Well that was quite a early season ride. The team everyone in the 410 area code fell back in love with last year is trying extremely hard to duplicate it only 18 games into the season. No, there hasn’t been any Chris Davis pitching performances yet. But there has been a walk off grand slam (Jesus in Cleats) and of  course some mental lapses along the way as well.

Virginia Beach - Norfolk, VA
Lovely Norfolk, VA

I took in another Sunday meltdown at the Yards as I watched our beloved Black and Orange drop a 3 spot on the reeling Dodgers only to have soon to be Norfolk resident Jake Arrieta give it all back and then some. That’s two home Sunday games the O’s have taking early 3-zippy leads and then watch their opponent shut them out the rest of the way (Twins 4-3). Maybe the Orioles should’ve let the Ravens play their home opener on a Sunday after all as they are now 0-3 and have been outscored 14-7.

Even with the Sunday un-funday record, the Birds are still 10-8 overall and have been swinging the bats quite well. At print time the O’s were 6th in runs, 6th in average, 12th in OBP, and an impressive 4th in SLG% in all of baseball. Davis, @SimplyAJ10 and Nick Mark have especially been killing the little white ball as well as Wieters and Manny Machado. Hell, even Nolan Reimold has seemed to find his stroke of late, but more impressive for me is the fact that he hasn’t got hurt in two weeks.

But even with this hot start by the offense, it’s been the starting pitching mixed with some shaky bullpen arms that have kept this team from having a better record. Jason Hammel might be the worst “ace” in the America League and don’t get me started on Arrieta. Can we please stop saying things like, “he has the stuff to win” and “if he would only trust his stuff.” Enough.

This “kid” is 27 years-old and to me he’s the poster boy for a 4A player. Not good enough for the bigs, but a decent middle of rotation guy in Triple A. Sorry, but it’s just the truth.

Don’t believe me, take a look at his overall record and ERA as an Oriole.

He’s 20-24, with 5.40 ERA.  No complete game or shutout in any of 62 games he has started. He’s giving up 358 hits in only 353 1/3 innings (including his relief appearances) and his 1.460 WHIP is considered pretty dreadful by starters standards. Enough. Enjoy the summer surf on the Virginia Beach, Jake. I’m pretty confident you can take the locker of Zach Britton as I’m predicting he will be getting the pill this Wednesday on get away day vs. the Blow Jays.

Chris TillmanAnd speaking of those over-hyped Blow Jays, they are in town starting tonight for a 3-game set. O’s starter Chris Tillman, like his boy Arrieta, is in need of a quality start of his own. As I’ve stated in the past, I’m a full blown fanboy of this skirt-chasing, tall drink of water. He showed signs of top of the rotation stuff last year as he went 9-3 with a sub 3 ERA in 15 starts. His velocity was in the mid to upper 90’s on occasions and his command was superb as well. But something always seems to rattle this mentally fragile 25 year-old whether it’s injury or off the field issues. But when his head is screwed on straight, his upside is much > Arrieta.

After the Blow Jays series, the O’s head out West for a 11-game roadie thru OakTown, Seattle and LA Angels of Tustin/Irvine. We should know a lot more about Buck’s Club when they return from that trip. You don’t have to go 8-3 or even 7-4 on the trip, but at least continue to try and win series’. The O’s have a +10 run/differential and have won 4 of their 6 series overall.

Jabby Burns is a diehard #OrangeKoolAid drinker and contributor to BaltimoreSportsReport.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JabbyBurns and check out his website JabbyBurns.com.