Tap-In Question: What's your take on these Orioles after a disappointing 4-6 road trip? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Connolly's Tap Room

Tap-In Question: What’s your take on these Orioles after a disappointing 4-6 road trip?

The barkeep’s a little irritated today. Wasn’t a particularly good night at the Tap Room last evening. I spent hours cleaning up glass after someone threw the one unmounted TV in this joint through the front window.

It happened with Chris Davis at the plate, two strikes, two outs, and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth of a 7-6 nailbiter with the Seattle Mariners.

We were in total suspense. Had no idea what happened.

To the TV and the window, that is. The rest wasn’t hard to figure out.

Jokes aside, the Orioles’ head-shaking loss to the Mariners dropped them to 59-62 on the season, 24-39 on the road and 4-6 on the crucial West Coast trip to Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle.

The Orioles resume play Friday against the Los Angeles Angels, whom they currently trail by three games for the second AL Wild Card spot.

To make matters worse in this dive, not only did we lose a TV, but we might have lost a chunk of our female patronage. The Joey Rickard Fan Club that meets most game nights here isn’t pleased that the young outfielder was sent back to Triple-A on Wednesday evening.

It’ll be a short stay in the minors for Rickard, who was holding his own offensively and playing good defense. He’ll be back when rosters expand Sept. 1. But the Orioles needed to make room for Rule 5 outfielder Anthony Santander (forearm strain), whose rehab assignment has expired. The Orioles didn’t want to risk losing veteran Craig Gentry to waivers, so they optioned Rickard to Norfolk for a spell. A little surprising, but it was a simple roster management decision. Still, try to explain that to a bunch of paying customers in No. 23 jerseys.

Anyway, if you frequent this fake watering hole, you know my thoughts about what needed to happen during the West Coast road trip. And you know what happened; the Orioles dropped two series and split the other.


I realize if the Orioles sweep the Angels this weekend, they are, once again, right back in the Wild Card race.

But they just haven’t shown me enough consistently – heck, from game to game, inning to inning – to make me think this is the club that will catch fire in the final weeks. At this point, I think that’s going to be some other team.

That’s my glass-covered soapbox. Now, it’s your turn. Watch your step.

Tap-In Question: What’s your take on these Orioles after the 4-6 road trip?



  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 17, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Sickened. Truly sickened. It must be nice to NOT be a fan ‘eh barkeep?

    I’m not really sickened about the road trip as a whole, but just in the way it ended. That old albatross of a contract reared it’s ugly head again. Chris Davis’s play (or lack of) is truly emblematic of the woes of this all or nothing team. Chris Davis (I’m never calling him Crush again) flailed at 2 butterflies and then watched strike 3 fall thigh high right down the middle of the plate for strike 3, never taking the bat off his shoulder. He froze. He choked. Have we seen this before? This guy is a worthless .210 hitting, choking dog of a 1st baseman. And I don’t care about what stellar D he plays! He stinks, stank, stunk. Big moment comes .. big moment goes. You can’t watch anything remotely close to the plate go by without protecting in that situation. He doesn’t have a clutch bone in his body. What a waste of forearms and muscle mass, not to mention the 23+ large a year this head case of a player takes home.

    And the O’s simple can’t or won’t pull a “cut the Panda anyway” type Red Sox move and eat that albatross of a contract. Give me 2 Ubaldo contracts vs. one of the C.D.’s any day. And C.D. stands for Choking Dog.


    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 17, 2017 at 7:49 am

      I know it’s not even 8:00 AM … but Barkeep please ….I need a cold one.

    • eddienj

      August 17, 2017 at 8:00 am

      Thank you. You took my exact same thoughts and put them on paper better than I ever could.

      If you’re sitting on a pitch with two strikes that means you have no confidence at all in your bat.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 17, 2017 at 8:31 am

      One more thing barkeep. I just informed my wife of Rickard’s demotion. She’d like a cold one too.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Not sure what to say here, except a full round on the barkeep. And that includes Boog’s extended family.

