An Ugly Night in Birdland against the Phillies…

Well, the Baltimore Orioles lost yesterday to the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-6, at Camden Yards on Friday night. The record will show that the Orioles chipped away at the Phillies lead – as they came back from a six-run deficit; however, in reality the game was over for them before it began.

The offense did their part, but the starting pitching was a whole another story.

Jake Arrieta, who had talked about setting the tone for the Orioles pitching staff on Opening Week, suffered on the mound again. He gave up nine runs on eleven hits in four innings of work, and my ticket partner plus several other fans in our section were wondering if we had seen the last of Arrieta in Baltimore for a while.

The right-hander gave up six runs in the second inning, and that spelled certain doom for the Orioles.

The news became official this morning. Arrieta is going down to the minors; therefore, after seeing what happened in Baltimore last night, there is little reason why.

It was just ugly on Friday for the first one-third of the game.

Arrieta looked like he was serving up batting practice to the Phillies, giving up hit after hit and not locating his pitches at all. Granted, the defense – especially Endy Chavez in left – did not help him much, but the bottom line is this: Arrieta sucked.

Dana Eveland, Kevin Gregg and Luis Ayala picked up where Arrieta left off. Unlike Arrieta, they were effective and kept the Orioles in the game. However, for Baltimore, the hole was way too deep to dig out of.

In the end, it is astonishing that the Orioles are 32-26 right now; sadly, they have fallen out of first place and are a game behind the Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles are now in third place, ½ a game behind the New York Yankees.

For the Orioles, it all comes down to pitching. Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen have been golden; Brian Matusz has had his ups and downs, but Arrieta and Tommy Hunter been mediocre to terrible.

At this point, it is all about the pitching for the Orioles and they will only go as far as it takes them.

Tommy Hunter – after his stint in Norfolk – gets the ball on Saturday.

Let’s hope we do not see a repeat of Friday night this afternoon.