Baltimore Orioles: Six Homers Renew Hopes


The Baltimore Orioles tallied six home runs among 18 hits in a Thursday evening 13-5 rout of the Houston Astros, relieving fears of an interminable team offensive slump.

Actual relief will come to the fanbase when the Orioles sustain some consistent hitting and winning over a period of games. That has not happened in quite a while. In the past 24 days, they have only once won three consecutive games and only one other time won two in a row.

So it is actually not terribly awful that the Orioles have been able to go 8-8 so far in August. But the splits between the games won and games lost are totally amazing, illustrating the hot and cold nature of this team.

In the eight wins, the Orioles have scored 60 runs, batting .330 with 23 homers. In the eight losses, they have scored 14 runs, batting .183 with 6 homers. Obviously, any team is going to have better numbers in wins than losses, but this disparity is shocking.

Equally shocking, and showing the offensive problems the Orioles have faced in their 16-17 record in the second half, are these numbers ranking the O’s in the American League:

The O’s offense has been among the AL’s worst in the second half. Where the club ranks:

* Tied for 14th in runs with 111

* Last in batting average at .229

* Last in OBP at .286

* 14th in slugging at .379

* 14th in OPS at .666

This is lifted from MASN writer Steve Melewski’s blog yesterday (and would not include the blowout win from last night. Those are dreadful numbers and difficult to absorb. And Melewski so often laments the fanbase’s concerns about the Orioles as overblown. There is no hiding those stats and no way to make them look pretty.

But, here I am appearing to snatch defeat from the jaws of a 13-5 victory. Hey, it was a great game to watch as an O’s fan. What a tremendous difference it makes to see the Orioles get some early runs and then add to them. It totally changes the approach the pitcher takes in a game. It gives confidence to pound the strike zone, a pattern that usually wins in the long run but is difficult to do when as a pitcher you think you need to be perfect.

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The best part of the 13 runs on 18 hits with six homers (total production essentially equal to the entire eight games lost in August) was that Chris Davis hit two home runs. Just a couple of days ago here on The Baltimore Wire we wrote that seeing Davis get hot could be the very best factor in taking the Orioles toward an AL East title.

So, let’s revel in the win while we can. And let’s hope it can happen again. And let’s keep Hyun Soo Kim in the lineup … the guy can hit!  He does not qualify for league standings, but his .329 is actually the second-highest number for players with over 225 plate appearances (second to the Astros’ Jose Altuve).