Remember when we were all excited that the Orioles started out the month of June 5-2? Yeah, us too. Since then, it feels as if we have dealt with a whole season worth of woes, and in all reality, that isn’t wrong.
Since their hot 5-2 start to June, the Orioles have yet to win another game. This extended their road loss streak to 19 games, while extending the losing streak in general to seven games. Now, the Toronto Blue Jays and their likely M.V.P., Vlad Guerrero Jr., come to town, and that is a very scary thought.
The Orioles have yet to see the Blue Jays this season, and we don’t hear anyone complaining. Over the last few years, the Jays have owned the Orioles, and frankly, there’s nothing to make us think that will change.
The Orioles will have a tough three-game series here, as the Blue Jays will be pitching two very underrated arms in Robbie Ray and Alek Manoah, and ending with the former Cy Young winner, Hyun-Jin Ryu, in game three.
The Orioles will start Dean Kremer and Matt Harvey in games two and three. As of Friday morning, Bruce Zimmermann was placed on the 10-day I.L. with bicep tendinitis. The starter for Friday’s game is now Thomas Eshelman, as the regular scheduled starter was Zimmermann.
The Blue Jays head into Baltimore with some red hot bats. However, the Orioles can come away with a win or two in this series, and here is how they can do just that!
Keys to the Series 🔑:
1. Back to fundamentals
I think this goes without saying, the defensive play in that last series against Cleveland was horrific. The Orioles committed seven errors in that four-game series and only scored 15 runs. Even if you’re playing the Bad News Bears, that stat line will not help you win many ballgames. Against a very solid team like the Blue Jays, you simply cannot make those bone-headed errors. The catching play must improve, whether that means starting Austin Wynns instead of Pedro Severino. All three starters in this series are prone to giving up runs, and not picking up those pitchers as a defense is the worst that can happen.
2. Just stay away from Vladdy Jr. please
Remember that guy from the Expos and Angels, who could hit a ball 400 feet off the dirt and then turn around and be a gold-glover too? Well, unfortunately for the Orioles, he has a son. And baby Vlad may just well be as good, if not better, than daddy. In 2021, Vlad Jr. is tied for the home run lead at 22, at 22 years old. He also is leading all of MLB in OPS, OBP, and RBI. Simply put, this kid is absolutely taking games over by himself. The best thing the Orioles can do in this situation is force Vlad Jr. to hit uncomfortably. Do not give him good pitches to hit, which comes down to being ahead in counts. If the pitching staff can limit damage from this one player, that will actually deplete a lot of the pressure that this Toronto lineup can bring.
3. Let’s get to their bullpen
The Blue Jays offense has shown they can compete with the league’s best. Their defense, the same thing. One flaw to this team is their bullpen. In a situation where the Orioles offense is in the game, they will see a lot more success off the Toronto bullpen than any starter. After losing Kirby Yates, that bullpen has been a mix up, and that mix up has created a lot of walks and high ERA’s. Besides the closer, Jordan Romano, the Jays bullpen can be worked, and that should be the offense’s mindset. Get better pitches to hit from the bullpen arms, and attempt to deplete the pen as much as possible across this series.
Transactions: The O’s made some roster moves prior to this series. The most notable being Chance Sisco getting designated for assignment. Thomas Eshelman was also recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to make Friday night’s start, and Bruce Zimmermann was placed on the 10-day I.L. with bicep tendinitis.
If the Orioles can deliver the long ball like they were able to in game four of the last series, that will do well in keeping up with the offensive production brought on by the Blue Jays.
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