The Orioles seven game road trip is over. It was a trip that costed Baltimore an above .500 record and possession of first place in baseball’s most challenging division, the A.L. East. Maybe it’s the playoff hockey that’s clouding my vision, but even in this seemingly most dark times of Orioles baseball, under Buck Showalter I have a different vibe than the previous rough patches the O’s have undergone in recent history.
I’ll fully admit, I’ve got blind faith in Buck Showalter as I think he’s the right guy to turn this thing around. And while I’m critical of fans that don’t show up to support the team, I understand the frustration, especially after a bad road trip. But, I just get a different feeling about this team, even during a bad losing streak, with Showalter steering the ship.
This team doesn’t seem to be wondering aimlessly trying to figure out what’s wrong or moving different pieces to try and get the right formula. In years past when the team hit a rough patch lineups would be shaken up and players would be moved around the field. Showalter is confident that his guys’ talents will push through, at least according to his lack of lineup shuffling.
During the Orioles road trip to New York and Cleveland, Showalter only made substitutions at shortstop, catcher and centerfield. Even though this lineup has struggled to get their bats moving in April, the Orioles manager has shown faith in his team by keeping his lineup set day in and day out.
The excuses haven’t been flying from the Orioles locker room after these loses either. Jeremy Guthrie was critical of his game two performance against the Indians and Buck Showalter has stressed that his squad won’t feel sorry for themselves.
So what’s wrong and how does it get fixed? From the start of the season, Baltimore’s lineup, with the exception of a few solid games from Brian Roberts, has not produced as the organization and fans have hoped it would. MASN analyst Jim Palmer said during Sunday’s game that the Orioles aren’t being patient enough at the plate. As a team, the Orioles have only drawn 14 walks and are hitting .230 with an on base percentage of .284. Their home run and RBI leader happens to bat lead off.
Even with Brad Bergesen’s 5 inning, 2 earned run performance, the Orioles should have at least set the kid up for a no decision. Instead he surrendered three runs (two earned) and got the loss.
Jake Fox said that this Orioles team is confident. Adam Jones also stressed it. With a manager at the top that keeps his guys in line, I feel comfortable that the O’s will get to playing the type of baseball they’re capable of playing.