Baltimore Orioles: Home isn’t where the heart is

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Chance Sisco
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Chance Sisco /

Just when the Baltimore Orioles offense started heating up, they’ve gone cold again.

Entering play Monday night, the Baltimore Orioles sat just two games under .500. They had a chance to even their record with a few victories against the Toronto Blue Jays. However, after two losses in the first three games of the series, it’s quite evident that their offense has gone cold. Again.

After scoring 23 runs in a four-game set against the New York Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles have managed just two runs in 18 innings versus Toronto. Going back further, they’ve scored one run in the past 23 innings.

In New York, their team batting average was .240, and they had 13 extra base hits and seven home runs. The team also worked Yankees pitchers for 15 walks.

It wasn’t all sunshine and roses though. They left 33 men on base, and as expected of them this year, they racked up the strikeouts; 54 of them to be precise.

Riding high after an 8-to-7, 12-inning victory on Sunday, the results of their first two games at home since April 1 aren’t appeasing.

Back to the freeze

That sub-heading isn’t just because the weather was frigid both nights. The Orioles have found their offense at home, stuck in a deep freeze.

Through 12 games this season, the offense has been a tale of two teams. There’s the home offense, and then there’s the road offense. The home offense is abysmal.

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Back home at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, collectively, the team is 23-for-156, translating to a .147 batting average. They’ve hit just three home runs and have scored a mere seven runs. That has converted to a 1-and-4 record at home.

However, through the team’s seven road games, they’re improved to a .242 average (67-for-277) with ten home runs and 32 runs scored. They’re 3-and-4 on the road.

Yes, it’s been chilly in Baltimore, but Buck Showalter doesn’t see the weather as being a factor in the offense’s lack of production. In speaking with the media after last night’s loss, he said,

"“That’s an excuse our guys wont use.”"

He then continued talking about Blue Jays starter, Aaron Sanchez,

"“Sanchez is a good pitcher. Really good. We need to be better offensively. Not going to say anything that takes away from the credit he deserves.”"

The production isn’t happening at home

The fans that have made their way to the ballpark this season – 96,999 of them to be precise – haven’t been treated to well-played baseball yet. In fact, as mentioned earlier, they’ve only seen one victory. Adam Jones‘ walk-off home run on Opening Day has been the highlight of the home schedule, thus far.

Speaking of Jones, he’s 2-for-20 at home this season, with just that home run and seven strikeouts. It doesn’t get much better from there.

The hitters that are expected to be producing are doing anything but that. Manny Machado has five hits at home this season, the most of any Oriole. Trey Mancini is 4-for-17, and both Chance Sisco and Tim Beckham have three, with the former having just eight at-bats, and the latter with 17.

Caleb Joseph is 2-for-8, and Danny Valencia, Pedro Alvarez, Anthony Santander and Jonathan Schoop all have one.

Schoop is just 10-for-53 (.189) overall this season in 12 games. Marred in a 1-for-23 slump; he’s racked up eight strikeouts as well.

Then, there’s Chris Davis, who is struggling no matter where he plays. At home though, he hasn’t recorded a hit in 19 at-bats. He’s walked three times.

I’ll choose to avoid discussing how he’s more upset than anyone.

Next: Dylan Bundy is showing why he's staff ace

It won’t get any easier for the Baltimore Orioles in the finale against the Jays. Marco Estrada will be taking the bump for Toronto and he owns a career 7-and-1 record against the O’s. He’s appeared in 15 games, starting 13, pitching to a 3.22 ERA.