Baltimore Orioles: Month of May Ends on Sour Note


The Baltimore Orioles’ pitching had a team ERA of 3.94 in the month of May, but the offense failed to support their efforts. Chris Tillman (30) gave up six runs in the O’s final game of the month. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles’ offensive struggles continued early on in their 9-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday afternoon. However, they did end the game with four home runs.

Delmon Young began the game 2-for-2 with a home run against the Rays’ starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. He seemed to give fans a sign of hope by hitting a solo home run in the first inning, but even with a second home run in the third inning, the offense did not rally behind him.

One or two players cannot bring the offense out of a rut, but a series of connecting hits can bring some life to the batters. They started to do that in the late innings, but the pitching allowed add-on runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

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Manny Machado showed some life with two home runs, but by the time he hit his first, the Birds were down by five runs already. The problem the Orioles have is being able to combine good hitting with good pitching.

The O’s reached the magic number of four runs, which is when most MLB teams win a game. However, Chris Tillman could not hold down the Rays’ offense. Baltimore cannot put the offense and defense on the same page, let alone the same game.

Saturday’s game allowed only three runs, but the offense didn’t show up. They will always have dry periods of no offense or poor pitching, but what makes them a formidable opponent is being able to work as a team when one aspect shows up. When the pitching does well, the offense needs to be able to help.

The Orioles were second between both leagues in team batting average in April, but were near the bottom in team ERA. They finished with a 10-10 record averaging 5.6 runs per game, while allowing 5.2 runs per game.

Even though the pitching gave up more than five runs per game, the offense outscored opponents 112-104. However, the numbers are distorted by an 18-7 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Without that game, opponents outscored the Orioles 94-97, while the O’s scored only 4.7 runs a game.

When only one part of the team does well, the result is a .500 or below team.

Even when clearing the numbers up, the Birds’ offense scored on average the magic number of four, despite the pitching giving up near the same amount. This reason is why the month was finished at .500. When only one part of the team does well, the result is a .500 or below team.

At the end of May, the O’s finished with a record of 13-16. And as I said, if only one part of the team is working, the result is a .500 or below team. The Orioles’ pitching held an ERA of 3.38, but the offense averaged 3.2 runs per game.

The Birds were outscored 104-95 in the month. The pitching improved from April, but the offense disappeared leaving the pitchers to try to win games on their own.

The O’s held opponents below four runs 13 times in May, but only won seven of those games. The Orioles were also shutout three times during the month for a total of four on the season.

The month of April showed the pitching to be absent, and May brought a lack of hitting. If I spot a trend, the offense and pitching could be on track to be on the same page in June.

Chris Davis has shown some life with his bat of recent, and Machado could finally be coming out of his slump. With Matt Wieters returning on Friday, if he can start on the right offensive foot, he could help jolt the offense.

The one thing the Orioles can hold onto is that the rest of the American League East is not doing any better. The Toronto Blue Jays are the only team with an even record in their last 10 games, and they are six games below .500.

The Rays and New York Yankees are the only teams above .500, and they are only above by one game. The Birds’ poor performance may be nerve racking for fans, but the AL East is far from won.

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