As often as I am at Orioles games (20 at Oriole Park this season plus two on the road so far), I always make it a point to check the MASNsports.com Media page when I get back home to hear comments from the players as well as skipper Buck Showalter.
With the O’s playing the Washington Nationals this week, I was on double duty as I made sure to also listen in on what the Nats players and manager had to say about the Orioles and the city of Baltimore.
Dan Haren, starting pitcher for the Nationals on Thursday night in the O’s 2-0 shutout victory over DC, was asked about his performance on the mound as well as the opponent he was facing in the opposing dugout. Haren, clearly shaken up by the lack of offense by his squad, made multiple remarks inferring his disappointment in the outcome of the game after allowing only two runs and no walks while striking out five in 7.1 innings pitched. Some comments included “I was deserving today to win this game” and “I’m glad I threw the ball well but obviously not happy with the end result.”
When addressing the media’s questions regarding the hitters he faced, Haren made it a point to say that “one through nine, anybody can get you,” referring to the scoring ability of the Orioles lineup.
Haren makes a good point. The Orioles lineup is fierce this season, with the one through five hitters all hitting over .300 (Nate McLouth has a .304 average only after going 3-4 last night). Manny Machado continues to be a doubles machine and Nick Markakis is continuously getting on base and working solid at bats. Adam Jones continues to drive in runs at a consistent pace. Chris Davis is hitting anything and everything thrown his way. Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy have sneaky power that can show up at a moment’s notice. Ryan Flaherty is 3-7 in two games since being recalled, including an RBI double against the Nationals on Wednesday, and Steve Pearce has shown, as he did against Jordan Zimmermann on Wednesday, that he can hit home runs off of right handed pitching just as he can versus a southpaw.
As good as the Orioles lineup continues to be, it will be a test to see if they can match up bat for bat against the American League’s highest hitting team that includes Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.