Man, talk about getting the rug pulled out from under you.
Let’s flashback to last Tuesday. The Orioles rallied versus the Nationals in a 5-4 win to extend their winning streak to a season-high six games. That win also propelled the Orioles to a season-high twelve games above .500 and to first place in the division.
How bad can things get in a span of five days?
It turns out, pretty freaking bad. The Orioles coughed up a win late on Wednesday to Matt Wieters and the Nationals before getting rained out on Thursday, and then proceeded to get swept out of Kansas City over the brutal weekend.
Kauffman Stadium has become a house of horrors for the Orioles in recent years, and this year was no different. The Orioles are 5-15 versus the Royals at The K since the start of the 2013 season.
The Orioles now trail the Yankees for first place by a fraction, but have also let their rivals below them close the gap on the table. The Red Sox are just 3.5-games behind the Orioles in third, while the Blue Jays are slowly turning heads with a strong run of form. They’ve won five in a row and eight of their last ten.
To top it all off, the Orioles will have to sit on a season-high four-game losing streak on their off day on Monday before making a three-game stop in Detroit.
Hopefully, the Orioles can turn it back around this week before the guys in the rear-view mirror get any closer, and hopefully those Jays cool off a bit before the weekend.
Let’s take a look at a few takeaways from the past week of Orioles baseball:
– The offensive output versus Kansas City was pretty sporadic but not all terrible. The Orioles ended the series with a .264 average and scored 13 runs on five homers.
– Over the last nine games, the O’s have hit .284 as a unit while scoring 44 runs (4.9 per game) on 15 homers. They’ve also gone an incredible 26-for-68 (.382) with runners in scoring position during that span.
– A bump in the road…or should we worry? After being fairly stellar for most of the season, Orioles starters have posted a 4.86 ERA over the last six games. The Orioles record in those six? 2-4.
– The bullpen seems to be the bigger concern at the moment. Usually as sturdy as steel, the Orioles bullpen has seen a dip in form without their leader Zach Britton and has posted a 5.40 ERA over the last six games.
– Road struggles. After starting the season 6-3 away from Camden Yards, the Orioles have gone 3-8 on the road since and are just 9-11 while on tour this season.
– F%%K May: Since the start of the 2014 season, the Orioles are just 49-50 in the month of May.
Let’s go the three stars of the week!
Pena Francisco Pena. Pena gets this week’s third star after sticking it to his former club by crushing two home runs on Saturday. He should be higher on this list after dedicating those two homers to his Mother. Sometimes it’s the little things in baseball that count.
Chris Davis. Finally, the O’s star slugger is starting to catch fire. After cranking a home run in back-to-back games over the weekend versus the Royals, ”Crush” is now hitting a stellar .333 (11-for-33) with six runs, three homers and five RBI over his last ten ballgames.
Caleb Joseph. Yes, that’s right! The man of the hour himself, Caleb Joseph, has won the first star award after burning up everything in his path over the past week. He finished the series versus the Nationals 6-for-13 with a pair or RBI’s and then followed up by lighting up Kansas City. Joseph finished the weekend series 5-for-8 with three doubles, one triple, one home run and four RBI.
Over the course of a current five-game hitting streak, the O’s scrappy backstop is hitting a phenomenal .524 (11-for-21) with three doubles, one homer and six RBI.