After dropping Thursday’s series finale in Chicago to conclude to a brutal 1-7 road trip, the Orioles will now head back to the Yard to take on the St. Louis Cardinals for a three-game set.
For the O’s, coming back to the friendly confines of Camden Yards for a seven-game home stand is a much-welcomed sight. After their latest horror show on the road, the Orioles now own just a 2-16 record on tour since May 4th. They’ve gone 13-7 at home during that same span.
The Orioles (32-33) will also be looking to get their season back on track after dropping to a tie for last in the division and 6.5-games off the pace of the first place Yankees. After starting the season with a league-best 22-10 record, the O’s have notched just a 10-23 record since and have won just seven games (7-17) since May 20th.
Their massive drop-off can’t be pinpointed to one main culprit or another. The good news is that there are still 97 games left on the calendar, which is more than enough time to right the ship and get back on the winning course. What matters the most now, is having the resiliency to shrug off their recent woes and erasing the last six weeks or so out of their memory.
You can’t change the past, and you can’t cry over it either. The Orioles just have to put their heads down, stick to their guns and grind it out for better days ahead. Hopefully, that will be enough to break on through to the other side…
The Cardinals (30-35) haven’t been at it as of late either. After posting just an 8-16 record over their last 24 games, they’re currently in third place in the stumbling NL Central and find themselves 4.5-games back from the first place Brewers. A 5-10 record through the first half of June hasn’t done them any favors, but they’ll be feeling decent upon touching down in Birdland after going 4-3 over their latest seven-game home stand.
This will mark the third meeting between the two inter-league clubs since 2011. After the Cardinals swept the Orioles over a three-game set at OPACY during their championship campaign in 2011, the Orioles got their slight revenge by taking two of three from the visiting Cardinals in 2014.
How will the plot unfold this time around? Only time will tell. Let’s take a look at the starters:
Kevin Gausman (3-5, 6.49 ERA) will take on Carlos ”Tsunami” Martinez (5-5, 2.95 ERA) in tonight’s series opener.
Things were looking up for Gausman before his last outing in the Bronx, and he had recorded an impressive 3.65 ERA over his previous four starts. I don’t think too many people were expecting him to get tagged to the tune of seven runs on eight hits over just 3 1/3 innings, especially against the team that he’s owned for the majority of his young career. Here’s to another bounce-back outing from the Orioles sporadic flamethrower as he remains vital to the Orioles’ postseason hopes.
Bad news: the Tsunami has been causing major damage as of late. After his latest complete-game shutout versus Pittsburgh in which he allowed just four hits while striking out eleven, Martinez now owns a 2-2 record and a superb 1.81 ERA over his last five starts. He’s gone eight-plus innings while allowing one run or less in three of his five starts during that span.
After allowing six runs on six hits over just 2 1/3 innings during his last outing in the Windy City, Miley has now allowed a staggering ten runs on fourteen hits over his last two starts in which he’s pitched just five innings combined. As a result of his last two forgettable starts, Miley has seen his ERA jump over a full run from a stout 2.82 to a decent 3.97.
Wainwright has also been tuned up over his last two starts, and has allowed eleven runs over his last 8 2/3 innings. Prior to that, the three-time All-Star was absolutely dominant, allowing just a single earned run over a 26 1/3 inning streak over four starts. During that span, he spun six-plus innings of shutout baseball in three of his four outings.
Asher was battling admirably versus the White Sox during his outing, but was undone by a Matt Davidson grand slam in the sixth inning and finished the night having allowed six runs on six hits over five innings. Since being named a permanent member of the rotation, Asher has posted a 9.87 ERA over four starts.
After throwing five innings of shutout baseball in his last start versus the Brewers, Lynn has now gone 1-0 with a stellar 1.76 ERA over his last three starts. The Cardinals star hurler has also allowed one run or less in seven of his thirteen outings on the year, and has allowed two runs or fewer in ten of thirteen attempts.
That’s all I’ve got for now, Birdland.
Here’s to a change in the tide and a righting of the ship this weekend.
97 Games is a lifetime, and there’s still a lot of the story that remains unscripted.
Don’t write these Birds off just yet.