Going into Sunday's series finale of the 'Battle of the Beltways,' the Orioles anemic offense had failed to post more than four runs on the board since May 14th, a stretch of eight games.
The Three-Headed Monster (Roberts, Jones, Markakis) at the top of the lineup is no longer the most feared 1-2-3 in baseball. Nick Markakis is slumping, badly. In the past nine games, he is batting .184 with only two extra base hits in that stretch. Most importantly, he has driven in only five runs. His performance is instrumental to the Orioles offense.
Aubrey Huff is another struggling Oriole crucial to driving in runs. Huff, similarly to Markakis, is batting .229 in the past nine games with 4 RBI's. Brian Roberts and Adam Jones have done an excellent job this year getting on base. When Markakis and Huff aren't able to capitalize with runners on base, the Orioles can't win ballgames. It's that simple.
What is going to get this offense going again? First of all, Nick Markakis needs to get back on track. His RBI triple on Sunday is good to see but he went 1 for 5 in the game. I expect that Nick will break out of this slump soon, he is too good of a hitter to continue slumping. Second of all, Aubrey Huff must capitalize with runners on base.
If the offense does not get back on track in their current form, Matt Wieters' inevitable promotion must come to fruition. In the past 10 games, the switch-hitting superstar-to-be is hitting .333 with 4 HR's and 14 RBI's.
If Andy MacPhail is waiting for the right time to promote Wieters, this is it. Chad Moeller and Gregg Zaun are embarrassing at the plate and the O's can't afford to lose games simply because Markakis and Huff aren't doing well.