With the Orioles being swept in Thursday’s doubleheader to drop three out of four games to Seattle, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:
1. Reality hit the Orioles in a hard way with another series loss to finish off an ugly 1-6 homestand. Being swept by a Boston club that’s lost once since the season-opening series was bad enough, but the Mariners weren’t supposed to be markedly better than Baltimore, right?
2. The offense was awful in Thursday’s twin bill after the opening inning that included two runs, three hits, and a walk. Over the final 13 frames, Baltimore managed one run, four hits, three walks, and a hit by pitch. Seattle’s Mitch Haniger drove in as many runs on the day.
3. Matt Harvey was “frustrated” after Thursday’s start in which he gave up the game-tying homer in the fifth, but he’s pitched better than his 5.02 ERA. The 32-year-old carried a good mid-90s fastball until he began laboring in the fourth and the velocity dipped some with the increasing pitch count.
4. Despite lacking his best stuff and command, Bruce Zimmermann battled through five innings with two solo homers being his only blemishes in the run department. Much like Harvey earlier in the afternoon, a little more run support would have gone a long way.
5. Tanner Scott allowed his first earned runs of 2021 in Thursday’s opener as he tried to escape the sixth without being able to locate his fastball, a problem that still surfaces a bit more than you’d prefer. His slider was good, but J.P. Crawford tagged one for the go-ahead double.
6. Visibly frustrated during his slow start, Trey Mancini was scheduled to get Wednesday off before the postponement. Back in the lineup for Game 1 of Thursday’s twin bill, the first baseman clubbed a two-run shot to center in the first inning. I guess the night off helped him anyway.
7. Cedric Mullins failed to get a hit in a game for the first time all season Thursday, but his two-year turnaround is one of the best examples of the need for patience with the rebuild. Even more impressive about his start is how he hasn’t really begun dropping bunts yet.
8. Dean Kremer barely avoided the Keegan Akin treatment after his shaky spring, and his command hasn’t looked any better through two starts. Even if he makes Saturday’s start in Texas, he appears in danger of being demoted. Surrendering five walks and two homers in six innings won’t work.
9. If you’re underwhelmed with how the middle infield has looked defensively, at least those positions haven’t produced much at the plate either aside from the Freddy Galvis homer on Thursday. Where have you gone, Jose Iglesias and Hanser Alberto? (Yes, I know it’s Anaheim and Kansas City.)
10. I would like to see more starts for Ramon Urias, who homered and collected a walkoff single in Tuesday’s doubleheader split. The 26-year-old is more of an unknown and put up some decent numbers in the minors and Mexican League. Meanwhile, Rio Ruiz has 850-plus plate appearances in the majors.
11. You don’t often see a four-game series transform into two doubleheaders, circumstances made even more unusual by the seven-inning format. I still haven’t gotten used to the feel of these shortened games, and neither have the Orioles, who are 2-10 in the six seven-inning doubleheaders they’ve played since last year.
12. Jackie Robinson Day is always a sobering reminder to recognize one of our country’s greatest heroes, but other arriving Black players also deserve recognition. Hank Thompson and Willard Brown debuted with the St. Louis Browns in July of 1947, less than seven years before that franchise became the Baltimore Orioles.