PiR: O’s Need to Continue Streak of Winning Septembers

Reality: Caleb Joseph has 0 runs batted in in 2016.

Perception: I really like Joseph so it’s hard for me to write this. But Joseph already has set the all-time record for a non-pitcher for AB without an RBI in a single season at 120. The record for any player is 137, set by Oscar Jones, a pitcher, in 1904.

Joseph is a top defensive MLB catcher. Pitchers rave about the way he calls a game. He throws out base stealers at a high rate, and he keeps balls in front of him.

But as we have seen with a few minor-leaguers, it’s a lot harder to transition to the Big Leagues offensively. Joseph was a good hitter in the minors through 2013. And we’ve seen signs of his bat at the major league level in previous seasons in Baltimore, but not this year. He is hitting under .200 this year and has no produced an RBI yet.

I hope he gets just one, because I’m a big fan of the @EutawBackstop and want him to succeed.

Reality: Since 2013, Chris Davis has the most home runs in all of baseball.

Perception: No matter what you think of his overall season in 2016, Crush has proven to be worthy of the contract given to him in the offseason (so far). Yes, he has had some bumps in the road this year, but overall the man is doing what he was paid to do. And if his home runs of late are any indication, he is about to go on another hitting streak. He has been hitting opposite-field homers, meaning he is truly dialed in.

He is on-pace to hit over 40 home runs for the third time in four years. He has 30+ home runs for the fourth time in five years (his five full seasons in Baltimore).

With the way he has played defense at first base, Davis deserves a Gold Glove. Put that with the power numbers he continues to put up, and in the first year of his large contract, he is proving his worth to the team.

Reality: Ubaldo Jimenez, Yovani Gallardo, and Kevin Gausman have stepped up with Chris Tillman on the DL.

Perception: Jimenez has a 2.70 ERA in his last four starts, including a complete game two-hitter the other night. In his last seven games (four starts), he has a 3.38 ERA with 28 Ks and 12 walks. That is a vast improvement to his 6+ ERA he has had the rest of the season.

Gallardo has pitched better the last two outings. He went six innings against Toronto giving up five hits and striking out three. He went five innings the other night in Tampa with five Ks.

Gausman has pitched to five wins and a 2.11 ERA in his last seven starts. He hasn’t given up an earned run in his last three starts of 6+ innings each.

If the Orioles are going to continue to make up ground in the division, those three guys are going to need to continue having outings like that.

Reality: The Orioles have closed the gap in the AL East to just 2 games.

Perception: At the end of August, the sky had fallen for so many Orioles fans. Those same fans were screaming for the Orioles to walk to the mound in the 1st inning the other night and cut Ubaldo on the spot. He ended up giving up only one more baserunner in the final eight innings.

As Mark Viviano tweets nightly, “it’s a long season.” The O’s are now just two games back in the AL East. For a while they had fallen back to the point where many of us wondered if they would miss the playoffs completely. Now they are back within two games of being in first-place in the AL East. This team just continues the roller coaster of emotions for fans by staying steady inside the locker room.

But they still can’t falter. Four teams are within two games of the two Wild Card spots. Six teams are within four games.

Reality: September has been a good month to the Orioles since 2011.

Perception: No matter how bad July and August were (both were sub-.500 months for the Birds), September has been a good one for the O’s since Buck Showalter showed up. Before this season, the Orioles were 93-71 under Buck in September. So far this month, they are 4-2.

But they need to enjoy today’s day off because they kick off 17 consecutive games, with 11 of them coming against teams they are fighting for a playoff spot with. Plus, 11 of those games are at home before they hit the road to end the season in Toronto and New York.

Wednesday’s loss was a tough one. They had the lead numerous times against a last-place team but couldn’t put them away. Any more games like that could cost the O’s not only the division but a playoff spot altogether.

This is it. Each game needs to be played like it’s a playoff game.

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About Joe Polek

Joe Polek
Joe Polek was born in Baltimore, MD, and was raised in Bel Air, MD. In 2001, he moved to Portland, Maine for a job in radio. In 2012, he moved to Columbia, SC for another gig in radio, where he currently resides with his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters....more

One Cheer about “PiR: O’s Need to Continue Streak of Winning Septembers

  1. avatarGwen McElroy on said:

    I disagree about Davis. Glove, excellent. Home runs, decent. Strike outs, I call him whiff. If you think thirty plus home runs, with over 200 K’s make him worth the Hugh salary he is getting, I beg to differ. How many home runs has he hit with men on base as compAred to Trumbo or Alvatez. His value is in his glove, no more, no less. Just my opinion.

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