  2. Mau

    August 17, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Re: Beckham, DD is an art thief.

    Why, O, why are Trumbo and Davis hitting back to back?

    It’s mystifying how a pitcher who hadn’t won a game in 4 years, and was just called up, can mystify the O’s 2 nights ago.

    Can Tillman be a setup guy? Seems like a good role for him.

    I imagine these O’s will tease us for the WC for a while longer.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 17, 2017 at 7:50 am

      Mau … Why is Davis even in the lineup?

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Ok, I’ll bite twice. One, Davis is in the lineup because he IS viewed as a threat who can change a game with one swing. Few and far between now, but everyone knows that possibility exists. And his D remains above average. But I get ya. I understand your pain. Second point, Tillman is a starter and will sign somewhere as a starter. No way he transitions to the bullpen — fully — at 29. Not until he has several rough seasons consecutively.

      • DOUG1960

        August 17, 2017 at 9:54 am

        That last inning was hard to watch. Schoop was trying to kill the ball instead of just making contact. Hell, lean into one of the inside pitches and the game is tied. I knew Davis would strike out. As usual, he just stood and looked at it. He needs to close his stance one step in and one forward. Maybe get him to view the Pete Rose, A-Rod and Frank Thomas interview on hitting.
        Rickard also misplayed that home run. Could have been caught.
        I think Tillman needs to reinvent his delivery. Flies open too much. Do they ever go back and watch the broadcasted game film?

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      I doubt they watch broadcasted film. But these guys watch film of themselves all the time. Rule of thumb is if you can pinpoint something from TV, I’m sure they’re aware of it too.

  3. 5brooks5

    August 17, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Dan, My take is that this team just isn’t good enough to play consistent baseball. To much inconsistency in the order and G.O.K. with the rotation. That being said I do wonder why Davis takes a bat up to the plate? He should just stand there and hope to walk or get plunked, like coach in that episode of “Cheers”! Sorry for the sarcasm, but he is stealing money at this point and with that contract he is bound to bear the brunt of fan’s frustration for the next five years! OMG

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 9:34 am

      Brooks that brings up a good point. Plan on being at the bar for a while. I got one for ya tomorrow.

  4. Osfan73

    August 17, 2017 at 8:40 am

    My take after this past road trip….that the Os are at best a .500 team. This team is plaqued with mediocre starting pitching, and a very uneven, inconsistent lineup. Not what playoff teams are made of. Only hope left would be that the Os are now back home where they at least have a better record. But any hope that remains is fading fast.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Good summary. Drink chip.

  5. ATCguy

    August 17, 2017 at 9:24 am

    My take is pretty simple… they are exactly what I’ve thought they were. A team that, from the front office point of view, is entertaining enough to keep the fans engaged, and put enough of them in the seats to turn a profit. Period. The same as they were last year. The same as they were the year before that. And the same as it will be for next year. In other words… the beatings will continue until morale improves.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 9:39 am

      I was buying what you were selling, ATC, until the end. Morale isn’t an issue, at least considering this team’s record. These O’s are a resilient and fairly upbeat crew. If I were Ubaldo or Davis, I’d be in a crumpled heap of my own tears in the corner of the Tap Room. But these guys keep plugging away. They haven’t given up. The team just isn’t talented enough to make up for the roster’s obvious deficiencies.

      • ATCguy

        August 17, 2017 at 1:24 pm

        Oh, it isn’t the players’ morale I was speaking of… it’s OURS, the fans. That phrase was an old military saying we had in the barracks. We’ll keep getting beat (spanked, whipped) until OUR morale improves! 🙂

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Ahhh. My misread. Sorry.

  6. Bancells Moustache

    August 17, 2017 at 9:39 am

    It’s a sub .500 team playing sub .500 ball on the West Coast. What, you guys thought they were going to roll over Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim then come marching triumphantly down Russell St? The Orioles aren’t good. They aren’t bad either. In terms of being a television property, the 2017 Orioles are basically an episode of ‘Wheel of Fortune’; yes, you can recognize it and it will briefly hold your interest as you flip thru the channels but it’s not like it’s anything special.

