These 'No O' Orioles are brutally bad - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Paul Folkemer

These ‘No O’ Orioles are brutally bad

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

A return to Baltimore did nothing to halt the never-ending nightmare that is the 2018 Orioles.

They lost their fifth straight game Monday, dropping their MLB-worst record to 19-46. It’s the middle of June and the Orioles are still seeking their 20th win.

With their .292 winning percentage, the Orioles are on pace for a 47-115 record this year. That would make them just the fifth team since 1900 to lose at least 115 games. It would also give them the worst record in the majors since the hapless 2003 Detroit Tigers went 43-119.

The Orioles needed 12 innings to lose Monday — with the Boston Red Sox scratching out a pair of sacrifice flies off Mychal Givens in extras for the 2-0 victory.

Once again, the Orioles’ undoing was their atrocious offense.

It’s become an all-too-familiar refrain. The team-wide offensive blackout descended to new depths, as the club failed to score a run in 12 innings against knuckleballer Steven Wright and a succession of Red Sox relievers.

Entering the night, the Orioles already ranked last in the AL in runs scored (229), batting average (.228), on-base percentage (.292), slugging percentage (.379) and OPS (.671). In their last 23 games, they scored more than three runs four times. During that span, the Orioles were batting .149 (21-for-141) with runners in scoring position.

Each of those numbers plummeted further after Monday’s cringeworthy effort. The Orioles managed five hits against six Sox pitchers, and they were 0-for-8 with men in scoring position. The Orioles stranded the potential winning run at second base in both the ninth and 10th innings as the night dragged to its fateful — and agonizing — conclusion.

“What’d we leave, 12 guys out there?” Buck Showalter asked post-game. “We walked seven (times), hit by pitch. So, we had plenty of opportunities. Just couldn’t get that hit that’s been eluding us, it seems like, for quite a while.”

The biggest culprit was the much-maligned Chris Davis, who took an 0-for-5 and struck out three times, his 21st consecutive game with at least one strikeout.

Davis is approaching historic levels of futility at the plate. Entering the game, he had the lowest average (.153) of any qualified hitter in the majors, as well as the worst OPS (.465), which was nearly 50 points lower than the next-worst. Davis also owned the worst slugging percentage at .233. Yes, that’s right — the man who signed a seven-year, $161 million contract largely because of his power, has a lower slugging percentage than any other big league regular.

In happier news, Davis’ .232 OBP was only second-worst in the majors, topping Lewis Brinson’s .210. Brinson, though, is a 24-year-old rookie for the Miami Marlins who provides value with his defense as a center fielder. He’s a good bet to improve offensively over time, while Davis, 32, is starting to seem like a hopeless case.

Davis’ hitless performance Monday dropped his batting line to .150/.227/.227/.454.

If Davis remains a full-time player for the rest of the year, he’s in danger of shattering records for offensive ineptitude. The lowest batting average in a full MLB season is .179, co-held by Rob Deer in 1991 and Dan Uggla in 2013.

Davis is currently 29 points worse. He’s just five points ahead of Hal Lanier’s record-low OBP of .222 in 1968, and four points clear of Bobby Byrne’s MLB-worst .450 OPS in 1908.

“I’ll never not think that it can start tomorrow for Chris,” Showalter said. “I know how that may look to some people out there, but I’m going to keep that mindset. We’re going to keep working, trying to get it going. I know it’s frustrating for him and for everybody watching it that wants him and us to do better. But it’s a rough stretch for him, that’s for sure.”

The only Oriole who gave a sterling performance Monday was starter Dylan Bundy, who deserved a much better fate. Bundy overpowered the menacing Red Sox lineup for eight shutout innings, allowing five baserunners (three hits and two walks) while striking out seven.

“Dylan was as good as you want to see,” Showalter said. “A really tough lineup to get through. He was outstanding. … He wants that challenge. He doesn’t back off from it. He’s always had that kind of unique mindset that you look for in all players, especially a guy that you want to be taking the ball every fifth day in a meaningful situation.

“But regardless of what’s going on, he’s so self-driven. He’s a baseball player as a pitcher. That’s as big a compliment as I can give him.”

Bundy, though, went unrewarded for his dominance, thanks to total lack of support from his offensive teammates.

The song remains the same: The Orioles did just enough to lose a game. With three-plus months still left in the season, they’re becoming an unwatchable group.

They are, however, taking several shots at history – in all the wrong ways.

50 Comments

50 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 12, 2018 at 7:16 am

    So …. I’m thinking that maybe Crush’s HOF bid is fading? I’m telling you … it all started with that stupid, STOOPID Crush Davis and his Dog Samson Superhero bobblehead. Seriously BAD JUJU…..

    And speaking of bad JuJu …. is there anyway we can get Rodney back instead of this silly “Fun Family”?

