Is this what a slump looks like or are we witnessing the start of a prolonged breakdown in starting pitching? The Baltimore to Norfolk Express has started up again with Tommy Hunter riding in the locomotive and that’s a bad sign because Tommy H is on his second trip down. For some reason, he throws great bullpen sessions but can’t command his fastball during the games. Maybe a session with a sports psychologist is in order.
Jake Arrieta is the guy with supposedly the best stuff on the staff but has been spotty at best and a big disappointment in most of his starts. Is he destined to a career of mediocrity or will he grab the bull by the horns and break out? Matusz is Matusz, and the only consistent starters have been Wei-Yin Chen and Jason Hammel. I can’t say I was enamored with Hammel’s four-tater night yesterday, but at least he kept the team in the game and has been solid all year.
The O’s have been getting by on a diet of big home runs and stellar bullpen work. They don’t hit for average, don’t steal bases, are terrible in the field, but all those can be covered up to a degree. But when the rotation breaks down, all other flaws are exposed, which is happening now. The June schedule looks tough with consecutive series against the Rays and Red Sox followed by five consecutive series against the tough National League East, broken up by a three game breather with the Pirates on June 12-14. If the O’s can right the starting ship and play .500 for the month, I’ll call that successful.