Baltimore Orioles: Playing at HOME at Tropicana Field


Apr 6, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman (30) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The nightmare of a week continues for the Baltimore Orioles. Not only did they lose two games to postponement because of the unrest – games that will be played later in May – they also have to go to be the HOME team at Tropicana Field. That is quite a demotion from the awesomeness of Camden Yards to the hollowness of The Trop.

But as Buck always says, you have to meet the challenges that come your way and grind through them, nobody is going to feel sorry for you. Well, I feel sorry for them.

In any event, the O’s will be the home team wearing the home whites and sending Chris Tillman to the mound. Tillman has not had the seasonal start he would desire, but you have to know that he is going to get it together, and now would be the time to do it. He comes in with a 7.58 ERA so far, but his career numbers against the Rays are 3.57. As well, Tillman handled the Rays well in the first game of the season, going 6.2 innings with one run on four hits and three walks.

Facing the Birds will be Alex Colome making his first appearance in 2015. The young Dominican had visa issues this spring, while also contracting pneumonia. He has only thrown 23.2 career innings in the big leagues, but he has a victory over the Orioles last June 27th in beating Kevin Gausman.

The Orioles are 10-10 coming into the game and series, trailing the AL East-leading Yankees by two games. New York is 13-9, Boston and Tampa Bay are 12-10, with the Jays at 11-12.

like a stink bug floating in the toilet bowl, the Yankees refuse to die.

How are the Yankees doing this?

It is as annoying as it is surprising that the New York Yankees are winning and leading the AL East. Writers and analysts have been predicting their demise for that last several years. But like a stink bug floating in the toilet bowl (how’s that for a word picture?) the Yankees refuse to die.

So how are the Yankees winning? It is not with starting pitching, as they have not been dominant at all. Masahiro Tanaka is now on the DL, and CC Sabathia has been particularly poor.

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The bullpen has been as great as it was expected to be, with Dellen Betances and Andrew Miller both unscored-upon over a total of 23.2 innings. Miller has eight saves.

What has really helped the Yankees is better offence than might be expected. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner are setting the table, each with a .406 OBP and batting averages over .300.  Chris Young is hitting .305, though his career average is only .235.  And while a number of the Yanks are really scuffling at the plate (Beltran – .162, Drew – .177, Gregorius – .206, Headley – .232), the duo of Alex Rodriquez and Mark Teixeira are hitting homers and driving in runs. A-Rod has five homers and Teixeira has eight with 18 RBIs. The latter is only hitting .216, but 13 of his 16 hits have been for extra bases.

All of this cannot continue as it is (except for the relief, which could be the best in baseball). There is no way the Yankees are going to hit and score at this clip long-term.

For the Orioles, they do have to grind it out. One thing for sure is that there will be more fans in attendance in St. Pete than their most recent game … maybe not many more, but just a few. And the O’s fans at The Trop might just outnumber the Rays fans. Makes sense.

Next: Orioles win a quiet and fast game