One day removed from extra-innings theatrics, hopefully the Orioles can go ahead and win one by a comfortable margin in regulation as they take on the Giants in the second game of their series. That's what we hope for, but they won't do it, because they're the Orioles, and they don't do easy wins, even on the games they should win. They also don't do long winning streaks, and three games is probably enough, thank you.
I wonder if the O's can even fathom the 14-game winning streak that Atlanta currently sports. I cannot fathom it. What is it like to have a team win that many games in a row? How does that even happen?
The way this offense goes, I expect equal levels of suck when going up against a pitcher who is not performing well as against a pitcher who is performing inexplicably well. Chad Gaudin has a 4.41 career ERA in 827.1 IP and this season he is sporting a 2.56 ERA in 28 games, ten of which have been starts. He has a 2.83 ERA as a starter this year. What is that about? It's Chad Gaudin! He's been on nine teams in eleven seasons!
At least he's right-handed, but so was Ryan Vogelsong, and shutting down the bats after getting two runs off of him in two innings last night was on the frustrating side.
It's Wei-Yin Chen starting for the Orioles this afternoon. He's fired off a streak of five straight quality starts since his return from the disabled list, going at least 6.1 innings in all five starts. That's the kind of stuff the O's are going to need if they're going to have hopes of getting themselves back into a playoff position. Whether starting pitchers who aren't Chen or Chris Tillman can bring that kind of production is another story entirely.
Orioles starters are 12th in the AL in ERA with a 4.65. With Jim Johnson blowing saves left and right and the two good relievers (Tommy Hunter and Darren O'Day) having shaky outings from time to time, that's not going to keep cutting it.
Last year around this time, my former podcasting partner-in-crime Andrew and I declared that the Orioles needed to either play better or start losing. We expected they would start losing and they surprised us by playing better. They are at that point again this year. It's time to pitch better and play better all around. Maybe they can get started with some of that today.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Marco Scutaro - 2B|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Joaquin Arias - SS|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Brandon Belt - 1B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Buster Posey - C|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Hunter Pence - RF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Pablo Sandoval - 3B|
|Ryan Flaherty - 2B||Jeff Francoeur - LF|
|Taylor Teagarden - C||Andres Torres - CF|
|Wei-Yin Chen - P||Chad Gaudin - P|