Talking Behind Their Back: Yankees
There's one stat that jumps out that really sums up this series and it comes courtesy of the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec:
"In the 27 innings played in the series against the New York Yankees, the Orioles trailed after all of them."
That, my friends, is called domination.
The only game the Orioles were in against the Yankees was Game 1, a 9-1 loss. While that comment may come across as sarcastic, it's not. Rookie pitcher Brad Bergesen did a fine job in his first start at Yankees Stadium; he gave up two runs in the first inning but then retired 13 straight at one point. Bergesen left in the seventh inning with two runners on after allowing just three hits but Orioles reliever Chris Ray couldn't get the job done in what become a seven-run seventh. Add in the fact that CC Sabathia was on the mound and has looked like the stud pitcher the Yankees expected and ... well, the Orioles were toast.
Speaking of toast, Adam Eaton's days in the Baltimore rotation appear to be numbered after the tremendous egg he laid in last night's finale, a 7-4 loss. Eaton got battered for four doubles in the first inning and was down 6-0 through two innings. Eaton is now 2-5 with an 8.36 ERA and following the game, Manager Dave Trembley didn't go out of his way to support Eaton, "[he] didn't pitch well enough to give us a chance to win the game. That's the bottom line."
Pitchers the Orioles could call up include David Pauley, David Hernandez and Chris Waters. For now, it's anyone's guess who will be the starter five days from now. Of course it may not matter who's starting for the Orioles as the bullpen looked porous in New York. The bullpen allowed 11 runs in the first two games of the series (Brian Bass and George Sherrill combined to allow only one hit in Game 3), which is clearly not a winning formula.
The Orioles can take solace in the fact that they do not have the worst bullpen in the majors, that ignominious distinction belongs to the Washington Nationals who just so happen to be hosting Baltimore for a three-game series in the first weekend of interleague play.
As Dave Sheinin so thoroughly pointed out, the Nationals bullpen is not just bad, they are historically bad, sporting an ERA over 6.60. Their bullpen is so bad that the team is setting records for most runs scored in losses. While the Nationals have certainly looked buffoonish in many regards this season, the team's offense is no joke. The Nats have already lost 10 games this season despite scoring six or more runs, clearly that's a reflection on the dire straits of the pitching staff.
Washington ranks in the major league's top 10 in average, on-base percentage, slugging, RBI, home runs and hits. Essentially the Nationals are a one-trick pony - they hit very well but can't pitch and are an adventure defensively. The Orioles aren't that much better when it comes to pitching and are worse than the Nats offensively but at least in theory, have a better defense.
So while this weekend's series in D.C. may be a meeting of two Class AAAA teams, it could still be pretty entertaining. Expect the ball to be flying around the park given the offenses and the pitching staffs. Think of this matchup between the Orioles and Nationals as being like a summer blockbuster - it may not be good but it could be rather entertaining.
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