Run, Nolan, Run!
The Baltimore Orioles have the biggest list of problems that they have seen in years at the plate. Yes, I just said that. I’m not surprised by that statement because of its intention, but because of the ending. Within the last 10 years of Orioles baseball, the key issue has always been pitching. For once, the starting pitching (minus Bergesen) has been more than solid than ever. Our overall pitching staff is currently in 3rd in overall Ks (114).
Now for the problem. Yea, we can’t hit, but if you look at the overall outlook on the team this year, a common note people make is how we keep losing in one run games. One run. That’s it. First, since our hitting is horrible and can’t rack up runs, yet we can still lose so close in games, obviously means our pitchers are doing their job by keeping the opposing lineups to a lull. How the Orioles have truly lost games? Not hitting necessarily. Just the freaking fundamentals could be it.
Just last night, we saw Julio Lugo ground a ball to the shortstop. The actions that followed made any Orioles fan watching almost want to chuck their remote at their television. Lugo proceeded to drop his bat and, in a very cautious manner, jog down the line towards 1st as the Mariners made the easy 6-3 groundout play. There are so many problems with that:
1) Dude, you are being paid lots of money to play baseball. If you can’t get a hit, at least run it out. Will it hurt you that much?
2) Lugo is a veteran. He has played through the Red Sox World Series run, along with being a teammate to Albert Pujols last year. He has seen greatness. The man is a role model to these young guys. I know if I was Justin Turner and I was called up to play on the same team as Julio Lugo, I would intently watch how the guy fields and plays the game. While Turner most likely won’t literally take Lugo’s actions into account to affect his own (aka Turner won’t stop putting effort in), it just looks bad.
3) You’re team sucks right now and all you can do is show your total lack of hope too? C’mon man. That’s a true C’mon man moment.
Roberts was known as the lagging guy in terms of running out ground balls the last few seasons. With him out of the lineup on the DL, does Lugo feel like there needs to be someone who makes the team look crappier than they already are. I mean, it’s not like they aren’t already 9 games back in the division only 15 games into the season.
I also feel like I have to quickly talk about Adam Jones here. Jones just looks bad. At the plate, he is hitting .215 and just doesn’t seem interested in being a team player. He has 4 multi-hit games, but other than really a few solid games, he really hasn’t produced. He hit a homerun on Opening Day in Tampa, which made him into this automatic Godsend it seemed, but people need to see that he really is having no positive impact on our lineup. Batting leadoff in Seattle, he has gone 0-8 with two strikeouts in the first two games of the series so far. As for his play in the field, people also have assumptions about him that need to stop. Nobody watches too closely, but Mr. All Star and Gold Glover has mad multiple fundamental errors. He has been off the line on a lot of his throws to the infield. He is not running out balls that are going deep to the wall. It seems like if he doesn’t believe he will make a grand catch of the ball, then why try to rush the play along. Not to mention, of course, the ball he lost in the sun in Oakland on Sunday. C’mon man.
Lastly, I have to explain the title of this entry. Nolan Reimold, even coming back from injury in Spring Training (the injury was in HIS LEG), runs out every ground ball. He has actually been called safe on a few close ones that were hit down to 3B, but the effort has put him on base. Even last night, Wieters ran out a ground ball that ended up being misplayed by the 1B and bobbled. Wieters was safe, and therefore got to be a baserunner. Lugo, I guess, just isn’t interested. Reimold, on the other hand, has more fight in his running than most players in Major League Baseball.