With how this season’s gone the Baltimore Orioles are counting their blessings that they won a game in Seattle at all. They did have a shot at taking the series last night, but dropped the finale in Seattle as Andrew Cashner had a tough time getting himself going. Cashner’s line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K.
The O’s trailed starting in the third inning, as Haniger deposited a Cashner pitch into the center field grandstand to give Seattle a 1-0 lead. However they did claim the lead for awhile. The Birds were able to tie it in the fifth on an E3, which goes as an unearned run. Adam Jones would later reach on an E6, which yielded another run, and the O’s took a 2-1 lead.
Both runs that the Orioles scored in the game were unearned. The scary thing is that the Orioles have struggled over the years at Safeco Field. When I say that I mean the core of Jones (who’s actually played very well in Seattle individually), Davis, Machado, Hardy, et al. That group of Orioles at least has struggled in Seattle. This is a totally new group of Orioles. Granted Jones is still here, but now you have the Joseph’s, Nunez’s, Mullins’, et al of the world. Luckily for them, the Birds only come to Seattle once a year.
Cashner was chased after giving the lead right back in the last of the fifth. Home runs by Cruz and Span ended his night, and ended the Orioles’ claim to the game overall. That gave Seattle a 3-2 lead, which was extended to 4-2 two innings later on Span’s softly-hit bloop RBI-single. They would also add a sac bunt-RBI in the seventh to run the final to 5-2.
Both Cashner and Alex Cobb have had really tough years, following their signings with the Orioles. Analysts far and wide praised the Birds for those signings, including myself. That of course was back in spring training before anyone knew what a donnybrook of a down turn this season was going to become.
Why bring that up now? Because the commonality between the two is that neither had much of a spring training with the Orioles. Cashner had a couple of appearances towards the latter half, but Cobb did not. They, along with countless other players signed very late – call them victims of circumstance if you will. And that’s something we’ll discuss in the off season. Because while the rebuild will certainly continue into next year and beyond, my personal opinion is that the O’s have no choice but to improve year-over-year.
Both Cashner and Cobb have under performed to their career numbers. And again, the commonality is that they signed late and didn’t have a full spring in camp. That will obviously not be the case going into next season. Which by default, in theory should mean that the team’s record should be better next season.
The Orioles now head to Tampa, but have an off day today. It’s one of three off days this month, meaning that they have two left in the season. And it works out nicely for me, because it allows me to catch the NFL season opener tonight, and the season premier of Monday Night Football next Monday!