    Has anyone got any updates on whether Breshad Perriman and Joe Flacco will be ready for Cincinnati in week 1?

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 9:40 am

      Oof. All I gotta say. Oof.

  7. Os_Skins

    August 17, 2017 at 10:14 am

    My take this morning is a far cry from my take around 7 last night, when for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why this team had gone 4-6 on a road trip where they easily could have gone 6-4, if not 7-3. Laugh at first, but I mean it. This team has one of the worst rotations in baseball, and one of the best bullpens (when healthy) and, unfortunately, I think there were at least 2 or 3 games on the trip where Buck just didn’t play to the strengths of the ‘pen and left the starter out there too long. Hellickson in LA, Gausman in LA, Ubaldo yesterday. You win 2 of those 3 and you are looking at a 6-4 trip – add onto that the latest Friday-night debacle in Oakland, where Brach came in and did his best Gausman-in-April impression where every pitch magically breaks into the center of the plate, and you have four very winnable games that got away. So my take last night IMMEDIATELY following the game was IT’S OVER, I’m out. I’ll watch the rest of the season to monitor how Santander does, and how others look for next year, but I’m out on this year…

    This team (over the last 6 season) is a funny team. Every time I am ready to give up, they go on a run. Baseball is great for many reasons, but none more so than the everyday nature of it. By this morning I was already adjusting my focus to the road ahead. A road that has a team that RAKES at home playing 16 of the next 19 there, and 6 of its next 12 against teams in front of them in the Wild Card standings. So my take is that it won’t be easy, but that with a month and a half to go, the Orioles still have a shot and a halfway decent one. Over the rest of the month, They need to go at least 8-5 to be sitting at .500 come Sept. 1. That’s attainable by going 2-1 v. Angels, 3-0 v. As, 1-2 v. Boston, 2-1 v. Seattle and 1-0 v. Toronto.

    To do that, though, Buck is going to have to be more aggressive in both his pitching changes and his lineups. He can’t be worried about hurting feelings by pinch hitting Jones for Davis if the situation calls for it. Going into the 5th or 6th of a one-run game, he can’t be afraid to already have O’Day or Bleier warming and yank the starter the second someone gets on. We’ll know a lot come 3 or so tomorrow afternoon. If he is taking a more aggressive approach, against a lefty getting called up to make his season debut, the lineup will look something like this:

    1. Beckham SS
    2. Machado 3B
    3. Schoop 2B
    4. Jones CF
    5. Mancini 1B
    6. Trumbo RF
    7. Santander DH
    8. Joseph C (seems to be the Jeremy catcher)
    9. Gentry LF

    If he isn’t taking that approach… then expect to see Crush in there again, and expect another Friday-night debacle.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      My money is on Davis being in the lineup. But we shall see.

      • Os_Skins

        August 18, 2017 at 3:34 pm

        Aggressive it is! Dan – is there partial credit for absolute right lineup but slightly off in the defensive positioning?

  8. Orial

    August 17, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Dan do you see anytime in the near or distant future that Davis would ever be benched on a semi permanent basis if this continues? Wondering if his price tag keeps him in the lineup.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      The party line is that his glove keeps him in the lineup. And that his presence, even when struggling, is something opposing teams defend against. And he is a very good defender that can quickly ambush offensively. But the reality is also that they didn’t pay him to be a platoon guy 18 months into that contract.

  9. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 17, 2017 at 10:25 am

    This team is not all that far from being the best team in the AL East. Save for the collapse of a few pitchers this year, they would have been. Nobody saw Tillman or Gausman’s early season struggles coming. Nobody.

    As far as the lineup goes, I have no complaints other than the management’s insistence on putting a modern day version of Dave Kingman in the middle of it. We simply have eat the Davis contract, get Mancini to 1st base, resign Manny and hope that the Sisco Kid, Hayes and Santander are the players they appear to be.

