Sometimes you get so deep into a hole that the only place you can look at it up. Perhaps the Orioles have reached that point.
I went up to the Yards last night to see the Birds take on the Kansas City Royals. The Royals are an interesting team, not necessarily good, but interesting. Most of the players in their starting lineup are sporting pretty good batting averages.
Chris Tillman started for the Birds. I have seen a lot of Chris over the years. At his best, he was a borderline All Star, a gutsy performer who never got rattled no matter how tight things became.
Those days have passed. Chris’ velocity, never that high to begin with, is down. And his command of the strike zone seems to have deserted him. Not a good combination.
John Jay leads off for KC. He singles. Wild pitch to second. Then two walks. Then Perez hits a grand slam home run. Birds are down 4-0 with the same scarcely fifteen minutes old. Two more KC runs in the second inning and Chris Tillman is gone. His ERA is now over 10. Last year his ERA was 7.86. I don’t know how much more of this we can take.
The thing is, though – the Birds didn’t quit. They starting hitting. And hit some more. And still more. Fourteen base hits in all. Not one of them was cheap. Several shots into the gap in right-center. And three home runs (Machado, Jones, Mancini). Every player in the lineup had at least one hit, except for the “other Chris.” Chris Davis was 0 for 4 with three stakeouts. I’m not sure what the answer is here.
But let’s stay focused on the positive. Miguel Castro came in and pitched 4 plus innings of solid relief with his 95 plus fastball. He’s so thin, you have to wonder if he has the stamina to be an every-five-day rotation starter. But I do think he has earned the right to be given a shot.
So in the end, what started out as a dreary ’same old, same old’ evening turned out to be a lot of fun. We’ll see if they can keep it up tonight. Through a quirk of my personal scheduling, I’ll be there. O’s vs Tampa (another ‘interesting’ team). And we’re finally getting some good baseball weather. Play Ball!