Reality check: O's offense, this is now all on you -
Dan Connolly

Reality check: O’s offense, this is now all on you

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

It’s time for a reality check. Maybe it’s way past due.

The Orioles are falling apart at the wrong time.

Frankly, they’ve been fracturing for weeks, just not so rapidly and at such a critical juncture as now.

I don’t care who they were playing. Losing six of eight at home in your last homestand with your team holding onto a playoff spot is unacceptable.

Here’s what has to happen:

Those high-priced, high-powered, high-profile sluggers that were chasing the majors’ home run record for a while? Well, they need to earn their keep. No excuses. Just hit.

Hit more homers if you like. Use the sacrifice fly. Ground out to the right side to score a run. Drag bunt. I don’t care.

But get on base and score runs. Stop looking so tight, stop squeezing the sawdust out of your bats. Stop flailing at obvious pitches out of the strike zone. Stop getting yourself out. And start acting like you have been here before.

Because most of you have been here before. That should give you an advantage over a lot of the competition.

For all the complaints about the starting pitching, this downward spiral is squarely on the offense’s shoulders.

The major league leaders in home runs combined for eight runs in four games versus Boston, getting outscored, 20-8. The Orioles hit three homers in the four-game series: One by Adam Jones and two by rookie Trey Mancini in his first two big-league starts.

Here’s how the core of the lineup did in this series: Chris Davis, 2-for-15; Mark Trumbo, 2-for-16; Jones, 2-for-16, one homer; Machado, 2-for-14; Jonathan Schoop, 4-for-15; Matt Wieters, 0-for-10; J.J. Hardy, 3-for-13.

Add it up and those guys are 15-for-99 (.152 average) with four RBIs.

Mancini was 3-for-7 with four RBIs.

Not acceptable fellas, no matter how good the opposing team’s pitcher is. Not now.

This is crunch time. This is the time for the Orioles to show they are more than just all-or-nothing hackers.

Or if that’s not possible, then this is the time to get all instead of nothing.

Or go home.



  1. Rob

    September 23, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Right on the mark. As last night’s game began, the difference in the Sox and O’s line up and professional approach was about as subtle as an anvil to the skull. The instantaneous ballooning if Tillman’s pitch count was the tell tail sign. Boston hitters were smart, patient and they had a plan. O’s hitters, well not so much. It’s been exactly as you described it and it’s been that way for weeks and it’s gotten them into this current tailspin of irrelevancy. Time to snap out of it and as another Boston skipper would say “just do your job”.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 23, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Boston scores a whole lot more runs with fewer home runs. That’s not a coincidence. The OBP difference alone is stark.

  2. bill-s

    September 23, 2016 at 7:58 am

    I totally agree with Rob’s and your comments. But of course in this next series, we will see the underbelly of the Oriole pitching staff against a pretty good hitting team. So I hold my breath.

    But I would like to raise another issue. Why does MLB think it’s a good idea to have divisional opponents play each other 19 teams, while cross-division teams play only 8 games? And then they use this severely unbalanced schedule to pick the two wild card teams. I guarantee neither the Tigers, Astros, Mariners, or Royals would be in contention if they had to run the gauntlet facing the AL East teams. Hell, put the Rays in the Central and they would be a contender, I am certain. Just give them 38 games against the Twins and White Sox and just 16 against the Red Sox and Blue Jays and see what their record would look like. It would be so easy to set your pitching rotation up for a series against a strong team, knowing that you have the White Six next. In the east, the next series is as tough as the one you are playing now. Just seems totally unfair.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 23, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Yep. Buck brings that subject up several times a week. Different schedules fighting for the same prize.

  3. marcshank

    September 23, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Trumbo is obviously a first-half player. But I stand by what I’ve said before on all of the Oriole sites: Signing Chris Davis for that kind of money for that amount of time was the biggest offensive mistake the Orioles made. And Showalter’s refusal to put him further down in the lineup was his biggest mistake.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 23, 2016 at 9:37 am

      I’ll agree with dropping him in the order. But I think you’ve got to let the contract play out a little before the verdict is delivered.

  4. DauerPower

    September 23, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I understand the frustration with Crush but we knew what we were signing; and all or nothing slugger. And the lineup got us to first place for a good chunk of the season. I’m not sure how much you can shake up the line-up with any results. Surprised Coolbaugh isn’t taking more heat for the recent performances. I remember seeing him interviewed/quoted frequently in May/June but nothing from him on how to turn the hitters around.

    • Mau

      September 23, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      It’s baffling how they treat situational hitting. When Mancini doubled to lead off, it capped off a relentless run of not advancing runners in scoring position. When Stubbs came to bat I thought, OK this guy comes from outside of the organization and MAYBE he’ll work himself into a hitters count and not the traditional O’s hitters pitchers counts down 0-2 or 1-2. Struck out on 4 pitches. I envy the Boston pitchers pitch counts. I envy the Boston hitters approach at the plate.

      The second half schedule is brutal. That can’t be argued. That being said, a Bad News Bears starting P staff has stepped up to the plate while the hitters haven’t. Atrocious.

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