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Rays 6, O's 2: Let's examine these 12 games





We're 7-5. It's true. But let's really take a look at this 7-5 record of ours, and see if this is a team legitimately outperforming expectations, or a team just sort of, you know, 7-5 because that's just sort of how it is.

Coming into today's loss to the Rays, the O's were hitting .253/.331/.423 as a team. Who's performing?

Luke Scott is performing. Brian Roberts is performing. Nick Markakis is performing, even though it took him 12 games to get his first homer. Nick's walking like crazy because teams are willing to pitch around him to get to Millar in many cases.

And then there's Aubrey Huff, who has a couple of big games and has been abysmal otherwise. For those not really keeping an eye on it, "Mr. Clutch" is now hitting .244.

After those two, the hitting falls off a cliff. Luis Hernandez is "surprising" people, but really take a look at those numbers -- he's still sporting a sub-.650 OPS. Brandon Fahey is 1-for-11 on the season, and we all know he can't hit. So you're looking at a two-headed monster at shortstop that simply cannot hit enough to help. Alex Cintron is no prize, but he'd be markedly better than either of them.

Mora has hit a couple of homers, but overall he stinks, too. Millar has looked terrible. Ramon Hernandez is struggling mightily.

It's way too early to have anything at all to really say about the pitching, past the fact that this rotation is going to just kill us. It's one thing to understand that they're bad; it's another to watch it happen. Loewen and Cabrera and Burres are going to be extremely frustrating to watch game-to-game. The bullpen, a strong point early, is showing serious chinks in the armor. Sound familiar? Same scenario as last season, featuring "Lights Out" John Parrish.

We're 2-3 against Tampa Bay, 1-2 against Texas, and 4-0 against Seattle, whose bullpen imploded on them and allowed that sweep. Is this team really playing above expectations?

I have my doubts. And that's not me trying to be negative, it's just what I'm thinking about at the moment.

I am proud to say that Brian Roberts has more hops than Akinori Iwamura.