Another day has dawned with the Orioles in last place in the American League East. With their 1-3 record, they’re tied at the bottom with the Rays, 2.5 games back of the division-leading Red Sox. If the Orioles keep playing like this, the “games behind” column in the division standings will become an increasingly distant concern.
Though the season is only four games old, certain depressing trends are apparent. One remarkable fact is that the Orioles have yet to score a run off of an opposing starting pitcher. Maybe that happens over four-game stretches all of the time, although I doubt it.
This team is just showing up right from the get-go with a special brand of futility. If they don’t shake that quickly, there are going to be a lot of regrets in Birdland about their pointed refusal to turn 2018 into a rebuilding year.
If you missed yesterday’s 6-1 loss to the Astros, that’s probably better for your fan sanity. Check out my recap to see the not-so-lovely totals, which unfortunately included Chris Tillman pitching like it’s still 2017 rather than a brand new year. Not that Tillman himself thinks he’s pitching like he did last year:
Results similar to last year, but Chris Tillman convinced he is better in 2018 - “Oh yeah. It’s much different. I didn’t have anything last year. I have quite a bit. Tonight didn’t go as I planned or as we planned but going forward, I think, it’s going to get better.”— Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) April 3, 2018
I would like for subsequent developments in the 2018 season to prove that Tillman is right here, but I don’t think I’m alone in not feeling very confident that those developments will be forthcoming.
The Orioles are back in action to continue their series against the Astros at 8:10 Eastern tonight. Mike Wright Jr. and Justin Verlander are the scheduled starters. On paper, that’s not fair at all.
Around the blogO’sphere
Orioles manager Buck Showalter knows short starts need to stop with inflexible roster (Baltimore Sun)
The Orioles are towards the beginning of a stretch of twelve games in twelve days. It’s not an ideal time for the starting rotation to stink a whole lot. That is, however, exactly what’s happening.
Cobb to make at least one more tune-up in Florida (Orioles.com)
The saga of Alex Cobb and what balls he’s allowed to pitch with took another swerve as it turns out he will not be allowed to pitch with MLB balls in Bowie after all. So it’s back to Sarasota for him, but he might join the team on April 9.
Orioles acquire left-hander Luis Ysla from Dodgers (School of Roch)
The Orioles made two small trades of recently-DFA’d players on Monday, sending Stefan Crichton to the Diamondbacks for a PTBNL or cash, and Jesus Liranzo to the Dodgers for Luis Ysla. As far as I can tell, Ysla is the same type of pitcher as Liranzo, in that he strikes out some guys but walks a ton of guys, except Ysla is older, left-handed, and not on the 40-man roster.
Offseason in review: Baltimore Orioles (MLBTR)
I’m always interested when a neutral party takes a look at what the Orioles have done.
Chris Davis looks different (Camden Depot)
Jon Shepherd thinks that the Chris Davis leadoff experiment is worth giving at least a month, as he likes what he sees in the peripherals.
After cheating death, former Orioles player, Astros coach Rich Dauer has emotional return to field (Baltimore Sun)
When you follow the wins and losses every day, it’s easy to lose sight of the human stuff like this. Glad that Rich Dauer is doing better.
Birthdays and anniversaries
In 2011, Zach Britton made his MLB debut against the Rays. Still a starting pitcher then, he gave up just one run in six innings.
One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: 2009-11 pitcher Koji Uehara, maybe my favorite pitcher from the later dark years of the franchise. He turns 43 years old today.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: short story writer Washington Irving (1783), actor Marlon Brando (1924), actor Alec Baldwin (1958), actor/comedian Eddie Murphy (1961), Iron Chef Cat Cora (1967), actress Cobie Smulders (1982), and actress Rachel Bloom (1987).
On this day in history...
In 1882, Jesse James was killed by Robert Ford - a coward, if the movie title inspired by this event in the Old West is to be believed.
In 1948, President Truman signed the Marshall Plan, which provided for $5 billion of aid to 16 countries looking to rebuild after World War II.
In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in Memphis, Tennessee. The speech, centering around a sanitation workers strike in that city, would be his last before his assassination the next day.
In 1996, the Unabomber was captured in his cabin in Montana.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 3 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Astros. Have a safe Tuesday, and go Orioles!