After a disappointing first series at home, the Orioles have hit the road to Houston, where they will get to be in the house as the Astros World Series banner for the 2017 champions is unveiled. It’s the home opener for Houston tonight, so that’s why.
Hopefully, the Orioles can fight off the disappointment. One way they could start to do that would be to have Chris Tillman, tonight’s starter, pitch like it’s early 2016 again. Even if he does that, it may not be enough against an Astros team that nearly scored 900 runs during the regular season last year.
The Orioles have had two bad starting pitching outings out of three tries. They have had a bad offense in three out of three games. It seems to be too early to contemplate shaking up the lineup that Buck Showalter settled on to start the season. The Chris Davis leadoff experiment continues on, as does basically every other experiment, including the “Pedro Alvarez plays while Mark Trumbo is on the DL” experiment.
The season will not be over if the Orioles lose tonight. It won’t be fun if they drop to 1-3. It would be a lot more fun if they were 3-1 instead. But sooner or later they’re going to need to have a sustained stretch of baseball that can help people, including themselves, believe that the plan they’ve concocted for 2018 might actually have a chance of success.
With Mike Wright Jr. pitching against Justin Verlander tomorrow, I don’t think the odds are great of such a stretch of baseball beginning then, either.
- Chris Davis - 1B
- Manny Machado - SS
- Jonathan Schoop - 2B
- Adam Jones - CF
- Trey Mancini - LF
- Colby Rasmus - RF
- Tim Beckham - 3B
- Pedro Alvarez - DH
- Caleb Joseph - C
Despite the struggles over the first three games, this is a lineup that is full of players who seem like they could be good. They just haven’t been good yet. Maybe that can start to change against Astros starter Charlie Morton tonight.