I feel like I am reaching my breaking point with this team on the field and in the dugout; I know every time I turn on MASN 2 I am in for some atrocity I would rather not be a part of. Unfortunately the Orioles are the reason I began to love sports and like Elin with Tiger, I can not give up on them no matter how many times they hurt me. After eight full games in the words of Frank Costanza “I have a lot of problems with you people! And now you’re going to hear about it”
Let me begin by saying I have been yelling for as long as I can remember him being the manager that Dave Trembley has no business in a major league dugout. He has no idea how to manage a pitching staff and he is routinely out smarted by good managers i.e. Joe Maddon.
Last night was a glaring example of Dave Trembley directly contributing to a loss. When Brian Matusz came out for the eighth inning he was pitching a GEM, but it was obvious he was pretty much done. Matusz’ velocity was down 6-miles per hour on his fastball and he had lost the ability to locate any of his off-speed offerings. Rather than pulling Matusz after the first single he allowed him to give up four in a row and load the bases. Had Luke Scott not hit a 2-run shot in the bottom of the inning Matusz would have probably taken the loss after pitching a gem, that would have been great for Matusz’ confidence going forward.
This comes off Trembley leaving an exhausted Kevin Millwood in an inning too late on Sunday leading to a heartbreaking loss and a 3-game sweep to the Blue Jays.
Emphasizing my point is the fact that without Brian Matusz’ win last Thursday night in Tampa the Orioles wouldn’t have a win not only by a starter but by any pitcher on the roster.
And we can not forget about my main man Mike Gonzalez as he has personally lost two games and has become a waving flag for everything that seems to be wrong with this team. I will say this about Gonzalez, he has an 18.00 ERA and a WHIP of 4.50 in just two innings, that means he is allowing 4 ½ base-runners and two runs every time he enters the game; enough said.
My issues don’t end on the mound as we are seeing the same mistakes on the base-paths as last season. Just last night we saw Adam Jones and Ty Wigginton get picked off and Felix Pie get thrown out going into second. With Dave Trembley and his coaching staff “emphasizing” base running in spring training the question that must be asked is:
A. Do the players have an inherent inability to run the bases?
B. Is the coaching that poor that these players can not perform something I learned in Little League?
C. Have the players simply blocked out what Dave Trembley and his coaching staff are teaching?
D. All of the Above.
Not everything is Dave Trembely’s fault, he isn’t on the mound throwing strikes and he isn’t in the batters box swinging the lumber. Speaking of swinging the lumber, Nick Markakis has 10 walks in 8 games which is great because he has an OBP of .417 but he is our #3 hitter. A #3 hitter needs to be a run producer and someone that drives in the table setters in front of him. If Nick wants to leave the bat on his shoulder for 4 at bats a game that’s fine but he must be moved to the 2-spot where he can get on bases and have more aggressive hitters drive him home.
The top six spots in our lineup should look like this:
1. Felix Pie (until B-Rob can get back on the field)
2. Nick Markakis
3. Miguel Tejada
4. Matt Wieters
5. Luke Scott
6. Adam Jones
Mark my words unless Nick begins taking the bat off his shoulder or he is moved down a spot in the lineup the Orioles will continue to struggle scoring runs.
And the icing on this crapcake is the sea of green in the stands. The sight of Camden Yards over the last four games makes me want to puke. The Orioles are drawing fewer fans on a Sunday afternoon than the Ironbirds do on a typical Wednesday night. Playing in front of less than 10,000 fans must be a thrill and really get these guys jacked up. But after playing in front of an the smallest crowd in Camden Yards history Monday night the players must be pissed off and completely deflated coming to the ballpark everyday. Let’s hear the passion from Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis, “I could care less if there was nobody in the stands. We just have to go out there and play and not worry about that kind of stuff.” Whoops…..well just keep up the good work out there Nick and you guys may just be playing in front of nobody come September.