Friday, October 23, 2020

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O’s Offense, Hill take the usual Sunday beating

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

The Orioles completed a 1-5 road trip with a 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.

Oakland rookie Vin Mazzaro was outstanding, stifling Orioles hitters for 7 1/3 innings and scattering five hits.  He is now 2-0 and has yet to allow a run in 13 2/3 innings of major league work.

Here are a few thoughts, as the Orioles will make their way home to start a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday:

– The good vibes of Matt Wieters’ major league debut last Friday have quickly faded away.  The rookie catcher is hitting .143 (4-for-28) and has yet to drive in a run.  The Orioles are 2-7 since Wieters was promoted.

– To say the Orioles are slumping offensively would be an understatement.  The offense has managed just 13 runs in their last eight games.  I don’t care if you have the 1971 starting rotation; you’re not going to win many ballgames with that output.

The hitters’ approach at the plate varies from listless to trying to hit a five-run homer with the bases empty.  It’s painful to watch, quite frankly.

– Who would have thought Brad Bergesen would be the team’s most reliable starting pitcher at the beginning of June?  With Koji Uehara on the disabled list, Bergesen hasn’t been great (2-2, 4.64 ERA), but he’s been a steady contributor to the rotation—something that’s been sorely lacking.

– Six Sunday losses in a row.  I suppose the Orioles are the anti-Tiger Woods; Woods always shows up on Sunday (as he did at the Memorial today) while the Orioles…well, at least nobody got hurt today.

*****

Update (4:35):  If you just turned on MASN and wondered what happened to Rich Hill, no, he wasn’t a late scratch or injured in the first inning.

Hill lasted just 2/3 of an inning, surrendering three runs, walking four batters, and throwing 39 pitches (15 of them for strikes).

This was the type of start that infuriated Cubs manager Lou Piniella last season and landed Hill in Triple-A Iowa.

The Orioles have now had two starters—Jeremy Guthrie on Friday and Hill today—fail to make it out of the first inning this weekend in Oakland—not exactly the way to keep fans interested for late West Coast games.

Thankfully, Brian Bass came on and stranded the bases load, keeping the early deficit at three runs.

*****

Adam Jones – CF
Nolan Reimold – LF
Nick Markakis – RF
Luke Scott – DH
Melvin Mora – 3B
Oscar Salazar – 1B
Matt Wieters – C
Ty Wigginton – 2B
Robert Andino – SS

No, there are no typos, glitches, or errors in today’s lineup.  Maybe Dave Trembley is taking a page from Billy Martin and drew the names out of a hat.

Brian Roberts and Aubrey Huff get the day off, and we get our first look at Oscar Salazar in 2009.  Let’s hope the new lineup can generate some much-needed offense.  Of course, it’s Sunday, so I wouldn’t expect too much, especially with the “B” squad lineup.  The Orioles have scored just 13 runs in the last seven games.

Rich Hill (2-0, 4.15 ERA) goes to the hill against Vin Mazzaro (1-0, 0.00 ERA) who pitched brilliantly against the White Sox in his first major league start on Tuesday (6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER).  On a positive note, at least he isn’t left-handed.

The Orioles will try to snap a four-game losing streak while Oakland hopes to continue its trend of five-straight victories.

In case you were keeping track, the Orioles have lost five Sunday games in a row with their last victory coming on April 26 against the Texas Rangers.

Suddenly, I’m having visions of Bill Murray and Punxsutawney Phil.

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