It begins and ends with starting pitching for the Baltimore Orioles, and last night that meant Alex Cobb. It also meant that things weren’t going to go very well for the Birds on the south side of Chicago. Cobb’s line: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 3 K,
The O’s took an early 1-0 lead as Peterson singled home a run. However that was the best the Orioles were going to do on this night. Chicago’s Moncada smacked a three-run homer in the third, and the ChiSox were off to the races. When the smoke cleared at the end of the game, the O’s had fallen 11-1. Not exactly the result that anyone affiliated with the ballclub was looking to achieve.
Mark Trumbo sat in this game with knee soreness, which is something of concern for the Orioles. Trumbo of course missed the first month of the season with an injury, and the Orioles’ offense was fairly stagnant during that period. Trumbo will see the Orioles’ doctors in Sarasota before tomorrow’s game in Tampa, but the team isn’t expected to need to make a roster move.
As for Alex Cobb, he’s well aware of the pressure on him from fans to perform, and that to this point he hasn’t really lived up to his end of the bargain (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):
There’s been some absolute difficulties for not only me, but us as a team to start the season. But I’m not going to look into how people view me as a pitcher. I’d obviously love to go out there and show the fanbase and all of baseball that the Orioles made the right decision in getting me, but it hasn’t gone according to plan to start the season. I no doubt believe that I will return to form, and this commitment that made – we made to each other – that it’ll end up working out for both sides. But you do your best convincing when you’re on the mound and pitching a good game. I plan on not looking too much into the stats and the overall season of numbers, but going game-to-game and trying to put a good streak together.
Cobb and his contract are being compared to that of former Oriole Ubaldo Jimenez, who vastly underperformed during his four years in Baltimore. Now in saying that, I always remind fans that over those four years there were plenty of times when the O’s needed a solid outing in a big spot and Jimenez delivered. That includes the 2014 AL East-clinching game.
However overall, would the Orioles still make that deal if they could do it over? Probably not. Is Cobb turning into Jimenez II? While a 1-6 start isn’t what anyone envisioned, it’s still far too early to tell.
And this season may not be the best judge, or at least the first half. Cobb missed basically all of spring training, which is obviously still affecting him. Having said all of that, there’s still a lot of season left. Cobb can still get it together, and his comment above should reassure fans that he has every intention of doing so.
The series concludes this afternoon, and the O’s will have a shot to split. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Lucas Giolito. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.