Craig Monroe? Grand slam?
Seriously, you guys?
The worst thing about the Orioles right now is their penchant for very dramatic losses. The first three in Minnesota were just an outclassing. The Twins beat the hell out of us. The one loss to the Yankees came on a walkoff grand slam, the first loss to Detroit happened because of a tailor-made double play ball turning into two runs when Brian Roberts' throw was a little, erm, off, and today they lose on a grand slam in the 12th inning of what was a 0-0 game.
My favorite thing about this particular mess was Sam Perlozzo using seven relief pitchers. Kurt Birkins, recently called up because we need 36 pitchers on the active roster, had to face Monroe. Birkins should never face a righty. But guess what? The only righty left in the pen was Guthrie, who might have to start in a few days if Wright can't make it on Sunday.
Up until Birkins' terrible first outing of the year, the bullpen was fantastic, giving up just two hits and walking only one. But there's another problem -- Adam Loewen is still showing an inability to go deep into a game, because he doesn't throw enough strikes. He threw 95 pitches through five innings today, 43 of them balls. He walked four and struck out four. And he was done. He's had two starts this year and given up two runs, but he hasn't gotten into the sixth inning yet. That's going to be an issue. And with the way Perlozzo is using this bullpen, they're probably going to wear down at some point, too.
Guthrie and Birkins are the candidates to start in place of Wright on Sunday if need be, according to Perlozzo. That cheeky Jaret Wright said that his shoulder "only hurts when I throw."
And then our brainy skipper -- can you tell I'm getting short on patience with Perlozzo? -- said, "I think this will resolve itself one way or another." No shit? You mean you won't be forfeiting? Either Wright will pitch or someone else will? Thanks, cappy.
Hayden Penn isn't in the mix because his elbow hurts. Fun, huh?
We've got four at home against the similarly hapless Royals, followed by three at Tampa Bay. If there's a time to see if the O's can separate themselves from teams like those, it's now. 3-6 against the Twins, Yankees and Tigers isn't the worst start we could have seen, but it also wasn't very encouraging. Yes, three of the losses were tight. But they still go in the L column. To be a good team, you have to beat up on bad teams. All real logic says we are one of those bad teams, but it's still April, and there were a few good things to come out of the opening nine. Now it's time to dig in.