Losing teams find ways to lose. And tonight, the Orioles found a way to lose to Bruce Chen and the Royals. Yup, Bruce Chen, ex-Oriole, last seen getting whiplash watching balls fly over the fence in 2006. He of the 6.58 ERA, the 1.462 WHIP and measly 5.5 K/9 in 2009.
And sure enough, the O's scored in each of the first two innings. Granted, KC scored in the first as well, but the O's couldn't lose to Bruce Chen, could they?
Rich Hill answered the question rather convincingly. Hill, who knew, stone cold knew, that his pitching career could be decided by tonight's effort, lasted seven outs. He gave up three runs, four hits, walked three, struck out one and generally looked clueless. His delivery looked awful, he had no idea where the ball was going, and didn't even bother throwing his glove in the dugout when Dave Trembley came out to yank him. And if corporal punishment was legal for pitchers, I do believe Diamond Dave would have taken him behind the nearest woodshed.
Oh, the lineup doesn't get a pass tonight. Did I mention we lost to Bruce Chen? Sure enough, aside from Adam Jones hitting a solo HR and getting hit at an opportune time, the Orioles just didn't get much going. The other RBI was the result of a Matt Wieters single that scored Aubrey Huff, but then third-base coach Juan "Windmill" Samuel had Nolan Reimold try for home, where he was out by about 700 feet, roughly. Maybe 600. Looked like 700 to me.
I could recite the offensive futility of the Orioles in this game, but much like Nickelback songs, it's the same tune, just different details. The bullpen did its job, for the most part, with Brian Bass going scoreless for 3.1 and although single runs were scored against Matt Albers and Danys Baez (whose trade values sinks like a rock with every appearence), Cla Meredith came in and threw a shutout inning to finish the 9th. But the bullpen didn't really lose this one. Rich Hill did.
Losing teams find a way to lose, and having a starter like Rich Hill in the rotation certainly increases the odds. And it's getting damn frustrating to watch.