First Place, Further Away

So the good news here is the Orioles can still regain first place within this series, to start June. The bad news is, it’s going to need to be at the hands of the first place Red Sox, and with a 3-game winning streak. Is this something that’s doable? Sure. Is it something that’s plausible, eh, probably not at this point. Consider this O’s fans, we have Kevin Gausman pitching tomorrow night. We all know that when Gausman pitches, the O’s offense is cold. In Gausman’s last 4 starts, the O’s offense has garnered a total of 8 runs, and Gausman is 0-2 in that stretch. Against the Red Sox, as I said earlier today, if you’re going to beat them, you’re going to have to score more, and more.

Wilson pitched his stirrups off today, but still missed a few spots, which allowed the Red Sox to score 3 against him. Now 3 runs, you’d think is small enough to overcome, but when you have an inexperienced reliver, facing a veteran in his final season, something’s got to give. That something did, in favor of a solo home run from David Ortiz. Couple this with a 3-run homer Givens allowed in the 8th, and the Red Sox had the right recipe to down the O’s.

From my eyes, the Orioles were baffled by the knuckleball all day long. Honestly, the Red Sox could have called Tim Wakefield from retirement, and he would’ve dominated us today. The hits, all four of them, came from the bottom of the order, in Schoop, Reimold, Flaherty, and Caleb Joseph. In fairness, Hyun Soo Kim probably never faced too many knuckleball throwing Koreans in the KBO. This is still no excuse to bench him though, but we’ll probably see Rickard back tomorrow night, considering Reimold walked twice today, and scored after his first triple this year.

For anybody that thinks they could’ve hit the ball better than the O’s today though, I challenge you to give it a shot. Trying to hit a 59mph knuckleball, when it is dancing all over the place, starting out 5 feet above your head, and dropped to a foot below the strike zone is the hardest thing to do in professional baseball. When you see a fastball after 4 or 5 straight knuckleballs, even though the fastball is clocked at 86 mph, it looks like 100.

At the end of the day, like I said, the O’s still have a shot to regain first place within this series, considering the 3 games remaining, but it’s going to take more offense, better pitching, and an all around balanced team effort to down the Red Sox, and there fans that love to come to take over Camden Yards. Look for the O’s to come out swinging tomorrow night when they face Eduardo Rodriguez, in his first start of the season. I’m predicting a 6-run, 2 HR night for the Orioles offense, and if I’m wrong, well, first place will become even further away.

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