Since summer began on June 20, the Orioles are 2-5. Just as the expectations have heated up in Baltimore for the O’s, so too have the temperatures. It was 92 degrees at first pitch on Thursday, according to a quick glance at my iPhone, tonight it will be 102 degrees at 7 PM.
Former Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey has often said that Baltimore was the hardest place he ever played. The Demper spent four decades in baseball and now as a broadcaster he says that Baltimore was the toughest place to stay conditioned because of the grueling heat during the summer months. Though Texas may have higher temperatures, Rick argues that the humidity in Charm City is difficult to prepare for.
The O’s have lost 7 of their last 10 and just rolled through two of their starters that everyone expected could stop the bleeding. Jason Hammel, arguably an All-Star this season, gave up eight earned runs over 3 1/3 innings pitched against the Angels. Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore’s biggest surprise of the season, gave up six earned runs over 6 1/3 innings pitched against the Indians.
Two guys that have never had to endure the Baltimore weather for a full season.
While weather surely cannot be blamed for the cold streak of the Orioles lineup, which has certainly contributed in their most recent skid, it certainly can’t help. Winning seasons are full of losing streaks, but the good teams control them, climb out of them and put together a series of good baseball. My concern is that not only do the Orioles have to put this ugly streak behind them, but they also have to battle the elements.
I guess the good news is that the O’s spend the majority of July on the road. The bad news is that they face the Angels for four games, the Tigers for three, the Rays for three and the Yankees for two.