The Baltimore Orioles are NOT Aesthetically Pleasing


May 21, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles second baseman Steve Pearce (28) reacts after hitting a grand slam in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of a very long, wet, cold and difficult day for the Baltimore Orioles, Buck Showalter summed it up by saying, “It may not look aesthetically pleasing, but you end up with a W.”  The win was a 5-4 victory over the Mariners that was salvaged from what Adam Jones would surely describe as a “grinding” day.

As an eyewitness on the scene Thursday, the non-aesthetic part of it was certainly true. Everything about the play of the Orioles looked to be off and out of sync. It was all rough, just terribly laborious.

Beyond that, it was a rough day to be a fan as well. Five hours and forty-seven minutes after it started, it was finally over, including a 2:17 rain delay. But even without the delay, the game was a 3.5-hour affair!  And it felt like it, soggy clothes and shivering temperatures included.

Baltimore Orioles pitchers threw a total of 196 pitches! Yes, in only nine innings. The Seattle pitchers looked almost efficient by comparison, throwing a “mere” 159 pitches in eight innings.

Really, when you consider the varied game statistics, it is pretty amazing that the O’s were able to come away with a win. The Orioles only had six hits – three of them in the first inning that included a Steve Pearce grand slam. Seattle compiled 10 hits, along with seven walks. But the Mariners were only 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position, leaving a total of 13 on base for the game.

Orioles pitchers only had two clean 1-2-3 innings – the first inning with Chris Tillman throwing nine pitches, and the ninth where Zach Britton was the only truly dominant-looking hurler of the entire day with two strikeouts and an 11-pitch inning. Baltimore pitchers averaged over 25 pitches per inning in the other seven frames! Brutal, though they kept the damage to a minimum.

Eventually the winning run would be produced by a critical single into center field by J.J. Hardy that scored Chris Davis – who had earlier singled on a hard grounder that many fielders would have turned into an out. Davis took second base on a 10-foot bouncer to the pitcher by Pearce. Scoring that tie-breaking run in the bottom of the eighth, it was a great relief for players and fans alike, who together feared an extra-innings marathon of epic proportions.

So it goes down as a win. Take it. Even if, quite honestly, the Mariners do not look like a very good team at all beyond Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz.

But also again, the Orioles don’t look good either … gotta say! Seeing it in person today was disconcerting. Delmon Young made a stupid throw on a none-out, first-and-third situation on a sac fly hit to him in right field. He threw on a line to the plate rather than to second base. The trail runner moved up a base, taking away the double play and putting him in scoring position. The Orioles got away with that one.

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But throughout the game, players are in wrong positions for cut-offs, or are sluggardly in getting to where they need to be for back-ups, etc.  It looks sloppy and amateurish … not “The Oriole Way.” Maybe it was just the mood and personality of this game that matched the odd nature of the weather and personality of the day.

It was indeed NOT aesthetically pleasing. True statement.

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