Indians Provide No Tonic

June 28, 2012 |

So here we were, thinking the arrival of the Indians at Camden Yards would be a break in the schedule for the Orioles after two spankings by the Angels. Turns out the Orioles’ slump with runners on base didn’t just happen, and happen, and happen, against powerhouse teams. It’s an ongoing thing for the time being. Who knew?

Mark Reynolds can still strikeout with men on base, striking out three times and leaving four on, even though that’s actually good strategy, since it’s not hitting into a double play. The team is hitting .057 (3-for-53) with runners in scoring position over the last 10 games.

Amid the negative, let’s not lose sight of the fact that JJ Hardy broke his slump with a 2-run homer tonight, giving the game its only bright spot.

Wilson Betemit is picking it back up offensively but continued his torrid, error-a-night pace, and the Orioles have 67 errors this season about half fielding and half throwing, but who’s counting?

Okay, I know, enough sarcasm. A season has a lot of ebb and flow, and the O’s are going through an ebb. They are 41-34, and that’s the first time they’ve been less than eight games over .500 since May 2.

Usually by this time, we’re seeing stats such as how many games closer to .500 they are, but from the downside instead. If they keep going like this for a while, alternating awful-okay-awful-okay-awful-okay for about another month, and they were around 10 games over .500 at the end of July, ask yourself if you’d be more or less happy with that.

Markakis would be back by then, and they’d have two months to go with most of the offense back on the field. They could resume hitting it. All they’d need to do then is catch it and throw it. Together, those three things would take a lot of pressure off of those whose job is to pitch it. Perhaps by that time, Dan Duquette will have made a trade for a solid starter, and this valley will have given way to another peak.