Another One Bites the Dust…

Well, the final score was Mariners 3, Orioles 1.  That describes this game way too well.

Tonight’s game started out on a high offensive note.  Wigginton, the silver slugger for the team as of recent, walked in the 2 slot in the top of the 1st.  Then Reimold came up and hit a deep double to left center, scoring Wiggy all the way from 1st.

By the way, that paragraph is also the summary of the Orioles total offensive production all game.  6 of our 9 guys in the lineup went hitless.  Yea, Wieters had two hits.  Whoopee.  I would love to write a nice big entry about how good our hitting has been.  But that entry would only consist of Wieters, Wigginton, and Pie.

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Pie is on the DL, Wieters has been solid, and Wigginton is on a hot streak.  That’s all nice.  But until the team actually plays as a team, there’s no need to make those 3 sound all that great.  Nothing against them, but you’re only as good as you’re worst player.

I am not bring a number up here.  Just situational stuff.  This will show you, without any numbers, how we have been so practically useless in clutch hitting situations.  Of course, the two scenarios I want to bring up revolve around a hit by Wieters and then a hit by Wigginton.

Top 2nd (from Yahoo!):

- M. Wieters doubled to shallow left
– G. Atkins flied out to center
– J. Lugo grounded out to shortstop
– C. Izturis grounded out to third

Top 6th (also from Yahoo!):

- T. Wigginton doubled to left
– N. Markakis flied out to shallow center
– N. Reimold popped out to left center
– L. Scott struck out swinging

What the hell is wrong here?!  Leadoff doubles in both situations and we can’t score them, let alone advance them at least to 3rd!?  This is pathetic.  Worst part of it was that the batter in each instance after the hit popped out.  Is the hit-and-run no longer an available option in Trembley’s mind?  Maybe it was Samuel/Shelby who made the calls, or maybe the guys muffed their at bats.  It really doesn’t matter.  These things just need to happen.  This is fundamental baseball, nothing more than that.  If that is too much for these guys to process, then maybe the current Tides roster should just be brought up.  At least down there they learn how to play baseball, not crapball.

Baserunning is to Julio Lugo as:
a) Paying taxes is to all Americans
b) Retaining Cy Young pitchers is to the Indians
c) Keeping a fan base is to the Orioles
d) All of the above

The correct answer is D.  These are all things that the referred to population just does not want to do.  And running down to 1st on a ground ball hit was not something on Lugo’s agenda tonight.  We twice saw Lugo jogging down the base paths.    If Trembley wants to prove that he is for real here, this was his opportunity to step in and say “Hey, Julio, I got this young guy Turner here who would love to play, so if you aren’t going to put any effort in, then hit the showers.”  We can tell that the Orioles are not a contender at this point, so the least we can do is show discipline as a team in the overall want to move forward as an organization.

On a side note about baserunning, it is now 11 games in a row that the Orioles have not stolen a base.  There are 2 sides to that.  It could be that we just never have people on in order to steal.  It could also be that when guys get on, we want to keep them on and not risk them as baserunners.  Either way, we know we are capable of stealing bases as a team, so I just am not sure where the signals are being held back from sending some runners.

Now, I will totally flip my attitude around.  How that will happen?  Just gotta bring up the subject of pitching.

David Hernandez pitched what could be considered a gem.  Aside from his sub-par 1st inning (2 H 2 ER 2 BB), he was spectacular.  He showed poise throughout the 6.1 innings he pitched.  If it weren’t for his 100+ pitch count due to facing 7 batters in the 1st, he could have kept going.  He had control and zip on his fastball, and was putting the breaking balls in the mix where need be.  Ohman came in for 0.2 IP with 1 K 0 H.  Albers pitched the 8th and let up 1 H 0 ER.  The Orioles could not ask for anything better out of their pitching.  Hernandez let up the 2 runs in the 1st, then the 3rd run in the 7th.  He would not have come out most likely for the 7th inning if the team had the lead, but since Trembley made the call to see if he could do one more to give the lineup an extra chance to earn him the win, he allowed back-to-back doubles, then being replaced by Ohman.

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Two straight games of 100% perfect outings by the O’s pen.  Never thought I would say that.  The scariest bullpen piece tonight was that Griffey Jr. stepped up to face Albers, and I see the stat that in his career, Griffey is 2/3 off Albers with 2 HRs.  Well, Griffey sure did rip a line drive deep, but it ricocheted off the wall in right and Markakis did a great job in getting the ball in to hold Griffey to a single.  That would end up being the only hit off of the bullpen for the night.

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Every single guy in the lineup tonight needs to stop by Hernandez’ locker over the next day or two and apologize to him.  He has every right to be upset and mad.  He may not show it, and if he truly isn’t then he is a saint, but his composure through tonight was incredible.  If I were him, I would be in that dugout getting on everybody’s nerves about their lack of ability out there.  Maybe that is why they are there and I am here…

My thought: Hit the damn ball.  There are so many different side notes and commentaries people could provide on the situation of the team, but it is becoming so invaluable to continue to discuss things like that when the fundamentals aren’t working out in the first place.  Once I see another game like Sunday’s, then maybe it will be a time to start noting things to do.  The only issues I am seeing right now are hitting overall and a few fielding issues with Jones and Izturis.  I will be writing about those in an article later today.

Hopefully Tejada comes back tomorrow and sparks the team enough to pull off a win and avoid another road series sweep.

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