After the Orioles take two of four games from the Twins they look ahead to another 4 game series on the road against the Cleveland Indians. The Indians and the Orioles have very similar records and teams in general. Both clubs are in the bottom 5 in the American League in ERA and the bottom half in runs scored and batting average. These four games will see a big test again from the very uncertain starting rotation that the Orioles are working with now. Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman, and Zach Britton are the scheduled starters for the next three games. And i would expect Tommy Hunter would be the 4th but you never know who Buck wants out there. The first three guys have combined for only 5 starts so far this season, with the team only winning 2 of those 5 starts. The Orioles were outscored 32-17 by Cleveland in a four game series at the end of June. The only win was the second game of the series where the O’s won a 9-8 nail-biter.
The Orioles need to have a good series in Cleveland because after this series the Orioles will play 9 of the following 12 games against the Yankees and Tampa Bay. The following month of August doesn’t get any prettier. There are 3 games at Texas and 4 games against the White Sox to come in August, as well the Yankees, Detroit, and Boston all making appearances. With the two team wildcards taking place this season, it is now or never for the Orioles to prove that this is a team that has playoff potential. I am saying that this 4 game series against an Indians team that can be more pesky than most teams would expect, is a crucial series. Win 3 of 4 and the team can bring the momentum home to face Tampa Bay, but lose 3 or 4 and that could be the end of a very promising series.
With the unproven starting pitching and untimely injuries to Hammel and Andino, you can expect Buck Showalter to be bringing up and sending down players rapidly. Best example so far was Brad Bergeson, who was called up for less then 24 hours and sent down for Tommy Hunter who pitched a gem in the third game of the series. Wei-Yin Chen who pitched a hard fought game today is the only pitcher in the rotation who can be assured he will be in the rotation over the next few weeks. With that being said, the time is right now for the Orioles to make a move for a Zach Greinke type pitcher. The Brewers this week said that they would offer Greinke a large Drew Brees like contract, so the Orioles can’t let the Brewers sit and make that offer. This week in sports we have seen several players in different sports have big contract issues. The most ridiculous being the Jeremy Lin contract that the Rockets have given him. If the organization wants to prove that is serious about being a contender PROVE IT NOW! For me I will be heading up to Cleveland to see the weekend games and the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame!!