Friday, May 25, 2007

Musings on Five Games Under

Well friends, our birds find themselves in a familiar place under 500 and in fourth place. Yes, a mere 1.5 games separates them from second but the team has just been stuck in neutral since I last posted. Where have I been you demand to know? Blame the No Child Left Behind Act and MD High School Assessments. The only thing worse than taking them is getting 150 kids READY for them. Its been a hectic week. Normally the Orioles should offer an escape from that stress, unfortunately this has not been the case recently.

The Orioles are 5 games under 500 and they have been in nearly EVERY GAME this month so far. Trust me, its not just you. Only one game the Orioles have played in the last 14 has been decided by more than 2 runs. The starting pitching has been phenomenal, the bullpen has been passable (except for ONE MAN, more on that later) but the offense has been sputtering.

And that is putting it lightly.

Miguel Tejada has been back in the four-hole the last couple games and last night he hit his first homerun, an Earl Weaver no less, in a solid 100 ABs. Nick Markakis is leading the team in RBIs and is on pace to hit 82! EIGHTY-TWO!

The Orioles offense is playing at a historically bad pace right now, so odds are it will not remain that bad. Odds are that the offense will find a groove sooner or later and make this six week period from April into May seem like a bad memory and forgotten frustrations. But how long must we wait? How big is this desert? Are we in a playground sand-box or are we crossing the Gobi on a amnesiac horse?

The Orioles' much ballyhooed bullpen has been spotty lately. After their stellar April they fell to Earth like the last son of Krypton in May. Though I think it will turn around. Orioles starters barely averaged 5 innings a start in April, they are now regularly getting into the 6th and 7th innings and you will see the benefits of that soon enough. The only real downside recently has been one Danys Baez who seems to have totally lost it the last couple weeks. Danys had a great April allowing runs in only 3 appearances in the month. Recently, however, Baez has allowed not just runs but CRITICAL GAME-CHANGING/WINNING runs in 4 of his last 5 appearances. That is simply unacceptable from him.

The Orioles go up against the A's tonight hoping to get a little revenge and save a little face after the living abortion that was the two gamer in Baltimore. The Orioles need to get this turned around and quick. They have been letting too many games get away from them, too many great starts going to waste, too many runners left on base in crucial times, too many troubles, too many troubles...sorry I slipped into a Beta Band song for a second there. Its bad times in Birdland boys and girls but you and I both know that the Orioles are one good week away from being right back in it. But they are one bad week away from fighting embarrassment, and shuffling Sam Perlozzo off to the unemployment line.

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