Losers of the last nine, the Baltimore Orioles will see maybe their toughest opponent on this road trip yet, the Chicago White Sox.
Since May 5, the day of John Means’ no-hitter, the Orioles have completely spiraled out of control. They are 2-16 since then and have allowed seven or more runs in nine of those games.
Things will get no easier, as the O’s travel to the house of Tony La Russa to take on the A.L.-Central-leading White Sox. And no, the house of Tony La Russa is a stadium, not a bar.
On the mound for the Orioles will be Bruce Zimmermann, Matt Harvey, John Means, and Keegan Akin.
In order to end this nine-game losing streak, the Orioles must do a lot of things right. Here is how they can do just that!
Keys to the Series 🔑
1. Run support
The Orioles starting pitching hasn’t been great to say the least. But when they have been great, the offense has completely left them hanging. Against an offense like the White Sox, a lack of run support will end every one of these games very early. To help the pitchers like Zimmermann, Harvey, and Akin, run support will be necessary. And also, why not help Means get that fifth victory? Lord knows he deserves it!
2. Keep Mancini and Santander hot
The best chance of victory for the Orioles in this series, and in general, falls on the shoulders of these two players. Since his return, Santander is 10-for-26 with five doubles and a home run. He has hit safely in all six games since returning and had multiple hits in three of those games. Meanwhile, Trey Mancini has just been electric, as he still leads all of MLB with 42 RBI. If these two can bring the same production, that in itself will set up the Orioles in a position where the rest of the offense, with just a little production, to actually make a big difference in this series.
3. Make the counter-adjustments after the first inning
If baseball games ended after one inning, the Orioles may just have the best record in the league. However, they possess a serious problem where all of the offensive production happens in that first frame only. The reason for the struggles after that first inning is the hitters do not adjust as the pitchers do. As we’ve seen a lot this year, the Orioles come out aggressive and do some damage against a pitcher, while they’re throwing a lot of fastballs early.
What needs to happen, but hardly ever does, is the hitters realizing they will see different pitches later on and to start taking pitches and forcing better hitting counts. The Orioles offense is a kick starter for many opposing pitchers by allowing them to find their groove and not being able to stop it. Coming back up the second and third time with adjusted mindsets will go along way for this offense.
Here are tonight’s game one starting lineups:
Chicago White Sox (28-20):
1. Nick Madrigal 2B
2. Yasmani Grandal C
3. Yoán Moncada 3B
4. José Abreu 1B
5. Yermín Mercedes DH
6. Andrew Vaughn LF
7. Leury García RF
8. Billy Hamilton CF
9. Danny Mendick SS
SP. Dylan Cease RHP
Baltimore Orioles (17-32):
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Trey Mancini 1B
3. Anthony Santander DH
4. Maikel Franco 3B
5. Freddy Galvis SS
6. DJ Stewart LF
7. Stevie Wilkerson 2B
8. Chace Sisco C
9. Ryan McKenna RF
SP. Bruce Zimmermann LHP
Game one kicks off at 8:10 p.m. ET. You can catch each game on MASN or on the Orioles’ flagship radio station, 105.7 The Fan!
Prior to the game, the O’s reinstated right-hander Dillon Tate from the Injured List.
How do you see this series panning out? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on the web and on Facebook and Twitter!