Oriole games are the equivalent of watching a Jean Claude Van Damme movie; it is action packed but after it’s over you know you just watched crap. For the average fan that craves the long ball and loves a 10-8 game, the Orioles are playing electrifying baseball. But any hardcore baseball fan knows that teams can not win without pitching; pitching wins pennants. It is one of the oldest clichés in sports but it remains true to this day. The Orioles have an offense that could compete for a pennant right now; the problem is we have a pitching staff that would struggle to compete for a Maryland high school championship.
As of April.18th the Orioles offense is scoring 6.1 runs per game, ranking them fourth in all of baseball. The problem is that the Orioles have the worst pitching staff in baseball giving up 7.9 runs per game. Perhaps more alarming is the fact that we have given up 79 runs in just 89 innings; I would never claim to be a mathematician but that is .89 runs per inning. The Orioles are on pace to give up 1,280 runs in 2009; a number that is shocking for me to even mention. These numbers are amplified by the fact the Orioles have given up 122 hits in these 89 innings. Allowing 1.37 hits per inning is unacceptable for any staff at any level.
On the positive side of the diamond Nick Markakis looks to be on the verge of becoming the best all around right fielder in baseball leading all of major league baseball with 15 RBI’s. Meanwhile Adam Jones is off to just as hot of a start with a batting average of .410 and 12 runs batted in. It is becoming clear that the Orioles 1-4 hitters are perhaps the best combination in all of baseball and the Orioles have 3 of the 4 locked up for the next few years.
With the pitching staff the Orioles have constructed now, we will struggle to hit the .500 mark; but with so many young talented arms down on the farm the future looks bright. If just three of the Orioles young pitchers can reach their potential the Orioles are a team that can compete in the next few years. For the first time in over a decade I can see the light at the end of the tunnel; and hey that’s more then we have had in “Birdland” in a longtime.