The Orioles just lost their 8th consecutive game after starting 6-1. Chris Tillman gave the O's a quality start, giving up 3 runs in 6 2/3 innings, but the offense continued to fail to earn its paycheck until the 7th inning with solo home runs from Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. "Anemic" doesn't begin to describe the Orioles' bats. I'm not sure what word to use to describe an offense in which your best hitter is batting .266.
But the most frustrating thing to watch is Buck Showalter calling on Kevin Gregg and Michael Gonzalez to close out games in close situations. Gregg's 2.00 WHIP (before tonight's game) is the highest the Orioles have to offer, yet he is still called upon to keep close games within reach. But why? He threw 34 pitches (less than half for strikes) in the ninth inning alone, giving up two runs, a fact that became exacerbated by Luke Scott's solo home run in the bottom of the ninth. Take away his poor performance tonight (one of many throughout the season), and the Orioles have a good shot to win tonight's game. Even in situations when he's gotten out of tight spots, it's taken near miracles by the Orioles' defense to ensure he does.
The same thing goes for Michael Gonzalez, the pitcher I'm now convinced has THE WORST MECHANICS IN BASEBALL. He practically falls off the mound after every pitch and sports an ERA (10.38) to match. Yet instead of warming up a reliable reliever (Jim Johnson, Jason Berken, Koji Uehara), Buck Showalter's only other bullpen option for the ninth inning was Captain Mechanics. I'm choosing to believe he wasn't warming up to come into the game, but rather to work on his fundamentals.
Buck, you're great. I love you. But you need to ignore Journey's admonishments, and STOP BELIEVING IN THESE WORTHLESS PITCHERS!
My lips to yours.