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:02 am

      I was waiting for a Samson reference. Long overdue. … and I can’t stand the Fun Family. I’ve become anti-Fun.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        June 12, 2018 at 3:12 pm

        Dan, I purchased one of those Samson bobbleheads on Ebay today. I plan on melting it down to the tune of Janae Brach’s “Don’t Miss The Magic” as soon as it arrives.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      You make me laugh.

  2. Peejdoming

    June 12, 2018 at 7:28 am

    We need to make many cjanges, it is still June so good thing is we know we are the worst team in baseball rather than being okay with a club hovering around a .500 mark which was always just okay enough to do nothing or go to the clearance bins for players.
    Also with being the worst team in the majors, noone should be untouchable, we have a lot of tradeable parts. We have tried the Scott Coolbaugh hitting academy approach and it has never worked and never will,even changing the players during his tenure here. Buck needs to put winning baseball games back to the most important thing, because having his best friend in the world Scott Coolbaugh stay on as hitting coach has been killing this team for years now. You can change the players all you want Buck,its time to change the hitting coach. Mark Quinn was brought on but apparently not welcomed. He has his own hitting academy. Yep, Buck you bucked that move up.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:06 am

      Buck is obviously very loyal to his coaches but I don’t think there is an extra-special bond with Coolbaugh. I think the reality is the opposite of what you said. There really hasn’t been a major change in offensive personnel since Coolbaugh has been in Baltimore. The core is primarily the same. And Buck recognizes that. And you can’t — normally — fire the players. I don’t disagree that this isn’t working. Just trying to add a little extra perspective.

  3. Osfan73

    June 12, 2018 at 7:46 am

    On the bright side the Os didn’t committ any errors last night.
    Bundy has got to be one of the most hard working & professional pitchers/players in the game….to go out there and pitch a game like he did last night against a team like Boston has this year, AND knowing that Machado, your team’s only offensive threat was out of the lineup makes you realize just what kind of guy the Os have here. And he deserves so much better. It’s pitiful, it really is pitiful that a team cannot go out and take advantage of things when your guy is throwing 8 scoreless innings!

    • bigdaddydk

      June 12, 2018 at 8:42 am

      I seem to recall Gausman having a similar outing earlier in the year where he got no run support and either took a loss or a no-decision. Can’t remember the specifics, but we’ve gone way too late in games without runs too many times already. I knew this was an all or nothing offense, but I never for a minute believed it would be this inept.

      As for Bundy’s brilliance, consider how bad the defense behind him has been and it’s all the more impressive.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:07 am

      That’s the thing, Big Daddy. One-dimensional we all got. But historically awful is really perplexing.

  4. JParsley

    June 12, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Not too much to say today. Except, at least we have Manny and Dylan is looking good again.

  5. Eldersburg Enigma

    June 12, 2018 at 8:15 am

    So I bet Chris Davis can compile a better ERA than Michael Wright, Jr. out of the bullpen….

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:08 am

      I’m sure some would argue Wright can hit better.

      • jimcarter

        June 12, 2018 at 3:48 pm

        Wright’s career batting average is .500. By someone’s calculation, Davis is on pace to rank #81892 for offensive performance in a season since 1901. The problem is…no one would be on the list below him. Closing out the numbers game, if the O’s continue at this pace, Buck will sport a losing record during his tenure with Baltimore.

  6. Orial

    June 12, 2018 at 8:15 am

    There’s nothing much to say that hasn’t already been stated. They HAVE to eat that Davis contract no,if,and,or buts.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Totally disagree. You can bury him on the bench. You can bury him in the lineup. But he is owed $100 million and he will get a job elsewhere. That cripples any plans of buying a big free agent in the future.

      • Paul Folkemer

        June 12, 2018 at 10:31 am

        If you’re going to bury him on the bench, then why not just go a step further and cut him altogether? The Orioles are on the hook for the contract either way. Why pay a guy to make your team actively worse, as Davis is?

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Because 1. You are paying him to potentially make another team better. 2. Because $100-plus million is left and eating that basically guarantees never going anywhere near a decent sized contract again. You have to see if you can get any value out of it. He’s 32, not 38. 3. Because, frankly, cutting him from an awful team doesn’t make this club appreciably better. 4. I don’t disagree that at some point you have to assume it is sunk costs. But you are not even halfway through this deal. You’ve gotta try everything. And honestly very little has been tried.

