Yesterday was a case study in frustration if you’re an Orioles fan.
The Orioles faced the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday and were hoping a series sweep.
Despite their talent level, the Angels have been lackluster this season; however, they took advantage a Baltimore pitcher during the top of the seventh inning.
They would turn a 4-2 deficit into an 8-4 lead after the frame.
The pitcher on the mound for the Orioles…
That name has caused fans to react with occasional outburts of anger all season long. He was beyond putrid yesterday in his first start back from the disabled list.
A game that the Orioles should have won became a laugher, and a lot of fans were pointing the finger at him when it was over.
During the deciding frame for Baltimore, Los Angeles plated in six runs, thanks to an Erick Aybar triple, along with a Ryan Flaherty error; moments later, Albert Pujols lowered the boom with a home run.
The Angels would eventually salvage the three-game series in Baltimore, winning Wednesday’s contest by a score of 9-5.
Strop only lasted 1/3 of an inning, was charged with four runs, allowed three hits, walked one and threw 20 pitches in his outing. Only 11 of them were strikes.
Strop was a critical part in the success of the Baltimore Orioles in 2012; however, since September of that season and on, he has been terrible.
In 2012, Strop had 5-2 record with a 2.44 ERA. He did a bang-up job with serving as a bridge to Jim Johnson to preserve games for the Orioles.
In 2013, he is 0-3 with a 7.58 ERA. Strop has pitched 19 innings so far this season and has struck out 19 batters, along with walking 15.
Instead of being an important piece of the Baltimore bullpen, right now, he may only be trusted in a mop-up spot.
Everyone forgot yesterday that Chris Davis hit his 21st homer, or Adam Jones hit his 14th homer, and that Hammel was halfway decent before Strop came in.
Strop soon became the topic of conversation and overshadowed everything that the Orioles accomplished yesterday.
Last year, I wondered, “How in the world did the Texas Rangers ever let this guy go?”
The sentiment in my mind this week is, “ugh, can he be sent to the minors or something?”
He doesn’t have any options left; therefore, if designated for assignment, and then exposed to waivers, the right-hander is a goner from the organization. Eventually, some team would grab him, exercise patience with him and try to figure out his problems.
That move would bite the Orioles in-the-you-know-where.
At this point, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter will have to work with Strop to see where he is faltering.
Now, they have to get him to succeed.
Strop has shown that he can do the job on the mound with the Baltimore bullpen; however, he has to be consistent and find the form that helped him get guys out in 2012.
He just needs to figure himself out. The stint on the disabled list didn’t seem to help matters, so perhaps Strop just needs get into a groove and go back to the basics.
As to when Strop will resemble the guy from last season – who knows.