It was a tough series in Oakland. On Thursday, David Hernandez was solid – 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 6 K – but some hits fell in in bunches and the O’s offense wasn’t able to come through for much despite putting 12 men on base. The 6-2 loss was their 9th of the year and 7th in a row. They also lost Felix Pie, who had been playing well, to the disabled list. Friday, Kevin Millwood gave the team yet another quality start – 6 IP, 9 H, 4 R (3ER), 0 BB, 9 K – but the Orioles batters couldn’t solve lefty Dallas Braden. 4-2 loss; 10th of the year; 8th in a row. Saturday it was Jeremy Guthrie’s turn to pitch well (6.2, IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K) and not get a win. The O’s managed to get a lead, but Jim J0hnson blew it in the bottom of the ninth and the team fell 4-3. Miguel Tejada came up lame in loss number 11. Today – in a fantastic match-up of talented young lefites between Brian Matusz and Brett Anderson (which I didn’t get to see) – things finally came together. Matusz was sensational yet again, with a 6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 8 K line, and Jim Johnson pitched two scoreless innings for a save. The offense – led by Ty Wigginton’s 2-5, 4 RBI day (including his 4th HR of the year) – managed to put across a season high 8 runs. The losing streak was snapped at 9 in a row with the 8-3 victory.
I don’t really know what else to say. Matusz has both of the team’s wins, despite relatively effective starting pitching almost every night. The O’s offense just isn’t getting the job done, though largely no fault of their own (though I would love to see some more walks out of these guys). Eventually things will get better, and hopefully this W is the start of a 9-10 game winning streak. Seeing as how this season is about the team playing better and the advancement of the young players, the wins and losses don’t make a huge amount of difference. Thus the 2010 Orioles Beyond W-L, which I’ll be updating as soon as today’s data is available (looks to be about a 6-7 expected record). I’d definitely rather see the team win 72 games but play like a 78 win team than the other way around.