The left-field Davis of the Brewers went 7-for-11 with three homers and five RBIs in the series. The first-base Davis of the Orioles was 0-for-8 with five strikeouts, but he did walk once.
No, I’m not suggesting that Khris Davis of the Brewers is a better ballplayer than Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles, but it is just one more of those upside-down statistical anomalies that have plagued the Birds this year and made the entire season simply weird.
The final game of the Brewers series, an 8-3 loss, does not give a great deal of encouragement to O’s fans, who might have hoped for a better series outcome after the great opening win on Monday. Starters struggle each day, and though hits accumulate, the O’s so often can’t seem to string them together and break through. The bullpen has been generally good, but it too finally cracked last night in the final innings.
Bright spots include the incredible power surge of Nelson Cruz, whose two homers accounted for most of the Orioles scoring on Wednesday. He now has 19 on the season—many of them to right-center field. And J.J. Hardy was 5-for-12 over the series and is 18-for-40 over the past 10 games. He is now batting .303.
The best thing that could happen right now is if the schedule would allow the Baltimore Orioles to play the worst team in the league. Well, what do you know? It does! The Birds begin a four-game set with the Houston Astros.
But even here there is no really good news. The Astros have won their past five games, and we saw from their recent time in Baltimore that they are far from doormats. In fact, the Astros are only a game away from getting out of the American League basement. And who is right above them? The Tampa Bay Rays! This is what I mean by an upside-down season.
And have you seen the standings lately in the AL East? The Orioles are now 4.5 games behind the Blue Jays, who have won nine consecutive games. This is why baseball is a sport that requires a season of 162 games to sort out who really is the best.
Ubaldo Jimenez will take his 2-6, 4.98 ERA to the hill in Houston to once again see if he can find a groove. After three great starts in May, his past two games have seen 10 runs scored on him in only nine innings of work. He did not pitch against the Astros when they were recently in town.
Facing the Orioles will be Brad Peacock with a 1-4 record and 5.20 ERA. Peacock is yet to ever strut his stuff against an Orioles team. His stats have a very similar look as Ubaldo’s – only one hit per inning over 45 thrown, but with 30 walks and a high number of strikeouts at 44. So… lots of pitches being tossed by both hurlers—this could be a long and slow-developing game.