The Orioles return to Camden Yards this week after taking a six game road trip on the west coast. To no ones surprise, that six game road trip turned into a six game losing streak and the O’s season is still in free fall.
This six game skid is tied for the longest losing streak of the year and we are just getting into May. The Orioles were outscored by the Angles and Athletics 35-17 and held a lead for just two innings between both series. But hey, at least they avoided giving Albert Pujols his 3,00th hit.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this season is the lack of excitement. That sounds obvious and I understand winning is a direct contributor to excitement but through the first 34 games there is an uncomfortably annoying sense of predictability. When the pitching starts to settle in you can always count on the offense to struggle or even come close to getting no hit. It goes both ways though. Anytime the offense has a breakout game the bullpen appears to be actively trying to blow the game.
All of this has left fans desperate for some sort of change. Whether it’s a coach getting fired or Manny Machado being traded, the fan base doesn’t really care at this point and is just hoping upper management has the ability to see the same things they do.
At the very least the Orioles starting rotation will be going through some minor changes in the coming weeks. After turning in a great outing against the Tigers, Chris Tillman reverted back to his normal state and proceeded to give up seven runs in one inning against the Angels last Thursday. Many would say it is long overdue but the abysmal start has forced Buck Showalter to bump Tillman from the rotation.
Andrew Cashner will now move up to pitch on Wednesday with Kevin Gausman behind him for the series finale on Thursday. It is unknown at this time who will replace Tillman but it’s probably safe to assume whoever gets the call will be at least a little more reliable.
Tillman has won just one game (4/27/18 vs Detroit) in the past year and holds a 8.52 ERA in that span. A lack of pitching depth has allowed him to linger around longer than he would with other teams but even this years Orioles roster can provide someone better.
Game times and pitching matchups:
Notes on Orioles:
- We already know that the Orioles offense is awful but it’s getting to a point where even the bright spots aren’t that great. The O’s have hit 34 home runs so far this season but 23 of them have been solo homers. Manny Machado is often the only reliable player in the lineup but all nine of his team leading home runs have been solo shots.
- Andrew Cashner has started just three games against the Kansas City Royals in his nine-year career but holds a 1.69 ERA in those outings. His most recent outing against the Royals came last season when he tossed six scoreless innings and surrendered just three hits.
- It appears that the Orioles will be getting their second baseman back this week. Jonathan Schoop hit the disabled list back in mid April with a mild oblique strain and is now prepared to return to the major league club after making some starts with the Frederick Keys and Norfolk Tides this past weekend. Schoop will be looking to jump start his offense after opening the year with a .230 batting average and 19 strikeouts in 65 plate appearances.
Notes on Royals:
- Mike Moustakas continues to be one of the Royals most dangerous bats in 2018. However the veteran third baseman has been much better at Kauffman Stadium than on the road. Moustakas’ line at home (.324/.363/.622) is spectacular while the road numbers look drastically different (.246/.283/.439).
- Eric Skoglund will face the Orioles for the first time in his career on Wednesday. The 25-year-old is playing in his second major league season after starting five games in 2017. Skoglund, a lefty, has struggled so far this year with a 6.84 ERA in five starts. He has only pitched past the fifth inning once and has given up four or more runs in all but one of his starts. The Orioles offensive woes could allow for a break through though. Baltimore is currently hitting just .236 against left-handed pitchers in 2018.
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