For Orioles, there's no home field advantage - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

For Orioles, there’s no home field advantage

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

Conventional wisdom is that teams have an advantage playing at home. They’re not traveling and presumably know the ins-and-outs of their home field better than their opponent.

That’s not the case with the 2019 Orioles.

Their 9-28 record at home is easily the worst in baseball, and their team earned run average at Oriole Park is a horrifying 6.38.

It’s always been hard for the Orioles to attract top free-agent pitchers, even those looking for one-year deals because their home ballpark is so hitter friendly.

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Opponents have smashed 86 home runs in 37 games, an average of 2.3 homers per game.

Meanwhile, there hasn’t been much of a home field advantage for Orioles hitters. They’re batting .239, a point under their .240 average entering Monday night’s game in Oakland, and they’ve hit 49 homers, an average of 1.3 home runs per game.

“I think it’s just coincidence,” Trey Mancini said. “We all love playing here. I really do think it’s purely coincidence, and I hope we can pick that up because we want to play well in front of our fans, of course, and have people come out to the games.”

Even last year, when the Orioles lost a franchise-record 115 games, they were better in Baltimore than on the road. At home, they were 28-53 while going 19-62 away.

They’ve allowed 10 or more runs nine times at home—in nearly one in every four games and scored in double digits just once.

The Orioles have won just one series at home (April 22-24 vs. Chicago). That remains their last series win. They’ve failed to win their last eight home series (seven losses and one split).

In the homestand that concluded Sunday, the Orioles lost their last five games. It’s their second losing streak at home of five or more games. From April 9-22, they lost seven straight. (They extended their current losing streak to six on Monday night with a 3-2 loss to the A’s in Oakland.)

They’ll return home to play two games with the San Diego Padres on June 25 and 26.

Mancini knows they’ll have to play much better at home. The Orioles lost the last two of three to Toronto and three straight to Boston. After Sunday’s 8-6 loss, a game that took four hours, 44 minutes, Mancini acknowledged the need for improvement.

“I mean, overall, it’s not great,” he said. “I think we’ve gotten away from some things that we did well early in the year, just making some routine plays. We’re making some careless mistakes. We’ve got to clean up a few things in that regard. We’re playing hard and everything, but there are some situations where we’re not doing a good job, whether mentally or physically of executing plays.”

Adding a pitcher: The Orioles selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin from Triple-A Norfolk. Gilmartin, who pitched the last two months of the 2018 season with the Orioles, has starting experience and could be helpful if the Orioles use the opener.

To make room for Gilmartin on the 40-man roster, outfielder Joey Rickard was designated for assignment.

Mancini the lone All-Star contender: Mancini is the only Oriole among the leaders in All-Star voting. In results released on Monday, Mancini remained in 17th place among outfielders with 206,620 votes.

The current round of voting ends Friday at 4 p.m.

Minor matters: Bowie outfielder Yusniel Diaz was named the Eastern League’s Player of the Week. Diaz is currently on the temporary inactive list … Frederick infielder Sean Miller, a native of Crofton, was named to the North squad for the Carolina League All-Star Game. He’s the ninth Key to make the team. The game is in Frederick on Tuesday night … Dwight Smith Jr., who is on the seven-day concussion injured list, is scheduled to play two games with Norfolk before joining the Orioles in Seattle, manager Brandon Hyde told reporters in Oakland.

Draft picks signed: The Orioles signed four right-handed pitchers picked in this month’s draft: Connor Gilliispie (9th round), Kade Strowd (12th), Jensen Elliott (19) and Jake Lyons (22).

Twenty-four of the 41 players picked have been signed.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. In The Triangle

    June 18, 2019 at 8:25 am

    It would help if the baseballs weren’t jumping like Super Balls.

    I always thought the park was too hitter friendly. I wonder how many rows of seats would need to be removed to make the outfield deep enough? Three or four rows is a lot of seats.

    It’s really hard to remember what a good pitching staff would be like at Camden. We’ve barely had one that I would call good.

  2. Tony Paparella

    June 18, 2019 at 8:58 am

    That is all you hear is complaints on the size of the park.Maybe something should be done about it if it is so bad a problem.I agree with Mancini that the won loss record is just the way it is and not for any particular reason.On a different note,does anyone think it would be worth it to the Orioles if they could trade for Clint Frazier of the Yankees who was just sent down? In essence they could trade just about anyone for him though the Yankees probably want a starter.I would actually think they could trade any starter except Means for him. Just throwing that out there.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 18, 2019 at 6:16 pm

      Tony, the Orioles have lots of young outfielders with promise: Anthony Santander, DJ Stewart, Austin Hays and Yusniel Diaz. It would be highoy unlikely they’d trade promising pitching for Clint Frazier. They need infielders and pitchers, not outfielders.

  3. oldchief

    June 18, 2019 at 11:01 am

    With the exception of a very few the Orioles are a AA or AAA team playing in the major league. Don’t expect too much this year

    • Ekim

      June 18, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      Been writing that here for a year now!

  4. Mickraut

    June 18, 2019 at 11:27 am

    I am a 60 year old lifelong Orioles fan who grew up a block from Memorial Stadium on 33rd St.
    The strength of this club was always great pitching, great defense and timely hitting.
    I never understood the decision for the dimensions of the playing field at Camden Yards.
    I expected a design that would favor our strengths.

    • Bancells Moustache

      June 18, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      I don’t know that the team anticipated the effect on offense when Camden Yards opened, they were more interested in its aesthetic beauty and ability to draw in fans. The notion of building a team based on your ballpark, now pretty much standard procedure, didn’t come about until everyone built a Camden Yards clone over the next two decades.

  5. Orial

    June 18, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Excellant point Mickraut.

  6. Bancells Moustache

    June 18, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    I gotta tell ya, this talk of tearing out seats and turning one of the crown jewels of baseball into some high fenced pitcher friendly monstrosity is a bit knee-jerk. Noone was complaining when Davis, Cruz, Machado et al where ripping them onto the flag court every night in the middle of the decade. There are many things wrong with the Baltimore Orioles. Camden Yards is not one of them.

    • Ekim

      June 18, 2019 at 12:45 pm

      I’m with you on this, for sure!

  7. Mickraut

    June 18, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    364 ft to the power alley in left center is too short.

  8. willmiranda

    June 18, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    It’s not just the ballpark. Obviously. Another factor is that opponents are free to swing for the fences almost all the time. They know they are going to win; so even before the scoreboard gets lopsided, they have no reason to play “small ball” or try “situational” hitting. If you’re swinging hard and make contact –not a rare occurrence with our pitchers– the ball will go farther. Again, obviously. I would guess the majority of homers hit at Camden would make it out of a lot of parks. I also think that the reluctance of pitchers to come here also has a lot to do with fielders who not only have trouble tracking batted balls but also need a GPS-assist for throwing the orbs. Did I mention no run support? Sorry for the rant, but we can’t blame the stadium and John Denver for everything.

  9. Mickraut

    June 18, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    I am not blaming the ballpark for the woeful performance of our pitchers.
    I am merely regretting the fact that the power alley in left field at Camden Yards is not in line with that at Memorial Stadium at its shortest- 376 ft.

  10. Mau

    June 20, 2019 at 7:09 am

    I think the O’s, much like Davis to begin the season, will match or set the record for futility this year even if the dimensions of the stadium included a 500’ short porch.

  11. Brother Lowe

    June 20, 2019 at 9:39 am

    How about finding Pitchers who can consistently keep the ball down in the zone so they get more ground balls? Of course you still have to be able to catch it.. Strong up the middle has always been the way to win.

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