Each Monday, in this spot, I’ll try to give you fan’s look at what transpired with our Birds the past week and what lies ahead for the club. My only promise is that the piece will be totally biased and from a real fan, so here it goes…
1. Diversionary Tactic
Thanks to the Capitals history making Stanley Cup win and the follow-on celebrations and parade this week, I was able to pretend that the Orioles season, well, hadn’t really started yet?!? Was cancelled?!? But seriously, the top billing this week (even on an Orioles post) should be a hearty congratulations to the Washington Capitals. After many years of heartache and unfulfilled potential, the Capitals are the Stanley Cup Champions!
2. Ugh, Alex Cobb…
When the Orioles signed Alex Cobb this offseason I was on cloud nine. Cobb was one of the top five free agent pitchers this offseason and had a solid history in the A.L East. It was a bold and unexpected move by a front office who many thought would be gun shy after a bad Ubaldo Jimenez contract had just expired. Cobb entered this season with a career 22-16 record, recording 28 career quality starts and a 3.40 ERA versus the A.L. East. This year Cobb entered Sunday’s match-up with a 1-3 with a 7.97 ERA versus the A.L. East and things only went down hill from there as he tossed just 3.2 innings versus the Blue Jays yielding 11 hits and nine earned runs. If the front office wasn’t gun shy about yielding multiyear, multimillion dollar deals to pitchers before, they probably will be now.
3. No homers, no wins…
The Orioles have recorded a MLB worst 19 wins through Sunday’s game. They are a team totally built around the home run. This week the team won just it’s second and third game all season without benefit of a home run. Yikes!
4. This week’s new face
With the club mired in one of its’ worst seasons in recent club history, you can expect to see a lot of new names and faces on the field before the season is over. This week’s new face was a 27 year old catcher brought up from Triple A Norfolk named Austin Wynns. Who became the fifth Oriole to make his MLB debut this year. Wynns made his debut on Tuesday versus the Mets and recorded his first MLB base hit. He followed up Thursday with his first homer in “The Show”. He finished up the week with just those two hits in nine at-bats. Wynn has been praised by MASN analyst Rick Dempsey for his game calling skills and his target setting. Sisco will get the majority of the starts at the backstop, but hopefully this older rookie will provide some stability at the backup position.
5. More Quality still not adding up to wins
The Orioles now have the fourth highest number of quality starts in the American League at 31. That number is also good enough to be fifth best in the Major Leagues. Again, if you told me that the starters would record 31 quality starts at this juncture, I would have thought the team would be right in the thick of things. Who would have thought the offense would be the aspect of the game that has mostly let them down?
Things don’t get an easier this week as the club faces the team with MLB’s second best record, the Boston Red Sox (44-22) for 3 at home, followed by a 3 game set with the Miami Marlins (23-42).
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