injury. One inning he will show us he is the the lefty ace we so desperately wanted him to be and then the next inning the wheels come off and he looks like another failed prospect that the team rushed through the farm system.
I’m pulling for this guy. I really am – I want our ball club to be a contender and be successful. In a perfect scenario Matusz is a big part of that happening but right now he just doesn’t have the confidence it seems to bounce back after giving up a run or two which leads to the implosion we have seen far to0 many times for a starter at the major league level.
I’m not about to panic though; why should I?
So arguably one of our weakest starters gets lit up by one of the best teams in baseball, The Rangers aren’t the twice repeating American League Champions for nothing. This season is a marathon not a sprint – the good clubs are the ones who get shelled one night and then bounce back from it and I think this club is more than capable of bouncing back. With the bullpen getting a full day’s rest and Jake Arrieta set to pitch tonight I think we stand a pretty good chance. In a worst case scenario Arrieta can take us deep enough to give our relievers another day off and prevent us from dipping into the bullpen too early.
So stay positive Oriole fans and get out to the yard at some point during the homestand to cheer on our guys, Ill be there and you should too!