Many of the Orioles' wins in this young season have felt like games that they would have lost in previous years. Unfortunately, all of the losses have also felt like games that they did lose in previous years. The tepid offense in today's 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Rangers is no exception, following a broad formula we have seen many times before.
Jeremy Guthrie turned in a solid effort in his first start after being hospitalized for pneumonia, but a single mistake pitch to Adrian Beltre put him in a deficit from which the Orioles' bats could not recover. Guts ultimately went six innings, throwing only 84 pitches. After giving up a couple of hits in the sixth, Buck decided that was enough for him - understandable as there were comments made on the MASN broadcast that Guthrie may not be at his usual stamina due to the recent illness. With the quality start secured for Guts, Jim Johnson came out in the 7th and promptly gave up a hit and eventually a two-run home run.
At the plate, it was something like a senior citizens' day for the Orioles, with Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero recording two hits each. Lee and Vlad were on base with two outs twice for Mark Reynolds, but Reynolds couldn't come through with a big hit. The only time that the Orioles' leadoff man reached was when Reynolds was hit by a pitch and most baserunners came with two outs. The hitters went 0-5 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. All of this came against Texas starter Derek Holland, who, as many have noted, fits the pattern of "mediocre lefty who inexplicably dominates the O's."
This is the first series loss of the year for the Orioles, and though the temptation is surely there to fly off the handle into early 2010 levels of despair after the myriad injuries, disappointing performances by a couple of young starters, question marks about how to fill the rotation out this week, and with the team managing to score just one run in the final 24 innings of the series, let's not go too crazy after being beaten by the defending American League champions, who still figure to contend strongly this season as well.
On the other hand, the Orioles have a slash line of something like .216/.282/.341 through nine games and, with an off day tomorrow, will next be heading into that most wretched hive of scum and villainy, Yankee Stadium. On the other hand, the Yankees have one good pitcher, and we will not face that pitcher, so f*** those guys. Let's go in and whip their asses.