Can we really complain? It’s true that the O’s offense has come and gone all season long. The starters have begun to come down off of the insane high they were on. The bullpen has started to show signs of early-season fatigue, and the absence of Zach Britton is hurting more and more by the day.
Yes, blowing a 9-1 and 11-4 lead en route to a devastating 14-11 loss in the series opener versus the Yanks was just about the toughest thing that I’ve had to watch since the ending of Saving Private Ryan. Getting drubbed 12-4 the following afternoon just added salt into some pretty gaping wounds.
But there’s a silver lining! Even after coughing up another lead in the ninth on Sunday, the O’s managed to refocus and rally back to take a much-needed win and avoid the embarrassment of getting swept out of NYC.
And hey, even after all of the small fires that have popped up this season, and a rough weekend in the Bronx, the Orioles are still tied for first place with the Yankees with a 15-8 record. That, if you were wondering, is good for second-best in the bigs.
Not too bad for a team that’s not firing on all cylinders, eh?
After saving face and hopefully their mojo on Sunday in the Bronx, the Orioles will now look to bounce back during their four-game trip in Boston before heading back to Camden Yards.
Now, some takeaways from the past week of Orioles baseball:
– After taking two of three from Tampa Bay before hitting the road, the Orioles now own the second-best home record in the majors at 8-3.
– Through their first twenty games against division rivals, the Orioles boast a stellar 13-7 record.
– The Orioles lost their first series of the 2017 season in the Bronx this weekend. Their record in series play still stands at an excellent 6-1-1.
– To say the pitching left much to be desired would be an understatement. The Orioles starters posted an ugly 8.16 ERA over 14 1/3 innings versus the Yankees, while the bullpen posted an even uglier 10.29 ERA over 14 innings in the Bronx. The team’s ERA jumped from 3.14 to 4.19 in just three games. Tip your cap to the Yankees hitters, and let’s never talk about this again.
– The Orioles bullpen, usually clad in armor, allowed five home runs in three games versus the Yankees. They had allowed just four home runs all season through twenty games and 67 1/3 innings prior to this weekend. Did we step into the twilight zone or something?
– The offense, on the other hand, may have finally hit a break through at Yankee Stadium. Over the three-game set, the Orioles hit .277 as a team while driving 22 runs across the plate on four homers. They also went 9-for-27 with runners in scoring position. In comparison, they had hit just .218 and scored just 26 runs over the previous nine games before visiting New York City.
Now, let’s take a look at this week’s three stars:
Mark Trumbo. While the O’s slugger still may not be lighting the world on fire, he ended a twenty-game homer-less streak and fifteen-game RBI-less streak on Friday with a grand slam off Bryan Mitchell (before the implosion) and then followed up by driving in the eventual game-winning run off Mitchell in the 11th inning on Sunday.
Here’s to hoping that this weekend provided the boost that he needed to find his form.
Jonathan Schoop. All jokes aside, we’d be in trouble without the red-hot second baseman. After going 4-for-10 with a homer and three RBI versus Tampa, Schoop followed up by driving in another three runs versus the Yankees. As a result of his efforts, he will now carry a six-game hitting streak into Fenway and is 7-for-22 with two doubles, one home run and six RBI during that span. Over his last 17 games, the free-swinging slugger is hitting .344 (21-for-61) with eight runs, five doubles, four homers and 14 RBI.
And did you see THIS PLAY? WOW!
Adam Jones. The first star goes to the captain. After going 4-for-12 with a double, a homer and a pair of RBI against the Rays, Jones exploded in the Bronx and finished the series 7-for-15 at the plate with an RBI. He’s now hitting .400 (8-for-20) over the span of a current four-game hitting streak, and is hitting a phenomenal .375 (15-for-40) with a homer and five RBI over his last nine games. He’s also racked up three straight multi-hit contests and has five of them in his last seven games. Simply put, the Captain is leading the way.