Baltimore Orioles: Another Day, Another Close Loss


May 8, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) hits the fence going after a ball hit by New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (not pictured) in the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another one-run loss by the Baltimore Orioles … another Yankees win … another pair of shutdown innings by Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller … another day of missed opportunities … another couple of hard-hit balls right at defenders … another day of the starter not holding down the opposition enough to keep the hole from being too large.

Adam Jones had some good, and I believe largely accurate summaries of the situation …

"“When you lose by one, that means there’s one or two things in the game that can go either way. We’re close. We’re right there. We’re hitting balls hard. We’re having good at bats. We’re just not scoring that many runs right now, which is fine. It’s going to happen. Keep swinging the bat, keeping bringing that attitude, keep bringing that fire.”"

For the Baltimore Orioles it was also another day of injuries and roster moves. This time it is Kevin Gausman with shoulder tendinitis. It does not sound terribly serious, but it is neither something we want to be hearing. One has to wonder (and not just with Gausman) if the disrupted schedule has had something to do with this. I think the time is past for fooling with him as a reliever. Bring him back as a starter – through Norfolk, then eventually back to the Birds. I’ll bet anything there will be an opening when the time is right.

Rey Navarro was also sent out to make room for Ryan Flaherty to come back, though talk after the game was that Flaredog did not seem to running well. Maybe more on that later?  And maybe an update on Adam Jones having some pains from crashing into the wall? An injury there would be devastating.

It is interesting how, every year, at the beginning of the season the roster seems largely set; and it is difficult to imagine how even a handful of others will eventually see time with the O’s, let alone something like 45 players. But then it begins to happen.

Here we are 27 games into the season and the Orioles have already used 16 position players and 14 pitchers. There will be more; many more.

Chris Davis is on pace for 270 strikeouts this season

There are quite a few items that could be repeated from yesterday’s summary article on the first game of this Yankees series. Among those items would be to again state that the Orioles simply cannot tolerate an 0-for-whatever bat in the middle of the order, especially one that is striking out at a truly startling rate.

The Orioles are now 12-15 over the 27 games played so far this year. This represents perfectly one-sixth of the season. Chris Davis leads all of MLB with a total of 45 strikeouts. This is a pace to finish with 270 for the season. To put this into perspective, here are the MLB (not just AL) strikeout leaders over the past decade …

2014 – Ryan Howard – Philadelphia – 190

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2013 – Chris Carter – Houston – 212

2012 – Adam Dunn – Chicago WS – 222

2011 – Drew Stubbs – Cincinnati – 205

2010 – Mark Reynolds – Arizona – 211

2009 – Mark Reynolds – Arizona – 223

2008 – Mark Reynolds – Arizona – 204

2007 – Ryan Howard – Philadelphia – 199

2006 – Adam Dunn – Cincinnati – 194

2005 – Adam Dunn – Cincinnati – 168

A player has to hit a tremendous number of home runs to make up for 270 strikeouts. And I am not sure that even 36 (six in the first sixth of the season) is enough to say it is worth it – not in the middle of the order. I think Davis needs to be dropped to the seventh or eighth hole.

With afternoon games today and tomorrow, the Orioles will look to Wei-Yin Chen and Bud Norris to keep the O’s in these contests long enough to allow the offense to win it.

Next: The common way the Orioles lose a baseball game

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