The Baltimore Orioles finished the first half of the 2015 season with a loss, they dropped a series to the team right up the beltway in the Washington Nationals. Losing two of the three games in the series. They currently sit four games back of the AL East leading New York Yankees and just a half game back of the second place Rays. What needs to change for Baltimore so that they can make a run for the division title?
The O’s haven’t had their starting pitchers go six to seven innings into a game on a regular basis, which in turn puts pressure on the bull pen. It’ll be interesting to see if Baltimore makes any moves to add to their staff before the trade deadline. They are definitely suffering from not having a true ‘ace’ on their staff as many consider Wei-Yin Chen and Ubaldo Jiminez to be number two type starters in a staff. In the 88 games played in the first half of the season, Orioles pitchers have gone seven plus innings just 27 times.
The silver lining for the O’s have been the performance of closer Zach Britton and Daren O’Day. Fair or not, Baltimore can’t afford for either of these two to drop off in performance in the second half of the season.
The other issue Baltimore has struggled with recently is their failure to bring home runners in scoring position. Much of that is on the shoulders of their key hitters, they haven’t been able to come through with the timely hits that drive in runs. This month was the worst for them as they hit just .071 in those situations. A pleasant surprise this season has been Jimmy Paredes, the 26-year-old is batting .299 with 10 homers and 39 runs batted in (RBIs). This is the most games he’s played in his career, he’s played in 68 of the team’s 88 games this season. It should only be a matter of time before their big bats get rolling again in Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Chris Davis.
It’s possible that the struggles mentioned above in this month were just a minor blip, but the Orioles could easily get back on track. If they wish to make something of the season, it’s something that they need to happen. The good news for Baltimore is that they have time, another 88 games or so to get things right.
The second half of the season officially starts for the Orioles on the road against the Detroit Tigers. Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers will face Ubaldo Jimenez as both teams look to start the second half off with a win. Detroit and Baltimore have the same record at 44-44, the game starts at 7pm Eastern.