      • Bancells Moustache

        June 12, 2018 at 11:07 am

        Player 4 has entered the game

        I gotta disagree Dan, cutting him could absolutely make the team better but the damage has been done. If he isn’t standing at first base, Trey Mancini is. No first baseman, to my knowledge, has ever injured their knee sliding into the wall in shallow left field. Happens to left fielders, shortstops and third basemen occasionally, but never a first baseman. That was the start of our ascendant young players prolonged slump, a slump exacerbated by his being blocked at first and DH by two other guys. His being at first also gives you room to put a more skilled defender in left, or move your past his prime centerfielder over to the corner and get someone with some wheels patrolling the middle. This team often has four first basemen playing various positions on the field. One of them has to go. It stands to reason that the weakest performer gets the axe BUT the Orioles aren’t run by a successful billionaire businessman. They are run by a guy who made a few hundred million by suing people. That’s the ultimate problem. Sports ownership, whether fair or not, is a billionaire’s game in 2018. The run of tort lawyers (Angelos, Eli Jacobs, Edward Bennett Williams) showing off their shiny toy at the Elkridge Hunt Club can’t get it done anymore.

      • Paul Folkemer

        June 12, 2018 at 11:18 am

        I agree that there’s probably no sense in cutting him this year, since the O’s aren’t competing for anything. Might as well keep him around and pray he has a miracle turnaround. But I disagree with point #1. The Orioles are already paying him to make other teams better. The sad truth is that he makes other teams better every time he’s in the O’s lineup.

        I’m also curious as to why very little has been tried to help Davis turn things around. We’re in mid-June and he’s on pace to have one of the worst seasons in MLB history. Why wouldn’t he be trying new things?

  7. ubetonit

    June 12, 2018 at 8:54 am

    “Entering the night, the Orioles already ranked last in the AL in . . .” It’s worse than that. They rank last or near last in many of those same categories in the entirety of MLB including NL teams that do not use a DH.

    Hopefully going forward we will stop using “slump” or “slumping”. They ARE this bad. It is not temporary.

    “I’ll never not think that it can start tomorrow for Chris,” Showalter said. “I know how that may look to some people out there, but I’m going to keep that mindset. That sounds nice emotionally or sentimentally. But, therein lies part of the problem. Success in sports begins with judging talent. He is what he is. The past is no longer prologue with Davis.

    The only way they get to .400 is they call up the minor league prospects & they play well over their heads. Neither one of those things will happen.

    They have so many ways to lose: No offense, bad bullpen, bad fielding, mediocre SP and only 1.5 ways to win: 1) luck, 2) b/c it’s baseball. Even the worst of teams occasionally win.

    This is really a case study in organizational malfeasance. I am afraid if they have #1 pick in next yr’s draft they may draft another ‘Hobgood’ saving money for lower rounds. Would not surprise me at all. Nor the top 3 picks announcing publicly “Do NOT pick me”.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:19 am

      Ok man, it’s bad. I get it. But I think you’ve jumped the shark here. Relax. They could screw up the first pick. But that’s the nature of the draft. Understand Hobgood was less than $100K under slot. And they used that savings for Mychal Givens in the next round. Hobgood was a reach at the time (and spot) but he also was the National HS Player of the Year. Bad pick for sure. But you need to breathe.

      • ubetonit

        June 12, 2018 at 10:38 am

        Apologists have been putting down & belittling critics. But how many losses did critics cause? And how many wins did apologists cause? I would think a media person would understand “Don’t shoot the messenger.” Sorry, if i disturbed you, Dan. Will not any further. Solid promise.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Didn’t disturb me. I understand the fan base is frustrated. And should be. But I’m not paid to be emotional. I’m here to provide facts and perspective. Even if we disagree. Hobgood was a bust, I’m with ya. But the next three years they did select Machado, Bundy and Gausman with their top picks. Perspective.

    • jimcarter

      June 12, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Hobgood is a great whipping boy, but this team has drafted/developed/evaluated poorly for years. For example; you could field an excellent team of former Orioles playing in the majors today. That reminds me, I need to cast a few more all star ballots for Markakis.

  8. Eldersburg Enigma

    June 12, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Meanwhile, their best reliever and best hitter go unused in an extra inning scoreless contest (the answer to both is Zach Britton).

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Machado is still their best hitter. For now.

  9. VaOsFan

    June 12, 2018 at 9:37 am

    We keep putting Givens in there. Didn’t he walk a guy in the 11th to load the bases? Then another bases loaded situation in the 12th to lose it. Tired of this guy.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Really? Listen he’s in a rough stretch. But he’s pretty good.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 12, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      I’m thinking there are about 29 other teams that would snatch Givens up in a heartbeat if he were available.

  10. Dblack2508

    June 12, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Clearly the players have checked out, or a big percentage of them .The lack of defense is so uncharacteristically of a Buck Showalter team..

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:21 am

      The defense’s inability really has been the most glaring problem to me. Just because we’re not used to seeing that.

