The Orioles were shut down again tonight as Felix Hernandez held them to just one run. When you face a pitcher like Felix Hernandez you don't get many chances, so you better make the most of them. The O's started off well in the first with a Brian Roberts double and an Adam Jones walk, but were unable to score. They got another chance in the fifth. Matt Wieters doubled to lead off the inning, and with one out Brian Roberts singled him in to score the only O's run of the game. With two outs Nick Markakis lined a beautiful double down the right field line to put runners at 2nd and 3rd, but Aubrey Huff couldn't get the runners in. The team wouldn't come close to scoring again.
Since the Orioles beat the Tigers 7-2 on Matt Wieters Day (May 29th), they have scored a total of 17 runs in 10 games. They haven't scored more than 4 runs in a game, and they only did that once. As a result, they have gone just 2-8. The good news! I am officially ready to declare two things:
- Brian Roberts' slump is over. After going just 3-30 from May 30th to June 7th, Brian had a double and a SB last night and added three more hits tonight and is looking comfortable at the plate.
- Matt Wieters has a master plan. You know that story about how if you put the frog in the cold water and slowly turn up the heat, the frog won't jump out and then you just just boil his brains out and he won't even notice? This is what Matt Wieters is doing to the American League. He's slowly turning up the heat and before the rest of the league notices it their brains will be cooked. A hit here, a hit there, a silly pop up hit, two hits today. It's all coming together.
So, the pitching. Jeremy Guthrie hasn't been at his best this year, as we all know. He looked awful in his last start, only going 2/3 of an inning and giving up 6 runs. Tonight, he was better. He wasn't great, but he was better. After giving up two more home runs tonight, Guthrie's HR/9 is up to 1.96 and his 16 HR allowed is most in the American League. All told, Guthrie allowed 3 earned runs on 6 hits in 6 innings. He struck out two and walked zero. A fourth, unearned run scored on Melvin Mora's error.
Tomorrow the Orioles face off against their former teammate Garrett Olson. Olson has been used mostly as a reliever this year and has been relatively effective in that role. In 3 starts however, the results haven't been as good. He pitched one good game against the Giants, throwing 6 shutout innings. In each of his other two starts, however, he's given up 5 runs. I'm hoping that facing Garrett Olson will be the cure to the Orioles offensive ills.