Where did all this “O” come from?
Seeing as we called them out in the last O’s weekly review we did, it’s only fair that we now praise the team for rediscovering how to score runs. They are averaging 5.6 runs per game so far in June, and are now fourth from last in the AL in runs scored, a step up from the 3rd to last that we reported on Memorial day. The increase in offensive production from the Birds isn’t so hard to understand when you realize that Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts have each raised their averages nearly 30 points over the first 15 games of this month. The 1-2 punch at the top of the order (Markakis, for whatever reason, seems much more at home in that 2 spot) are now hitting .286 and .287, respectively.
Having mentioned that the O’s are scoring 5.6 runs per game this month, we also have to point out, however, that they are allowing nearly 5.5 runs over the same stretch. With such a small scoring differential, its pretty amazing that they are 9-6 so far this month, and have won every series against teams not from Boston. The Birds have won the close ones, though, as they are 4-2 in 1-run games in June, and 16-10 on the year. With last night’s come-from-behind win, the O’s have now won 16 games when trailing by 2 or more runs, and 5 games that they’ve trailed after the 7th inning (thanks to Roch for that stat).
(I was watching highlights of last Saturday’s comeback on MLB.com, and their announcer declared that “If any team were to be known as the Cardiac Kids so far this year, it just might have to be the Baltimore Orioles. ” Nice to know that others are recognizing the heart this team has shown.)
Nicky Mark’s Visual Fielding Aides
Ok, so here’s something a bit off-the-wall. I went to the game against Pittsburgh Friday night to see the Earl Weaver and ’79 team tribute, as well as to watch the Birds in those sweet throwback unis. It was a great game to attend, obviously, as they rallied from a 6-1 deficit to win 9-6. From our seats in right-center field though, my dad and I noticed something a bit peculiar about Nick Markakis and his positioning during pitches. See if you notice anything:
HE NEVER LEAVES HIS LITTLE SQUARE!
Seriously, wtf is up with that? By comparison, Jason “Mullet” Michaels of the Pirates didn’t let himself be restricted to that little patch of newly-installed grass, and moved around according to the hitter. Nicky Mark, on the other hand, seems to be playing the childhood game of “the ground is lava” outside of his square. I imagine him climbing the walls and wandering around aimlessly before Dave Trembley and the grounds crew reached a compromise (the crew wasn’t very fond of Dave’s original suggestion of a giant “X” for Nick to stand on) about how to get Nick and his perpetual 5 o’clock shadow in an acceptable fielding position.
I kid because I love, Nick – I kid because I love.