The Orioles unveiled Earl Weaver’s statue in the left field picnic area of Camden Yards before Saturday’s game against the Indians. But instead of playing like the teams Earl is best remembered for leading, the current-day Orioles, the ones that took the field after the ceremony, more closely resembled the mid-80’s squads that he came back to manage. And as a result of doing so for the past several weeks, the current-day Orioles are about to get a bit of a face-lift.
This will be a rather unique facelift. After all, how often does a patient go into their doctor’s office and say, “make me look 41-years older, with an additional 21 years’ experience”? Not very often.
Much of the chatter around the ballpark Saturday centered around Weaver, and the birds’ acquisition of veteran DH Jim Thome. And, why not? It’s not as if the home team gave the fans a lot to cheer about.
The pitching? It was pretty abysmal from the very first pitch, when Sin-Shoo Choo singled to center. Orioles starter Dana Eveland (L, 0-1) would go on to surrender two more hits, a walk, and a run in the first. He gave up another run in the second on Choo’s second homer of the series, and was charged with three more in the fourth, the inning Buck Showalter decided, he’d seen enough.
Tommy Hunter replaced Eveland, and he was positively brutal. His final line: 1.2IP, 8H, 5ER, 2 strikeouts, a walk, and, of course, a home run—the 20th he’s allowed this year. Overall, the Orioles allowed 11 Earned Runs on 19 Hits, two of which were home runs.
The defense? How about two more errors for the worst defensive team in baseball, this time by JJ Hardy and Adam Jones.
The offense? Well, it has been worse. Certainly there were good moments, like Chris Davis closing a 5-1 deficit to 5-4 with a long, 3-run homer onto Eutaw Street. Earl Weaver, the 3-run homer’s biggest advocate, had to be smiling about that one. The birds were still just 2-7 with runners in scoring position. There was another double play, but overall, when a team scores 5 runs, it should win the game.
The Thome acquisition will be front and center at Camden Yards Sunday. Thome is expected to suit up for the Orioles in the series finale, and the birds will welcome any additional offense to the mix. After all, Brian Matusz (5-9, 5.24) is pitching, and he has been among the very worst pitchers in the game over his last four starts.
- Another great pre-game ceremony honoring an Orioles legend.
- Kevin Gregg was a bright spot, albeit in a mop up role: 1IP, 0R, 1BB, 2K.
- Combine Eveland’s and Hunter’s lines, and here’s what you come up with: 5.1IP, 14H, 10ER, 7K, 3BB, 2HR. Now, combine the lines of all the starters in the series so far, and it looks like this: 13.2IP, 20H, 16R/ER, 10K, 7BB, 4HR. The starters’ ERA this series is 10.53. We could add Hunter’s numbers to those, but we’d get flagged for piling on.
- The top two in Cleveland’s order is killing the Orioles. Leadoff man Choo and #2 man Asdrubal Cabrera are a combined 15-for-29 (.517), with 11 runs, a double, four walks, four home runs and 11 RBIs.