The O's are at 73-63, 7.5 games out of first and fading from division hopes. Thanks to a poor week from the Rays, however, the O's now sit two games out of a Wild Card spot.
It was a disappointing 3-4 week for the O's, going 1-2 against both New York and Boston before winning the first game of the Cleveland series.
With a -7 run differential, the O's are lucky they didn't lose more than four games in the past week. Boston did the most damage in their 13-2 rout.
Best Hitter / Worst Hitter
Manny Machado hit .321/.355/.500 this week, good for a 129 wRC+. But Nick Markakis continued his dismal year. His strikeouts have increased lately and he had only one extra base hit this past week. His line was .179/.207.214 or 8 wRC+. The lack of strikeouts and above-average OBP are basically the only thing Markakis has going for him this year. He needs to focus on at least providing value there.
Best Pitcher / Worst Pitcher
Chris Tillman and Scott Feldman were great in their outings, but Bud Norris gets this week's nod for Best Pitcher. In 12.1 innings pitched he gave up only two runs. He did walk five, but he struck out 15 to make up for it. And he surrendered only one dinger.
Wei-Yin Chen was bad this week, but Miguel Gonzalez was even worse. In four innings, Gonzalez gave up seven runs, two dingers, and and walked three without recording a strikeout. Ugh. His performance set the stage for an 8-5 loss to the Yankees on Friday.
It felt to me like the O's are having trouble finding the strike zone this year, so I looked at some numbers, and ... they are. Their starters have the third-worst K/BB ratio in the AL (2.08), ahead of only the Astros and the Twins. Combine that with their AL-worst HR/FB%, and you have a recipe for frustration and a lot of runs crossing the plate.
Davis's Dingers Update
Chris Davis hit one home run this week. It came against John Lackey and was his 47th of the year.
Manny's Doubles Update
Part of Manny's fine offensive week were two more doubles. His season total is now 46.
Adam Jones "The Power and the Patience" Update
This is the first week I can remember where Jones had more walks (2) than home runs (1). But he pulled it off, and he now has 16 walks against 28 home runs.
The O's can gain some separation in the wild card hunt by winning the series against Cleveland. They then return home to host the White Sox, followed by the first two games of a four-game set against the Yankees.