The Orioles treated Sunday’s game against the Angels like a bride-to-be treats her last day at work before her wedding: distracted, disinterested, and in a hurry to get out.
Facing journeyman lefty Brad Mills (W, 1-0), the Orioles could muster just three hits and no runs in five innings in the 6-0 loss. Yes, this is the same Brad Mills who had been called up by the Angels to make this start, the one who’d been 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA at Salt Lake City. Mills’ lifetime record in the majors included an 8.57 ERA, and a 2-3 record. Unfortunately, both wins had come against the Orioles. More unfortunate, he added to that win total Sunday.
Wei-Yin Chen started for the Orioles, and he surrendered as many home runs as Mills did hits. In his shortest outing this season, the Angels torched Chen for 5 earned runs on 5 hits in 4 innings. Chen walked 3 and fanned 5. Erick Aybar (#2) and Mike Trout (12) each hit solo homers off Chen, and Albert Pujols added a two-run shot (14). Luis Ayala replaced Chen in the fifth, and would give up the fourth Angels homer of the day, to Mark Trumbo (22).
While there were no physical errors defensively (and Steve Tolleson made a terrific play), there certainly were lapses, including players forgetting how many outs there were, at least twice. The birds struck out 11 times, and walked just twice.
The Orioles get four days off now (at least, 22 of them do), and will hopefully find a way to reboot. Several players find themselves scuffling at the dish. The bullpen has started to come back to earth, and after the All-Star break, the rotation will feature two men who started major league games for the first time this season, just last week.
The Orioles return to Camden Yards following the All-Star break. Thursday, Detroit is in town. Game time is 7:05.
- Four days off is exactly what the Orioles need. Well, that and some offense. And defense. And pitching.
- Somehow, some way, the Orioles enter the All-Star break at 45-40, and would make the playoffs if the regular season ended today.
- The O’s also enter the All-Star break having lost 13 of 19, and having been shut out in 32 of their last 33 innings. They have committed more errors than any other team in the game, they have the worst run differential in the American League, and 60% of their Opening Day rotation pitched its way out of Baltimore and in to Norfolk.
- Brad Mills? Really? This guy kills the Orioles. He struck out 6 and walked none in his 5 innings Sunday. In his career against the Orioles, Brad Wells is 3-0 with just 3 earned runs given up in 17-plus innings vs. Baltimore (1.56 ERA). Against the rest of the major leagues, he’s 0-3 with a career ERA of 10.75.