Well, the winning streak is over, thanks to Jeremy Hellickson and Kendrys Morales. Despite putting up eight more runs, it wasn’t enough for victory number eight in a row, as Morales smacked three home runs and drove in seven on his own.
The Birds were bound to lose again eventually. It’s fine – as long as they don’t follow up their seven straight wins with a few consecutive losses. With Marcus Stroman scheduled to pitch for Toronto Saturday, and Chris Tillman going for the O’s Sunday, tonight’s game suddenly looks pretty darn important.
Let’s look at our final links before Labor Day.
A few years ago, the meme in Birdland, fair or not (probably not) was that the O’s mashed good pitchers, but routinely got shut down by nobodies. Matt Perez looks at how the team has done against good, mediocre, and bad pitchers this year. He concludes that any postseason appearance may be short, because they are below average against good pitching. My question would be this: isn’t everybody? Otherwise they wouldn’t be, ya know…good pitchers.
The O’s are set for some September call-ups, and those will include, among potential others (especially, hopefully, pitchers), Joey Rickard, Pedro Alvarez, and catcher Chance Sisco. Sisco, a top O’s prospect, will have trouble finding playing time behind Welington Castillo and Caleb Joseph, but he’ll at least get a taste of the bigs.
Some love for Johnny Beisbol from one of my favorite writers, Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs. Sullivan details the many ways in which Schoopy has become a more disciplined hitter here in 2017, by swinging both less overall and especially less against balls. The data points to a true improvement. Dope!
TWO Sullivan articles about the O’s in one day – and both…positive?! Be still, my orange heart. In this one, Jeff goes into Dealin’ Bundy’s second-half dominance. That ol’ pitch that he wasn’t allowed to throw for so long – the slider, we’ll call it, instead of the “c” word – has been a big factor.
It should would be nice to have a reliable starter like, say, I dunno…Miguel Gonzalez to throw out there instead of Tillman, wouldn’t it? Apparently Dan Duquette agreed, as the O’s were trying to trade to bring MiGo back to Baltimore, only to see Chicago send him to Texas instead. Kinda infuriating that the Orioles let him go for nothing back in Spring. Damn it Dan! (Tim Beckham, Tim Beckham, Tim Beckham…)