    If they can just find 2 more starters to eat some innings with ERA’s lower than 5, and 2018 could be a good year. This is all doable. (except maybe resigning Manny) But even if they can’t he’s ours for one more year.

    • Bancells Moustache

      August 17, 2017 at 10:55 am

      If they wouldn’t eat Ubaldo’s deal, they certainly aren’t going to eat Davis monster deal. Sorry bunk, we are stuck hoping the Big Fella figures it out for the forseeable future.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 17, 2017 at 2:01 pm

        Hmmmmmm …. you say that as if you think Davis has out performed Ubaldo?

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Yeah. No shot that contract is eaten. 18 months into it. No shot. They — and you guys — have to hope he Crushes again.

  10. pedro

    August 17, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Buck has to pinch hit AJ for Davis in that situation. This is another example where big money contracts override what’s best for the team. Dan, in light of the Machado future mega contract, it would be interesting to do a look back on these type of deals. While maybe it’s a mixed bag, my personal opinion is that players never live up to the expectations. I don’t think it’s ever worth it, quite honestly, and that includes Manny. Kemp, Ellsbury, Werth, Hanley, Sabathia, Heyward, Price all paid more than the Crusher. All big markets that can absorb it.

    • DOUG1960

      August 17, 2017 at 11:32 am

      I thought the same thing yesterday. I keep looking at Cruz’ stats and think of what we could have had.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Generally speaking l, the Megadeals don’t work out. In fact, somebody was telling me recently that one of the best was ARod’s $252m. Which is hilarious because we all thought it was bunk. But his valuation apparently showed he was worth more.

  11. TxBirdFan

    August 17, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Ok…after all that doomsday talk…all we need to do is string 5-6 wins together and we’ll be in the thick of it – just like the Rangers have done, and that’s after they sold off their best pitcher. Putting Trumbo and Davis back to back is a rally killer, so let’s platoon them until they hit more consistently. I also agree that Buck needs to figure out a better way to use his current pitchers.

    As Boog said the other day, it ain’t over until WE say it’s over, and the fat lady isn’t even in the house. A few wins will turn this morgue into a party bar!

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      I could use the residuals. Drink chip.

  12. Winger

    August 17, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Well that sucked. I would rather send Krush down. Why didn’t Buck pinch hit for him. Send a message. This is insane. Everyone of your readers would have struck out on last pitch, however at least we would have gone down swinging.
    Bench Krush
    Hit Trumbo 7 or 8
    Face facts, it’s over.
    Buys bar a shot, takes Uber home.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      We appreciate your financial support at Connolly’s. I’ll pay for the über.


    August 17, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    That road trip was the season in microcosm. There is no carryover from one game to the next. In Oakland, the Os scored 13 runs on Saturday night and managed just two runs in seven hits in the first three innings the next day. For all if their offensive potential, they waste so many opportunities. What the Orioles do well is bash mediocre pitching. This team will be a .500 team to the end. I do think Buck Showalter does a great job getting what he can from a team that is very flawed. The starting pitching continues to be a huge issue. It’s hard to believe the Orioles can’t develop decent starting pitching through the farm system. That being said, we have a strong nucleus to build around and we need to retain Machado, Schoop, Bundy, Jones and Gausman. Beckham was a terrific addition but I have my doubts that Chris Davis will ever produce the way he did in 2013. I am so tired of him taking strike three calls to kill rallies. How many times has that happened? Countless. Davis excels in tack-on runs. He will hut a three-run HR when the Orioles have a 7-1 lead.

  14. Homerago

    August 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Orioles lineup has been stacked with offensive talent, but still under – achieving for the majority of the season. No matter how stacked, the lineup will never be able to carry the liability of Davis, unless it can be supplemented with subperb pitching. The Orioles have several starting pitchers in its rotation, Gausman, Miley, Bundy and Hellickson, that would excel with other clubs like the Rays or Cubs. So, it’s obvious where the overall problem is with the club.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Not sure any of this is obvious.

