The Baltimore Orioles dropped a Sunday game to the Oakland A’s 10-2, losing the weekend series 2-1 and the season series 4-2. They also lost a game in the standings to everyone else in the AL East. Over the weekend, the AL East was 12-3, with the other four teams 11-1. The O’s now head south to Los Angeles to play another team almost as good as the A’s.
Is it time to panic?
No, not yet. The Orioles still maintain a three-game lead over the Jays and Yankees. But at the end of the day (and hopefully at the end of the regular season), this Orioles lineup is as good as any in the AL East. And even without pitching staff modifications, this staff can compete in this injury-riddled division. I know there are alternate opinions out there – beliefs that the O’s and Dan Duquette need to make a dramatic move to compete and win.
Regarding the weekend series with the A’s: This is a good team. I really can say I enjoyed watching these games and this Oakland team. They make the most of opportunities. And honestly, the Orioles should have come out of the weekend with a 2-1 record. And though the A’s have twice blown out the Orioles this year, just a couple differences in the other two losses would have and should have made them Baltimore wins.
The Oakland A’s are not categorically better than the Orioles. However, they sure looked like they are on Sunday. The yellow and green guys hit anything thrown over the heart of the plate—tallying 15 hits to the Orioles’ three and taking the game 10-2.
I don’t want to write about it in any detail, and you probably don’t want to read any more about Sunday’s game. In summary, Kevin Gausman was not sharp, and he did not get away with any mistakes at all. His opponent Sonny Gray had excellent stuff—as he has had in recent outings, hence having now an 11-3 record—and there was little the Orioles could do to get to him. It was a great day for the Oakland A’s, but again, it only counts as one win.
There is little relief going down the coast to open a three-game set with the Angels. The Angels’ 34-16 record at home is the best in MLB. Los Angeles won two-of-three over the Mariners this past weekend, and they have won 12 of their last 14 games. You know the old saying, “It’s not just who you play, but when you play them?” Yep. The Yankees are 4-2 against the Angels, while the Jays are 4-3. Most of those games were played when the Angels were struggling to break above .500 earlier in the season. If it weren’t for bad luck, the Orioles would have no luck at all.
Bud Norris will make the start for the Orioles, as he continues to look to come back from his time on the DL. He is currently 7-6 with a 3.96 ERA.
Of the big guns of the Angels against Norris: Albert Pujols is 7-for-36 with 3 doubles (.194), Mike Trout is 5-for-12 with 3 doubles, David Freese is 7-for-18 with 2 doubles, and Josh Hamilton is 4-for-12 with a double and homer.
The Orioles will be facing yet another good rookie pitcher in Matt Shoemaker who is 7-2 with a 4.38 ERA. Though he is a rookie, he is approaching age 28. Game time is 10:05.