It’s easy to be critical of the Orioles’ offense three games into the season, simply because we’ve seen the script play out this way before.
Down the stretch last season, and even as far back as the 2012 postseason, the vaunted Orioles offense had its share of impatient at-bats and struggles with runners in scoring position.
When the Orioles offense is clicking, it's one of the best in the game. But when it's slumping, it can be downright ugly to watch.
Granted, we're nowhere near that point yet. It's only three games into the season. But ...
The Orioles scored just seven total runs in three games against the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox. They hit .216 with a .299 on-base percentage and averaged nearly nine strikeouts a game.
They have just four extra-base hits, and two of those were homers by Nelson Cruz in the first two games.
The top four hitters in the Orioles lineup — Nick Markakis, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Chris Davis — have yet to drive in a run. Ryan Flaherty is 0-for-11 with four strikeouts.
"They threw well against us in three games, but you know, luckily, it's a long season,” Hardy said. “We'll see them again."
Manager Buck Showalter attributed most of his club's struggles to Boston’s pitching, which is fair, but the Orioles have one of the most feared lineups in the game.
"That's why they were the last team standing last year,” Showalter said of Boston. “They pitched better than everybody else for the most part, and I don't think I'm telling anybody anything they don't know. You pitch real well, you've got a chance to play extra games at the end of the year."
They won’t have much time to think about it. The Orioles were slated to leave Camden Yards at 1 a.m. Friday night because their flight to Detroit had been delayed. Showalter didn’t expect them to get into their hotel beds until 4 a.m. First pitch Friday afternoon at Comerica Park is 1 p.m.
At least Friday’s scheduled starter, Miguel Gonzalez, will be well rested. He left early Thursday evening to get a good night’s sleep in Detroit.
That still brings up the question of why the Orioles and Red Sox didn’t play a day game Thursday. Both teams are playing this afternoon, with the Red Sox playing their home opener at Fenway Park on Friday.
Regardless, the Orioles' offense needs to wake up soon, especially facing a tough Tigers team and a string of 16 straight games against American League East opponents, starting off with three games against the revamped New York Yankees in the Bronx.