Fear a Limping Bird
Tim Chalberg • Monday, April 19, 2010
However, everything I wrote a week ago about the Mariners applies to the Orioles. Maybe Baltimore isn't that good, but the certainly aren't as bad as they have played so far this year. For instance, even if Brian Roberts has a bad back, is he really going to post a .464 OPS this year? Look up and down the O's lineup, and much like the M's a week ago, there are many players playing below what is expected of them.
Tonight's starter, Brad Bergesen, is another prime example of a guy that will get better. Maybe he should be in AAA, but he has been tattooed at an insane rate. It is hard for opponents to bat .400 on a consistent basis, no matter how bad the pitcher on the mound is.
At the start of the season, I certainly thought that the Mariners were a better team than the Orioles, and based on the way both have played thus far, there is no reason to think differently. I like the M's chances to take this series, and leave home with a .500 record. It would be dumb to project any other outcome.
However, I can't help but think that Bergesen is due to look more like the pitcher he probably is, and the offense he faces tonight is far from intimidating. Brian Roberts is due for some hits too, and there are a handful of Orioles due to flash some extra base power.
Baltimore is going to look better at some point, and the longer they go looking as bad as they have been, the more improbable their run of futility becomes. They are going to win some games they aren't expected to win, like every team does over the course of a season. Coming off a win in Oakland, and throwing a starting pitcher that has struggled mightily against a subpar offense, looks like a scenario built to get Baltimore closer to where they should be.
Not to be a fear monger, but this is a trap series. I would not bet on Baltimore winning it, but I would bet on them giving the M's a fight that defies their 2-11 record.
UPDATE (11:20 AM) - Brian Roberts will get more hits when he is off the DL too. I should have caught that, but it doesn't make the point I'm making any different. The Orioles are still a team due for some good luck, and hopefully it won't come at the M's expense.