  11. Orial

    June 12, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Dan this a follow up to your disagreeing about releasing Davis. What are the alternatives?–playing him(can’t be done),put him on bench(yeah I guess),releasing(impractible). Explain the scenarios to where it would effect future FA Signings. Not being a smart aleck just need a perspective.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 10:57 am

      No problem. I kind of did above but that was before I saw this. And maybe this is best for its own entry. But, yeah, I think this point it’s bench him for a significant period and use him as a D replacement and occasional PH vs RHP while he works on things and takes a mental break. Or Find an injury to get him out of the fray for a while. As for the money thing, this was the largest FAcontract in

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 11:03 am

      Oops. On my phone. Anyway, it’s the largest FA contract in Os history. And seeing how it has gone will temper Os management from doing it again for a spell. That happened with Albert Belle — 5 years until Tejada — and Ubaldo Jimenez — four years until Cobb. At the very least, I don’t see another big contract while Davis is still fully on the books (2022). I think it would make the Psychological matter worse if they cut him, ate the contract and then he hits 35 dongs and bats .260 for the Blue Jays in 2019 for the league minimum while Os are paying $22.5M. Again, this is my opinion but it is based on history of this club.

  12. bickel57

    June 12, 2018 at 10:50 am

    I am going to state the obvious this current team is pathetic when it comes to offense. It is time for whoever’s in charge to do something. I know the big names aren’t going to be traded until the end of July. But they need to find a spark from the minors. Mullins, Stewart if he is healthy. They need to start releasing people instead of coming up with these injuries and shuffling the injured around. As for Davis find s place on the bench put his name on it tell him tut o set down and forget that he is even there. I would say trade him but I don’t think even a T ball team would want him. As bad as they are I will punish myself and still watch.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 11:06 am

      I’m not sure those guys are ready. But, sure, what do you have to lose?

  13. Wisconsin O's Fan

    June 12, 2018 at 11:02 am

    It’s been a rough year… I’m excited to see what we can get for Manny.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 12, 2018 at 11:07 am

      I’m very curious as well.

  14. JParsley

    June 12, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Question, where is Chris Tillman? I have not heard anything about him in a while. Also, IF the contracts were not an issue, who is the worse Chris, Tillman or Davis? For this current team

  15. willmiranda

    June 12, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I know with all the new-fangled stats, batting average kind of gets put in the background. But when I check the O’s BA’s in the box scores, I’m incredulous. What’s the record for the number of starters with averages below .200? I think of the old rhetorical query, “Have you no shame?” I mean, really! Couldn’t they use assumed names or put asterisks instead of numbers in the boxes? End of Rant.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 12, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      Batting Average will ALWAYS be the main & most telling measuring stick of a hitter.

      I know that many of you would argue Slugging or OBPS are more important, but if you can’t get your bat on the ball, you can’t hit homeruns with any regularity. This is exactly why it was insane, to give Crush all that money in the 1st place.

      • Booged and Powelled

        June 12, 2018 at 8:13 pm

        yeah especially when we have others on the team that have that mastered

  16. Ezrine Tire Award

    June 12, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Davis’ season is uglier than an Ethel Merman look-alike contest.

    • Raymo

      June 12, 2018 at 9:34 pm

      Now THAT made me laugh out loud!

  17. jimcarter

    June 12, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    If Davis is displaying ineptitude, then his bosses share that distinction. It’s not like he’s going to scratch his own name off the lineup card. There’s always the “injury option”. No…I’m not hoping for harm to come to Chris. I’m talking about the he-stinks-and-we-can’t-let-him-go bug that has befallen Tillman and our precious Rule 5 pick (and more in the past few seasons). The Orioles have the oddest relationship with players. It’s like a relationship between two people where one continually abuses the other, but the victim refuses to let go. These guys are employees, they’re not your buddies/relatives/whatever. If they don’t do the job, let them go. Not doing so is the reason why the attendance is as abysmal as the team.

  18. Birdman

    June 12, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Many, many problems with this team, but the Davis fiasco is the worst in terms of alienating an eroding fan base .,. as indicated in the stats discussed above, the guy is on pace to have perhaps the worst offensive season in baseball history and the most the O’s do is occasionally sit Davis for a game or two at a time , and Buck just keeps repeating the same cliches – doesn’t send a good message to the fans

  19. Booged and Powelled

    June 12, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    its a good thing there isnt relegation….maybe there should be lol

  20. Ekim

    June 12, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    What I don’t understand is why no one is knocking the hitting coach, Scott Coolbaugh? A coach is supposed to give advice and guidance to make players performance improve. Just look at the O’s with Coolbaugh in charge of the hitters! It’s joke. I’ve come to the conclusion that Coolbaugh has something on Duquette or is Showalter’s lover. He should be gone, gone gone!

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 13, 2018 at 7:23 am

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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