Baltimore Orioles: What Goes Around, Comes Around


Sep 11, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold (14) hits a grand slam in the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

After the Baltimore Orioles scored 14 runs against the Royals on Friday night, KC came right back and did the same to the O’s on Saturday, 14-6. At least they didn’t hit two grand slams in the same inning, although Mike Moustakas did hit a slam in the 7th and a three-run shot in the 9th, while getting nine RBIs in one game! In 27 previous career games against the Birds, he had a total of 16 runs batted in.

Not wanting to be outdone by the Royals’ bullpen who gave up a dozen runs on Friday, the O’s pen allowed a total of 10. In postgame remarks, Showalter said, “Very similar to what we did to them last night.”  Ya think so?

Brian Matusz took the loss, as in no part of an inning he allowed two Tillman inherited runners to score before having the same happen to him. That was where the stop needed to be made.

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I for one am ready to see the Brian Matusz era in Baltimore end. His actual numbers always look better on paper than the performance on the field looks to the eye. There is fear in the eyes … an expectation it appears of pending doom. There is not much in the way of clutch performance. He’s not a guy for the foxhole. Perhaps a new start somewhere else will do him good … you know, like with the Cubs or something like that, where he can maybe become a Cy Young candidate in the National League.

Of course, that last statement is in reference to Jake Arrieta who is now 19-6 on the season. His last 16 games (since June 21) have been quality starts, and in those games he has an ERA of 1.00 — yep, exactly—13 runs in 117 innings. That is impressive. It just wasn’t going to happen in Baltimore. He had every chance to do it here. He needed a new start, and I suspect Matusz is the same. 

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On the positive side, at least the Orioles are hitting again (but also striking out a lot — 10 times). It was good to see Adam Jones connect for a three-run shot to give the Birds a 4-1 lead at the time.

Also hitting well in recent games is Nolan Reimold, who hit another homer in this game while also singling. Over the past six games since his recall, he is hitting .333 on 7-for-21 with five walks and a hit-by-pitch. That’s an OBP of .481.

Reimold can be an effective leadoff hitter, even without the base-stealing threat. He does have good speed. But at the plate he works pitchers and gets a lot of walks, so he is on base more often than his average would suggest. He has fairly even splits left and right. But the key to him having success is that he needs to be run out there with some regularity. He is not a player who can perform well in a platooning situation.

As we near the end of this disappointing season, a postmortem is going to include this idea of shuffling players and the ways that it has hurt performance. Yes, it starts with underperformance, beginning with the corner outfielders—most of whom are gone from the O’s now. But it has not helped players like Kevin Gausman, for example.

It will be good to have a reset with a new crop of players to build around, along with those being retained or re-signed. I’m already looking forward to it.

Next: Orioles show some emotions