We've recited the statistics over and over again to describe the Orioles' offensive futility. But a perfect example of those struggles came in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.
The game was tied at one heading into the top of the sixth inning. Kevin Millwood had just gotten out of the bottom of the fifth inning on 15 pitches, but his pitch count was elevated.
So what do the Orioles do against Scott Baker, who had allowed just a Luke Scott homer and hadn't thrown many pitches at all?
No.9 hitter Craig Tatum swings at the first pitch and grounds out to the pitcher.
Leadoff man Julio Lugo swings at the first pitch and pops out to third.
No,2 hitter Nick Markakis has to let two pitches go to give Millwood a chance to catch his breath. He promptly falls behind 0-2 and then popped out to third on the third pitch.
Baker gets out of the inning on five total pitches. Millwood, barely getting a chance to sit down, goes to the mound in the bottom of the sixth, and gives up two runs. Coincidence? I don't know.
Orioles manager Dave Trembley, who spent most of his pregame meeting with reporters today talking about his punchless lineup and how impatient Oriole hitters have been, admitted that he wasn't pleased by the sequence.
"I didn't think it was the right thing to do for Millwood, who was busting his butt out there," Trembley said. "The next inning, he went out on short rest. You certainly don't expect that from guys who have played and have experience. And it also put Markakis in a whole where he had to take two pitches and basically his at-bat was thrown away.
"That at-bat with Lugo was not good. Now, if he hits it out of the ballpark, it's like the 30-footer in baseball. You go, 'great shot.' But more times than not, it doesn't work out in your favor. You expect better from a guy that has played as long as he has played, but it just goes to show you that a lot of them are just trying to do way too much. I don't think anybody can fault the intent."