  15. karks

    August 17, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Nothing surprising with the road trip. This is a team that just doesn’t seem to have the ability to pull out wins consistently. It’s a shame because they could have had 6 or 7 wins on the trip. To paraphrase the great Jim Mora, “Woulda, coulda, shoulda…”

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      Yep. Not much I can add here.

  16. OsFanStuckInNY

    August 17, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    I just can’t believe with Jones & Castillo on the bench that Buck didn’t pinch hit for Davis.
    Actually, I can. And that is an example of why I wont be sad to see a new manager.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 17, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      Buck is always hesitant to use his second catcher as a pinch hitter. I’m not sure what Jones’ availability was. And though .241 isn’t good, Davis actually has reverse splits this year (.211 vs RHP). So there might be a little more to it. But the AB result sure made you pine for another option.

  17. Liamandcarolinesdad

    August 18, 2017 at 2:34 am

    I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. I do believe that hindsight is 20/20 though. We can all agree NOW that AJ should’ve pinch hit for CD, but that .316 OBP CD has is third (tied w/ Manny) behind Schoop and Mancini. AJ is @ .313. All CD had to do was get on base to tie, and the NUMBERS were in our favor by letting CD take the at-bat. Yeah, repeatedly he stands there looking at the third strike. It’s like reliving the years of Jorge Julio, Kevin Gregg, and Tommy Hunter as our closer. Flip a coin and if it lands standing up, we just might be able to pull one out. I do believe that final at-bat has pretty much been the cliffnotes version of our season to date. We watch opportunity after opportunity run right by us. It’s sad, it’s frustrating, it’s an emotional roller coaster; but at this point would we really have it any other way? Someway, somehow, we will get to the final week of the season and still be in contention because of the competition being just as mediocre. Cheers all.

  18. woody

    August 18, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Wow things are GLOOMY in the tap-room! Even Boog’s glass is half-empty!

    4-6 road trip – whats to be that upset about? the team played well enough to have expected 5-5 at worst too.

    Chris Davis – we know what the situation is and his failings, is there any point in comparing him to ‘Crush’ anymore? Miley, Ubaldo, Trumbo, Davis, Tillman – every team has players that fail to perform, we’ve probably carried one too many this year. Mancini, Joseph, Schoop, Castillo – these guys have done great. 4 good, 5 bad – flip one to the other side and we’d probably be 5 wins better off – thats baseball.

    We’re an average team playing in a tough division. Although the manner of some defeats is upsetting we are pretty much where we should be, yet still playing ‘competitive’ baseball with some slim hopes.

    Sadly from the outset this season our executives signed us up for another frustrating season with the signing of Trumbo. This team would look a lot different without him. The deal for Davis is done – we live with it. Trumbo? Having Trumbo/Davis in the same line up, going through their frequent lulls, KILLS US time after time. Replace all Trumbo’s atbats with more from Rickard, Mancini, the late and great Kim, Gentry, whoever – and this team starts playing a completely different brand of baseball that is a lot less boom and bust – hey maybe we’d have spent the money on some more pitching depth too, or not have to DFA Bridwell. MISTAKE OF THE YEAR.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 18, 2017 at 9:07 am

      I’m curious as to how Bridwell’s career plays out. But I agree that could be a dagger

  19. bigdaddydk

    August 18, 2017 at 8:59 am

    The most frustrating part of this West Coast trip was that there was all the potential in the world to go 7-3. Had some very good pitching performances wasted by bullpen let downs or starters going a couple of batters too long. I’ve been a bit of a Buck defender on numerous occasions, and perhaps it’s less Buck than it is McDowell, but it seems he leaves starters a hair too long on too frequent a basis. I think about Ubaldo on Wednesday and how there was not much action until he was in too much trouble. Granted, he was victimized by some very weak grounders that squeaked through because of shifted positioning, but we’ve seen Buck do this when pitchers are getting lit up too. Seems to me that there should be a point at which, regardless of how a certain starter is doing (Miley and Ubaldo in particular) there’s someone warming by a particular inning to be ready. With Ubaldo, it seems to be the 5th. With Miley, about the same. So, when they’re on the hill, why not have someone start warming between innings to be ready at the first sign of trouble and hopefully minimize the damage.

