A Tale of Two Cities for the Birds in Atlanta and New York
The Orioles just finished up a six game road trip of interleague play that took them through Atlanta and New York. Although the Atlanta series didn’t get off to the best start the Orioles were able to battle back and win the second and third games of the series, shutting out the Braves in both of the final two contests.
This was a series where the Orioles did a lot of things right. On Saturday, Jason Hammel picked up his seventh win of the season by tossing a one-hit complete game shutout. Hammel was dominant to say the least but even if he had faltered a bit the O’s bats had his back as they hung five runs on the Braves to give our new found ace a nice cushion.
On Sunday, Wei-Yin Chen was just as impressive in the series finale, tossing seven scoreless innings en route to a 2-0 Orioles win. This was a game where the Orioles had to manufacture a run with a sac fly and then caught a break when Braves’ starter Randall Delgado balked in a run.
So that was a good series yeah? You take 2 of 3 your feeling good right?
Well unfortunately the Orioles were unable to keep the W’s coming as they ran into a buzz saw of great pitching in New York (and it wasn’t even the Yankees.)
This is where the road trip stopped being fun and the best of times turned into the worst of times. After getting one hit by R.A. Dickey and then shutout by Johan Santana the following night the Orioles found themselves mired in 29-inning scoreless streak.
This is a series you are frustrated with but at the same time you have to tip your hat to the Mets’ pitching staff. Their starters did exactly what they needed to do – eat up as many innings a possible with very few runs scored to protect the chink in the armor that is the New York bullpen.
We saw what happened in the last game of the series – when the Orioles were able to get to their opponents’ bullpen they scored runs. The Birds made it interesting and showed us some promise as they almost completed a late inning comeback but fell just one run shy of the tie and left the bases loaded to end the 9th.
Hopefully that late inning explosion wasn’t just a fluke but a sign that the Orioles’ bats are waking up in time for a very important home stand that starts with the red hot nationals on Friday.