After Andrew Cashner departed tonight’s game, I tweeted about a concern I’ve had all year about Baltimore Orioles’ pitchers. And there have been several, mind you. Cashner’s line: 2.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 1 BB, 1 K.
Cashner pitched into the third inning, and was lifted after giving up eight runs. The Orioles’ bullpen would go onto give up two additional runs, making the score 10-0 after three innings. And that would end up being the final score.
All season I’ve noticed in several games that starters would start things off in a decent manner. Cashner certainly did tonight. He allowed a base runner in the first inning, and mowed Oakland down in the second. Then the third hit…and Cashner got hit.
That third inning wasn’t quite one turn through the order. However the Birds started getting hit left and right. No matter what Cashner threw up there, he either issued a walk or got hit. So…what gives?
I’ve said for some time that Oriole starters have been figured out after one or two turns through the order. And while it’s not out of the realm of possibility (although I’m sure it’s happened), I’m not even saying that opposing teams are stealing signs. I’m saying something along the lines of what the NY Jets did the other night in their NFL game against Detroit. They announced after the game that they knew Detroit’s plays before they were even called.
Now I’m not necessarily going to get into the smarts of announcing that you knew someone else’s plays before they were even called. (Because not all of your opponents will know that you’re trying to learn their playbooks.) But what I’m saying is that other teams are somehow figuring out what the Orioles are doing, possibly down to pitch selection and location – all before it happens. This can be achieved through scouting, and by watching game film – not necessarily by stealing signs.
On a similar note, the O’s have had problems with two strikes and/or two outs all season. Opposing hitters have in essence been emboldened in these situations, when in reality they should probably be on their heels. This is all stuff that we will discuss in the off season, as it has to change going into next year if the O’s are going to even improve their win total year-over-year.