What a difference two days makes. If you consume as much Baltimore sports media as I do, you surely know about the emotional roller coaster Orioles fans have endured over the past week. A rainy Monday in Charm City reflects just the persona of the O’s fan to date, despite sun shine, blue skies and temperatures in the 90’s just a week ago.
Perhaps it was the expectations that fans and Orioles President of Baseball Operations, Andy MacPhail, put on this team that has made their 12-26 record that much worse. The fans want something to cheer about and they thought they had it last week.
The truth of the matter is that up until their last two losses, May hasn’t been that bad to the Orioles. They swept the Red Sox at Camden Yards, but were swept out of the Bronx three days later, split with the Twins in Minnesota and swept the M’s. After a 2-16 start, the Orioles are 10-10 in their last 20 games. Brian Matusz lowered his ERA to 4.18 with his seven inning, six strikeout outting in the Orioles loss on Saturday. Ty Wigginton, Baltimore’s surprise All-Star caliber second baseman, is hitting .320 with 12 homers. Luke Scott has heated up in May, bumping his average from .194 on April 30th to .245 on May 16th. Luke is hitting .333 with 5 home runs and 10 RBI in May after starting the season with just two home runs in April.
But it’s Saturday and Sunday that has everyone around town talking, discussing holding Andy MacPhail accountable and possible replacements at Manager. The 5, 6 and 8 runs scored in their last three wins, Corey Patterson’s presence in left field and the pies in the face are all forgotten and we go back to square one with this ball club.
If the Orioles are going play up to their talent level this season, which despite being 12-26 is still very possible, they have to defeat the lower caliber teams. They can’t afford to lose 2 of 3 against Cleveland and need to contend against their remaining opponents in May (Kansas City, Texas, Washington, Oakland and Toronto).
The fans want to see a winner, their expectations are higher this season than they have been in a long time. It’s time for the club to step up and take these winnable ball games.