The Annual Second Ending Swoon?

The problem for the O’s is never that they have a problem starting the season. Usually the Orioles play somewhat mediocore first half ball. The problem is finishing. Look up the 2005 season for further evidence or for that matter any second half collapse. This season, it’s been a nice start but the signs off slipping are showing. The Birds were swept by the Yankees at home this weekend.

A few reasons why I’m worried the season’s end might be somewhat ugly:

  • Any starting pitcher not named Jeremy Guthrie. Guthrie is only the team’s ace, but as their only truly decent pitcher. Guthrie’s more than decent, but 2-5 is bloody ugly. Daniel Cabrera? After years of foolish hope, I’m throwing in the towel on that one. Radhames Liz could be a decent pitcher at some point, but he was rushed up, sent down, and rushed back up again because there’s no one else ready. He’s a sacrifical lamb. A 7.32 ERA does not reassure me. Chris Waters had a swell debut, but my opinion is that the Disney movie ends there. I’d love for him to surprise me, but the dude has been a career minor leaguer for a reason. Garrett Olson probably won’t see Baltimore again this season, and that’s probably a good thing. I’ve still got hope for the kid, but its been a rough campaign for him. Again, they’re all better options than seeing Dennis Sarfate start again.
  • The bullpen has been solid for most the season, but with Matt Albers done for at least the forseeable future, George Sherrill on the DL, and Chad Bradford traded to Tampa, what was once a solid option has become shaky. Jamie Walker has made a habit of giving up at least a run an outing. Randor Bierd hasn’t been the same guy since coming off the DL. Rocky Cherry doesn’t assure when he comes into a game. There’s still Jim Johnson in the pen. Alberto Castillo has quietly done his job. Kam Mickolio will be one to watch. We got to take the good with the bad, but at the moment there’s a little bad in the bullpen than good.

The offense is hitting the white off the ball, that’s better seasons past. The last 30 or so games will define whether this is simply an overachiever (this team can be a few games under .500 and definately be call overacheivers) or whether reality caught up with them. I think saying ‘reality catching up’ is harsh when you see the team has only one solid option in the rotation, but that’s the truth of it.

I’m hoping they keep it up, but with the rotation…it scares me.


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