The last couple of weeks have been tough on the Orioles, at least on most of them. It’s hard to believe that it was just two short weeks ago that we were on air, celebrating what felt like the best week the team has had in over a decade, both on and off the field.
The date was May 27th. Off the field, the fans were basking in the glow of the recent announcement of the eminent arrival of Matt Wieters. On it, both Jason Berken and Brad Bergeson were fresh off of their first wins, and Nolan Reimold was well on his way to cementing his place in left field, and especially in the O’s lineup. Luke Scott returned on that day, without benefit of a rehab assignment, and continued his dominance over Roy Halladay with a 2-run homer, in his first plate appearance since being DL’d with a shoulder injury.
Still, when Halladay left the mound that day, staked to an 8-3 lead, there were few who could have anticipated what would happen next. The O’s rallied for 5 runs in the 8th inning to tie, and despite running themselves out of the 8th, and then too, despite giving up the lead again in the top of the 11th on a 2-run, Aaron Hill, homerun; they scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 11th for a walk off win in grand fashion.
The rally, capped by a Nolan Reimold walk off, 3-run homer, seemed fitting for a team that seemed to be gaining more and more confidence, the younger that they got. David Hernandez was set to debut the following day, and Wieters’ arrival would follow. The excitement was palpable, for both now and the future. And for a brief, shining moment, it was great to be an O’s fan.
If you had said on that day, that Wieters would still be sitting with no homeruns today, you’d have been met with mild skepticism to say the least. But if you had said on that day, that no Oriole, outside of Scott and Reimold, that day’s heroes, would have hit a single homerun between then and now, you would have been crazy. Yet, crazy as it sounds, that’s exactly what has happened.
On Tuesday, May 26th, in a 7-2 win over the Blue Jays, Aubrey Huff hit a 2nd inning homerun, and Adam Jones added another in the 5th. Those would be the last 2 homeruns by any Oriole, other than Scott or Reimold since. Beginning with Reimold’s 2-run shot in the 6th inning of that game, he and Scott have been carrying the O’s entire power load.
In the last 14 games and change, Scott has hit 9 homers, Reimold has hit 5, and the rest of the team 0. It’s almost the offensive equivalent of the old Houston Astros with the very similar sounding pitching combo of Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott, who were arguably the game’s best 1-2 punch, but mostly floundered on bad teams.
Here are some more interesting facts about the O’s recent stretch:
The Lakers and Nuggets were tied at 2 games each in the Western Conference Finals, the last time anyone other than Reimold or Scott hit an Oriole homerun.
In the last 14 games and change, the O’s hitters aside from Reimold and Scott have had more homers overturned by replay (2), than scored (0).
Not only has Matt Wieters failed to register his first big league homer, none of his teammates outside of Scott or Reimold have managed to register one either, since his arrival.
Aubrey Huff may have lost a couple of homers to big parks on the west coast, and one to a replay, but he has just 1 homer since May 15th.
Brian Roberts has just 11 hits since Reimold’s walk off, with 7 of those hits coming in just 3 games. The O’s lost 2 of those 3.
Ceasr Izturis was 7-for-17 in the games following Reimold’s walk off, before being placed on the DL with appendicitis. Hopefully he won’t get a chance to be the one to break through this slump for the O’s.
Melvin Mora has just 1 extra base hit, a double, since May 27th.
Robert Andino has yet to register an extra base hit since getting into the everyday lineup, and has just 1 extra base hit in 63 at bats on the season.
Matt Wieters’ first big league hit was a triple, his second a double. When does “Mauer with Power” show up?
Nick Markakis had 5 homers in May, but just 1 after May 9th. He also has just 5 doubles since May 15th.
Prior to the current stretch, Adam Jones hadn’t gone more than 7 games without a homer all season. Jones also has just 3 doubles since May 23rd.
Luke Scott had just 3 homers in 73 April at bats. He followed it up with 8 homers in 44 at bats in May, and actually has just 2 homers in 29 at bats this month.
Nolan Reimold is batting .277 (10-for-36) with no doubles, 3 homeruns and 7 RBI, with 4 walks and 7 strikeouts since his walk off.