Baltimore Orioles: The Difficult Task of Winning Baseball Games


Aug 27, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) runs into the fence going for a fly ball to left-center in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It has become very difficult for the Baltimore Orioles to win baseball games lately, as they dropped the final get-away game to the Kansas City Royals on Thursday afternoon, 5-3.

It is difficult to win when you only have three hits through the first eight innings.

It is difficult to win when your all-star center fielder is knocked out of the game early when running into the outfield wall.

It is difficult to win when you strike out 11 times in six innings against the opposition starter and a total of 14 times in the game. That is more than half of the outs.

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It is difficult to win when your top power-hitting, offensive threat is Ryan Flaherty. Prior to two runs in the ninth inning, his homer was the only offense put up by the Birds.

It is difficult to win when your starting pitcher has little fastball movement and even less command.

It is difficult to win when you are playing against the Kansas City Royals. This is simply a very good, well-rounded baseball team. There is a reason they have the best record in the American League. They are good.

It is difficult to win when your fourth, fifth and sixth hitters are a combined 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts. This includes three strikeouts by Matt Wieters, leaving five runners on base.

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It is certainly time to give up on Matt Wieters as a designated hitter. He is now 7-for-41 on the season as a DH (.171) with 17 strikeouts. And it is not like it has ever really worked out. In his whole career as a DH he is but .203, whereas his overall average is .258.  Some people just don’t work out as designated hitters and can’t seem to be engaged in the game in the same way when not also in the field.

Looking for a couple of positive notes: Paul Janish really is as good at shortstop as was previously advertised. He added another three superlative plays defensively along with two hits. And the Orioles did not just die, but did come back with a couple of runs in the ninth inning — a pattern that has been a good one for the Birds in recent years.

So the hole remains a deep one. We can look forward to rosters expanding, and perhaps these additional tools will help the O’s eek out enough wins to get a final playoff spot.

Next: Five Homers are Enough to Win