    The O’s are decidedly NOT a good road team this year. The record disparity between home and on the road bears that out. But this was not a trip that showed them to be a bad road team. It’s a trip that showed them to be a team that can’t put games away. I’ve seen enough this year of scoring early, getting a lead, and failing to hold it, and more importantly, add to it to finish it off for good.

    As for Davis, I think his issues are mental, not physical. I think he’s overthinking things and I think his confidence is shot. I’ve thought for a while that bringing in a sports psychologist to help him get his focus back would help. He looks like he’s getting fooled a lot, which is why he’s taking a lot of grooved strike 3 pitches. He’s never been a good two-strike hitter, and I don’t see that changing much. He’s below .200 for his career. But he’s getting fooled earlier in the count and being put in a lot of two-strike counts. He strikes out nearly 60% of the time when he’s got two strikes on him. I really like Davis, and I know he’s working on the physical aspects of hitting to get back on track. I just don’t think this is all physical at this point. I love his defense, and he’s definitely a value added player in the field. I’m not convinced that his defense makes up for the lack of offensive production though. He should win a gold glove at first, but he’s certainly not a threat for a silver slugger.

    My final point of frustration is the continued faith Buck puts in players that are not producing when there are alternatives. I get some of the pitching decisions, such as putting Miley and Ubaldo out there every fifth day. He hasn’t had much alternative. We tried Ynoa and Asher with modest results, but probably not enough to justify a complete reshuffling of the rotation. But with the bases loaded on Wednesday, Buck had Jones and Castillo both on the bench, righties hitting against a lefty pitcher instead of Davis whose splits, both career and this year, are not good against lefties. I’d have pinch hit there and then had Jones in CF, Mancini at 1B, and Gentry in LF in the bottom of the 9th, assuming we had scored. I’m one for probabilities, and I did not think Davis provided acceptable likelihood of success to bat in that situation. It may not have worked, but I think Jones or Castillo would have been a higher probability for success. Had I been a betting man, I’d have bet money that Davis would go down on strikes, and may well have doubled down on taking a called third strike.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 18, 2017 at 9:10 am

      Nice post BD. But one thing: Davis’ splits vs LH are better this year than vs RH. Only .241, but roughly 30 points higher.

      • bigdaddydk

        August 18, 2017 at 9:14 am

        On second glance, you are correct. I had more recently compared Davis vs. lefties to Jones vs. righties for another conversation where it was suggested that a righty might have been brought in had Jones been put in to PH for Davis. Jones vs. righties is still better than Davis vs. lefties. But on my earlier point, I stand corrected.

    • Anton Pahomov

      August 21, 2017 at 9:58 am


  20. Mr Will

    August 18, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Another gem for Edwin Jackson and the Nationals. Seattle begged to lose the game on Wednesday but Os said NO! This is simply not a playoff team and since the Red Sea has already parted (either by Moses or Mel Brooks) I’m not certain the consistently inconsistent Os of 2017 have enough to make another miracle. Keeping Trumbo and Davis back to back is a recipe for failure and candidly only one at a time should be in the lineup. Talk about a reversal of fortunes…last time I said bring up the young guys in September and I know Buck will not do that…too bad because his allegiance to the vets is costing his team big time for both 2017 and 2018. Parker Bridwell pitches Sunday and that should make for a joyous conclusion for title hopes as Angels are ahead of us as are numerous other teams.
    Mr Will
    P.S. Would I like to be wrong about everything

  21. Anton Pahomov

    August 21, 2017 at 9:57 am


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