Baltimore Orioles Facing Critical West Coast Trip


Jul 20, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph (36) tags out Oakland Athletics catcher John Jaso (5) during the sixth inning at Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Baltimore Orioles 10-2. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

There is not much good to talk about concerning the Baltimore Orioles and their 6-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers. They only managed four base hits, including a Chris Davis solo home run. The O’s were 0-for-2 in RISP situations, while the Tigers were 4-for-8.

On the other hand, new pitcher Jorge Rondon pitched 3.1 scoreless innings and gave up only three hits. This dropped his ERA from 90.0 to 20.77.  How many pitchers in the history of baseball can say that they dropped their ERA by 69.23 points in one outing?

Also on the other hand is that the homestand ended at 5-2. It the Birds can win five out of every seven remaining games, they’ll likely be in the playoffs.

But now there is this other annoying fact: The Orioles are headed out west for nine games – three each against the A’s, Angels, and Mariners over a 10-day period.

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West Coast trips have often been the demise of the Orioles. In 2009 their record was 4-9; 2010 was 6-10; 2011 was 2-10.  In the great 2012 season, they were 8-8 out west in a year with a very strange travel schedule. (Man, looking up those records reminded me out how bad the Orioles were and how much improved they have been!)

In 2013, Baltimore was 7-4 on the Western swing which was finished in May of that year. However, later in the season they had to do a second trip that took them to play the National League Western Division teams. That trip finished with three consecutive walk-off losses in Arizona that pretty much put the screws to any playoff aspirations.

However, the 2014 trip to California and Washington was a great event for the Orioles. It happened immediately after the All-Star break and the O’s played very good baseball, going 6-4. The trip set the tone for the rest of the second half of the season.

The Orioles need another trip like that, starting tonight in Oakland.

The A’s have not been playing well. They will be returning home from splitting a four-game series with the Indians. Overall, Oakland is 47-59. They are 3-7 over the past 10 games and 8-12 over the last 20.

Oakland is #9 in batting average in the American League, although it is only three points behind the #6 Orioles. They are 10th in runs scored, whereas the Orioles are also #6 in this category. The Birds are fourth in home runs, while the A’s rank 11th. Of course, Oakland plays in the absolute worst venue in all of baseball – a depressing place to even watch a televised game.

Oakland does, however, have the best team ERA in the league at 3.43 — better than the Orioles’ 3.73 … though again, this too can be attributable to the enormous field upon which they attempt to play baseball.

The Orioles simply cannot afford to have a dreadful road trip, not when they are seven games behind with 58 to play.

Next: Ranking the top 7 Orioles for the month of July

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