This past week has been nothing short of frustrating for the team and us watching from home. The Orioles could be swept again this afternoon, if all doesn’t go well.
What can certainly be done at this point? The bottom line is the offense is not producing, and the Orioles – at least in the past few days – are doing enough to lose.
Baltimore starting pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie, was on his way to an impressive outing and could have ended the losing streak, which has now reached five games. With a 2-0 lead in the eighth inning, Guthrie committed a fundamental error, as he attempted to retrieve a hit ball thrown – hard – by Luke Scott after an Ichiro Suzuki grounder.
That would defeat the Orioles as the baseball tipped off of Guthrie’s glove. Two batters later, with runners on first and second, Seattle’s Justin Smoak would pretty much bury Baltimore with a three-run homer.
The Orioles could not come back, and Guthrie’s solid outing went down the toilet.
What can you say? They have little margin for error, and if they fall behind, it is extremely hard for the Birds to come back.
Two old friends from Baltimore – pitchers Erik Bedard and Chris Ray – played a role in the Mariners win. Bedard started the game for Seattle, went 6 1/3 innings and gave up two runs.
He matched Guthrie pitch-for-pitch until the sixth as Nick Markakis plated a run with a grounder to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Baltimore added another run in the seventh as Matt Wieters hit a solo homer.
Chris Ray – former Oriole reliever – got the win, as he pitched 1 2/3 shutout innings. Brandon League got the save.
In other news, Brian Matusz, will pitch this afternoon and be back with the big league team. That is the good news; however, the Orioles designated Jake Fox for assignment. I’ll say that I am not terribly surprised. He seemed to be a good dude, but was not getting it done. I don’t see him playing in the minors.
Fox had some pop, and set the world on fire with 10 homers during Spring Training; however, he could not hit a lick when he got to play with Baltimore and his catching abilities did not win anyone over. I’m sure a team will take a chance on him; however, not having him on the roster will not be that critical of a loss.
Finally, Nick Markakis is starting at first base???
He is a decent enough athlete and may be fine there – ok, suitable. With Derrek Lee out, Fox off the roster and Luke Scott ailing, I guess he had to get the call. However, it is just weird seeing the news flash on the computer screen.
Maybe Buck just wants to get his younger guys in the fold considering the losing skid. Might as well try something new, right?