Last night’s game looked lost for the Orioles. I was listening to the game on my way to western Pennsylvania and it seemed liked they were headed to a loss against the Minnesota Twins. Jason Hammel – who started the game – was off; the Orioles were mired in a six-run deficit and shutout in the first six innings, plus the offense seemed to be non-existent.
However, business started to pick up for Baltimore in the final two-thirds of the game. The offense woke in the latter third of the contest and they scored three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to tie things at six; then, in the tenth inning, the Orioles plated in three runs and decided the game once and for all.
The bullpen – T.J. McFarland, Tommy Hunter and Jim Johnson – pitched six innings of relief and helped Baltimore earn their 22nd win of the season. They have won seven out of their last eight series and are doing their best to keep up pace with the New York Yankees and Red Sox.
The offense pounded out eighteen hits last night and every batter – except Matt Wieters – had a hit. Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Chris Davis each had three hits; meanwhile, Mick Markakis, Nate McLouth, Alexi Casilla and Chris Dickerson each had two.hits.
The league knows now that the Orioles will play every out in the game and not give up.
That is what winning franchises do and the Orioles are for real. They are maturing and becoming a force in the American League. The Birds have moved far away from the losing culture of the past and are now expected to compete.
Despite the win, the Orioles they some work to do. In light of the win yesterday and the offense pounding out the hits – especially doubles – they need another bat.
They also need a designated hitter in a bad way.
I didn’t think that Mark Reynolds being not offered a contract would be a big deal; however, on second thought, they could have used him this year. Yes, Reynolds strikes out zillion times a season, but still gets on base and is launching the ball out for the Cleveland Indians.
He has eleven home runs for the Tribe.
The point I am making when I reference Reynolds is that the Orioles are getting little production from the bottom half of their lineup. In order to compete in the American League East, they seriously need a designated hitter with some pop, who can hit at a decent clip and get on base.
The guys that Baltimore have had bat in the lineup in the designated hitter role have not hacked it at all so far.
Looking back, the Wilson Betemit injury was detrimental to the team. The lack of offense from guys such as Steve Pearce and Nolan Reimold are making the position into a black hole. If for some reason the aforementioned players are hurt or can’t contribute as the spring and summer go on, the Oriole may have to make a trade for a bat.
As of now, the Orioles are fine with their offense, but they need more productive from the designated hitter spot – along with the bottom of the lineup.