Orioles manager Dave Trembley held brief pre-game meetings with his team and coaching staff before last night's game, and the team's poor base running was among the topics discussed.
In Thursday's 6-5 loss, the Orioles were thrown out on the bases three times and twice failed to score with runners on first and third and no outs. The base-running gaffes continued a disturbing trend that haunted the Orioles before the All-Star break.
Entering last night, the Orioles had been picked off a major league-leading eight times. Only three other teams in the majors had been picked off more than four times. The Orioles also had been caught stealing 28 times, the fourth-highest total in the majors.
"I told you last night it didn't sit well with me," Trembley said. "I sit on it for 24 hours, but I'm not going to ignore it. I'm going to address it in a way that's respectful and say, 'Hey fellas, I think we can do some things a little bit different and maybe a little bit better, here's some reminders.' I don't like to be embarrassed. I don't like the club to be embarrassed, and I felt maybe we were a little embarrassed, and that's one thing I'm trying to avoid here."
Trembley said that he would lean on John Shelby and Juan Samuel, his first base and third base coaches, respectively, to correct some of the mistakes. However, he acknowledged that there is only so much the coaching staff can do and it largely comes down to the base runners reacting and executing.
"I think you give them responsibility," Trembley said.
Samuel agreed with his manager's assessment, saying, "As a coach, you try to help them as much as you can, but it's going to come down to them reacting and making the right decision."
Trembley, who has encouraged his players all year to be aggressive on the bases, said most of the Orioles' problems have come from indecisiveness.
"I want people to always be aggressive in this game, but I don't want people to play like it's kamikaze baseball, run until you're out," he said. "[Mistakes] haven't happened because of aggressiveness or lack of aggressiveness."
A different take
Garrett Olson's pitch selection in the game also didn't sit too well with Trembley. Olson allowed five earned runs on seven hits, including two homers, over six innings.
"That game last night, it wasn't the base running," Trembley said. "Did anybody say anything about the pitch selection that Olson made? Goodness' sakes. How about some of the pitches that he was throwing to the guys hitting eight and nine? You're going to beat Detroit, you better not give up home runs."
Trembley said he expects Adam Loewen to decide whether he'll have season-ending elbow surgery soon. ... In his rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Bowie, reliever Randor Bierd threw a scoreless inning Thursday and will be re-evaluated today. ... Jamie Walker will throw a bullpen session today and face live hitters Tuesday and could get clearance to resume pitching in games next week. ... Shortstop Alex Cintron did more nonbaseball-related activities yesterday and will take today off.
Walk this way
"It's been a little of an adjustment, but I'm just seeing the ball better, taking more pitches, swinging at better pitches," Markakis said. "When you're patient, good things happen."