Baltimore Orioles: When good enough is enough


Apr 20, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan (10) safely slides into home plate before the tag of Baltimore Orioles catcher Ryan Larvanway (34) during the sixth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

It has to feel good for the Baltimore Orioles to be flying out of Boston, even if they are doing so after a 7-1 rain-shortened loss to the Red Sox. April baseball at Fenway can be a bit of a difficult weather experience, and it was indeed that over the past three days. I have loved visiting Boston several times in my life in the summer months, but for the life of me I can’t understand why anyone would actually want to live there year-round.

So the Orioles leave town with a series split, 2-2. To that I say, “Good enough.” The Red Sox are an improved team over 2014 … not exactly outright scary however. But they were averaging 6.2 runs a game coming into the series, and the Orioles held them to seven runs in the first game, while the first five Boston runs on Monday were unearned.

Beyond this, again, it is the early season with the crappy weather. This affects the pitchers and their grip and feel for the baseball.

So, four Boston games are complete. Prior to Monday, the Orioles had outscored the Sox 46-24 in the last eight games at Fenway, winning seven of them. Losing a crappy game on a crappy day at a crappy time of the day is no big deal. Move on; they will. The O’s are good at that. Maybe they’ll get some better umpires at the next stop.

Actually, the rains helped the Orioles. It was unlikely the Birds were going to come back from a 7-1 deficit after 6 innings, so the rains kept the bullpen from having to cover a couple of more innings in a probable losing cause.

Just move on. Probably only Ryan Flaherty is sad to leave Boston. He did it again – knocked in the lone Orioles run with a double off the Green Monster. And he was 2-for-3 on the day – that is half of the O’s hits. This raises his Fenway average to .400 on 24-for-60 in his career; and his season average is now .333.  I’ll believe he’s a new guy when he does the same at the Rogers Center in Toronto, where he is a career 6-for-36. Just writing that and publishing it for the world to see does significantly raise the chances it could happen … just sayin’ … always contributing to the O’s cause. You’re welcome!

So, yes, on to Toronto and the friends there. The Orioles were 11-8 against the Jays last year, 5-4 in Toronto and 6-4 in Baltimore. They outscored the Jays 74-70.

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Toronto was off on Monday, having most recently lost to the Braves 5-2 on Sunday. They are a game behind the O’s along with the Yankees and Rays, while Boston leads the AL East a game ahead of the Orioles.

Mark Buehrle will be starting for the Blue Jays. The 36-year-old lefty with 201 career wins has been fairly well-handled by the Orioles. He is only 9-10 over the years with a 3.54 ERA.

Perhaps Adam Jones can continue his hot-hitting ways. He is hitting .412 on 14-for-34 with three doubles and a pair of home runs. Of course he loves hitting lefties and is 6-for-8 so far this year. 

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Also guaranteed to be in the lineup against Buehrle is Delmon Young, who has faced the lefty more than any other pitcher over his entire career. He has more hits against him than anyone else. Young has come to the plate 56 times, and is 21-for-53 (.396) with four home runs.

The Orioles will be throwing Bud Norris, hoping to see him make a definitive step forward from what has so far been a very difficult year. Probably the key to the game is how well Norris will perform.

Next: Flaherty loves hitting in Boston