Observations from and analysis of the O’s losing all three games at the A’s
Game 1: 6-4 loss on Friday night (May 4)
Game 2: 2-0 12-inning loss on Saturday night (May 5)
Game 3: 2-1 loss on Sunday (May 6)
1. Your updated ugliness for the O’s: tied for the worst record in the majors at 8-26, major-league-worst run differential (and by miles) of -72. The O’s have lost 12 consecutive road games and six straight games overall.
2. A growing question among the fan base is whether it’s time to fire Buck Showalter. I’ll be honest, as a longtime Buck fan even I have started to question some things with him, including this absurd loyalty to Chris Tillman. But the truth is that firing Buck wouldn’t change anything. What the O’s need to do first is fix their front office. Buck and Dan Duquette, who don’t get along all that well, are in contract seasons. Who is staying and who is going? That should be determined now. Duquette wanted out of the O’s after the 2014 season. He, I believe, is as good as gone. And so he should be fired now, especially if his influence has waned in favor of Brady Anderson’s as was reported by MLB insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic in April. Should Brady be the GM? Should Buck move into the front office, as has been discussed for years? All of this needs to be figured out. The O’s can’t truly move forward until they fix the confusion and chaos in their front office.
3. Once that’s done, the O’s need to sell and sell hard. They should be willing to deal everyone on the team with the exceptions of Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop and Trey Mancini. Everyone else should be available at the right price.
4. There is no aspect of the O’s that is good, but nothing is worse than their offense. The O’s struck out 20 times in the 2-0 12-inning loss at the A’s on Saturday night and had just three hits and a walk in the 2-1 loss on Sunday. The O’s are dead last in the majors in on-base percentage and batting average. They are no. 29 out of 30 major-league teams in OPS.
Chris Davis has been beyond atrocious, going 0-for-9 with five strikeouts over the final two games of the series. His slugging percentage this season is a microscopic .243.
The 6-4 loss at the A’s on Friday night was Adam Jones’ 1,500th career regular-season game with the O’s. He had a solo homer and two singles. Good for him. But has a mere .247 on-base percentage this season.
Even Trey Mancini has cooled off. Manny Machado and Pedro Alvarez, who had a solo homer on Sunday, are the two offensive bright spots that you can point at. The rest of the team has been abysmal.
5. The O’s did get two strong outings from the rotation over the final two games of the series.
The Orioles wasted a brilliant performance from Kevin Gausman in the 2-0 12-inning loss at the A’s on Saturday night. He tossed nine scoreless innings on six strikeouts versus just two singles and two walks. Gausman registered a career-best 87 on the Bill James Game Score metric for the outing. The only other start in Gausman’s career that to me was better than this one was him tossing eight scoreless innings in outdueling Rick Porcello in a 1-0 win at Boston in Sept. 2016.
Alex Cobb, off having been woeful over his first three starts as an Oriole, now has been good over his last two. He in the 2-1 loss at the A’s on Sunday allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings on five strikeouts versus two doubles, three singles and a walk.
6. Andrew Cashner in the 6-4 loss at the A’s on Friday night was not good for a fifth time in seven starts as an Oriole, allowing four runs (three earned) in 4 2/3 innings on two homers, a double, three singles and three walks. He gave up four runs in the bottom of the first thanks to a leadoff walk of Matt Joyce, a missed-catch error charged to Jace Peterson on what was a bad throw by Manny Machado on what could have been a double play (one of three errors in the game for the O’s) and back-to-back one-out homers by Khris Davis and Matt Olson.
7. Orioles relievers combined to allow four runs (three earned) in 7 2/3 innings in the series. The 2-0 12-inning loss at the A’s on Saturday night saw Mychal Givens toss two perfect innings with five strikeouts, but Pedro Araujo gave up a walk-off two-run homer to Khris Davis in the bottom of the 12th.