Observations from and analysis of the Orioles losing all three games at the Red Sox
Game 1: 7-3 loss on Friday night (April 13)
Game 2: 10-3 on Saturday afternoon (April 14)
Game 3: 3-1 loss on Sunday afternoon (April 15)
1. Game 4 of this series scheduled for Monday was postponed until May 17 due to rain, but you might as well call that a mercy postponement. The O’s got outclassed in this series in every way, falling to 5-11 and 8.5 games behind the American League East-leading Red Sox.
Nothing is worse right now than the Orioles’ offense. The O’s scored seven runs, totaled six walks and struck out 35 times in the series.
Nobody has been worse than Chris Davis. How lost does he look at the plate? He went 2-for-12 with seven strikeouts in the series. Davis has a .132 batting average, .233 on-base percentage and .208 slugging percentage on the season so far. He has hit one home run.
Manny Machado had a two-out two-run double in the top of the seventh in the 7-3 loss on Friday night and an RBI double off Chris Sale in the top of the first in the 3-1 loss on Sunday afternoon. Pedro Alvarez had a two-out two-run homer in the top of the fifth, a single and a walk in the 10-3 loss on Saturday afternoon, during which he batted in the no. 2 spot as the starting DH. That was about it for the offense.
2. The most significant thing regarding the O’s to emerge during this series was a report from MLB insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on the state of the Orioles’ front office. Some of what he wrote about is actually good, most of what he wrote about is bad, but the basic summation was “virtually every level of the organization is in flux.”
Among the nuggets:
John and Lou Angelos (the sons of owner Peter Angelos) have taken an increasingly larger role in the team’s regular operations – Peter Angelos “is less involved than at any point in his” 25 years of owning the team. The good in this is that since Peter’s approval on every little thing is no longer required, the decision-making process has gone from “painstakingly slow” to “more streamlined.” The bad is that “concerns exist in the industry about their ability to run a franchise.” The less that Peter is involved, the better, so I actually love this development.
Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has lost power – Duquette “is frustrated by his loss of power,” Rosenthal writes, as Lou Angelos, manager Buck Showalter and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson also have significant voices within the team’s front office. Anderson, in fact, “was the point man” in the Orioles’ signings of Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, and Chris Tillman this offseason. Anderson has been a controversial figure in the Orioles’ front office for a while, as he seems to have an undefined role that allows him to have his hands in many areas. Matt Wieters actually spoke out against Anderson in a piece by Rosenthal for FOX Sports in March 2017. Duquette has been very hit-and-miss with the O’s, so him losing power doesn’t sadden me. He seems to be as good as gone after this season. What’s hard to tell is how good Anderson is as an executive, and how well he gets along with Buck. And speaking of that…
Buck, who like Dan is in the final season of a contract extension signed in Jan. 2013, has an uncertain future – He could remain with the O’s as manager. He could move to a front-office role. He could be gone.
3. Saturday, uh, was not a good day for the O’s. First came the team placing Jonathan Schoop on the 10-day disabled list with a Grade-1 oblique strain suffered in the 7-3 loss at the Red Sox on Friday night. Then came Alex Cobb’s Orioles debut. And he was atrocious, allowing eight runs (seven earned) in 3 2/3 innings in the 10-3 loss at the Red Sox. He gave up 10 hits, including two homers and two doubles, and a walk. One of the reasons that the O’s signed Cobb to the richest free-agent contract for a pitcher in franchise history (four-year, $57 million deal) was his success while with Tampa Bay against the Red Sox and Yankees. Boy did we not see that in this game. One start of course does not a free-agent acquisition make or break, but man was this disappointing.
4. Chris Tillman was horrendous for a third time in three starts this season in the 7-3 loss at the Red Sox on Friday night, allowing six runs in two innings. Nothing was worse than the two-out three-run homer that he gave up to Eduardo Nunez in the Red Sox’s four-run first. That bomb came on a four-seam fastball that was a whopping 89.4 miles per hour. Tillman’s arm is shot and, unlike last season, the O’s can not to continue to just throw him out there with the hope that all of a sudden it’ll be 2014 all over again. That this guy was allowed to make 19 starts and appear in 24 games with an ERA of 7.84 last season was an outrage. He now has an 11.91 ERA over three starts this season. Enough is enough. I was in favor of re-signing Tillman, but I never got why the O’s gave him $3 million guaranteed when the reporting was that his other offers were minor-league deals. It’s time to cut ties.
5. Even Dylan Bundy struggled in this series. He allowed three runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings in the 3-1 loss at the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon. Bundy had six strikeouts, but he also gave up a triple, four doubles, two singles, two walks and two wild pitches.
6. The bright spot for the O’s in this series was their bullpen, which allowed just three runs (two earned) in 12 2/3 innings.
Pedro Araujo, Mike Wright Jr. and Donnie Hart combined to allow one run in six innings in the 7-3 loss on Friday night.
Miguel Castro, Hart and Mychal Givens combined to allow two runs (one earned) in 4 1/3 innings in the 10-3 loss on Saturday afternoon.
Richard Bleier tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in the 3-1 loss at the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon.