The Baltimore Orioles may be the professional team from the state of Maryland, but they are certainly not a team when on the baseball diamond.
With a second loss to the Houston Astros in the second game of the four-game series, the Orioles drop to 26-27. They are four-and-a-half games behind the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays, and two games behind the New York Yankees.
The Orioles hold a slim one-and-a-half game lead over the heating-up Boston Red Sox.
Miguel Gonzalez pitched a fantastic game taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning. However, the offense was only able to put up one run.
After scoring once in the second inning, the Orioles did not get a hit until the fourth inning. Nelson Cruz led off the inning with a single.
Adam Jones who is hitting .288 with 10 doubles, six home runs, and 29 RBIs. He popped up in foul territory.
Chris Davis hit into a double play to end the inning. Three of the Orioles’ best hitters cannot connect hits together to bring in a single insurance run to support their pitcher.
In the seventh inning when Davis reached base by a fluke in center field, the Orioles could not use the second chance to get a run, let alone another hit.
The Orioles are not playing as a team, but seem like nine individual players. Some might even feel they are playing for the name on the back of the jersey, not the name on the front.
They have one of the top offenses in the league, but cannot play with their pitchers. The Orioles could have the best offense in MLB history, but if they cannot play in sync with their pitchers, there will be nothing but losses stacking up.
The Orioles’ batting average is more than 10 points higher when they are behind by more than four runs compared to when trying to come back in games with a four or less run deficit.
When the pitching keeps the Orioles within reach, the offense fails to contribute. The Orioles are scoring runs when the game is already out of reach, but not when it is in reach.
With two outs and runners in scoring position, the Orioles are batting less than .250. The players cannot connect hits, and have not done so when they have needed to.
The pitching cannot play with the offense either. When the offense puts up six or more runs, the Orioles’ team ERA is above seven.
The more runs the Orioles score, the more runs the pitching allows. However, this is a number that does not stand out, because the Orioles offense has overcome the poor pitching to win the games.
They never seem to be on the same page. One game has great pitching, but no offense. Another game has a lot of offense, but no pitching. A game may have some offense, but it is only coming from one player.
Or, a game will have good starting pitching, but the bullpen falters to give up the lead. Or the starter is bad, but the bullpen is good.
There is no continuity with this Baltimore team.
The Orioles’ players are too comfortable in my opinion. Buck Showalter needs to shake things up. He needs to mix the lineup around to change the mindsets of the players. Clearly, with the way it is set up now, the Orioles are not hitting as a team, but as individuals.