Orioles morning observations on the O's offensive woes, Chris Davis and Brian Matusz

Baltimore Orioles' Chris Davis walks off the field after striking out during a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Baltimore.
Baltimore Orioles' Chris Davis walks off the field after striking out during a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Baltimore. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

The Orioles clubhouse was eerily quiet following their 4-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

And yes, the postgame interviews over the past month have owned an all-too-familiar tone, with too many questions about this team's inconsistent offense.


Adding to the frustration Tuesday was the fact that Chris Tillman, despite allowing two runs in the seventh inning, did all he could to help provide victory.

"It's always hard," Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said. "You want to go out there and put up runs for your starters and even guys in the bullpen. I feel like we've been throwing the ball pretty well lately and they've given us a chance to win games. We've just got to do a better job of scoring runs early and giving them a little bit of breathing room."

When Davis' line drive sacrifice fly to right field scored Jimmy Paredes in the sixth inning, giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead, Davis walked into the Orioles dugout to a frenzy of high fives.

But when this offense is scoring just one run -- and that run is coming on a sacrifice fly -- it's not good news.

With the exception of Jimmy Paredes (.333) and Manny Machado (.300), there is no one in the Orioles lineup who is swinging a good bat this month. Outside of Travis Snider (.263), no other Oriole is hitting above .250 in the month of May.

Then there's Davis, who is hitting just .154 this month and has nearly three times as many strikeouts (35) as hits (12).

"I think we're pressing a little bit," Davis said. "Myself, trying to go out there and do too much. I've got to swing at balls in the strike zone. That's one thing. It doesn't matter if your swing feels good or if it feels bad, if you're not swinging at balls in the zone, you're not giving yourself a chance. That's probably the most frustrating thing for me.

"Right now, I'm going out there and doing all the work early and hitting in the cage and doing everything I can, and once the game starts trying to slow it down and really relax and kind of let the game come to you, just trying to do too much right now," he added. "At some point, it has to change."

On a different note, this hasn't been a good week for left-hander Brian Matusz, and saying that might be the understatement of the month.

Matusz is appealing the eight-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball following his ejection from Saturday's game for having a foreign substance on his right forearm.

On Tuesday night, he was brought into a one-run game to face two left-handed hitters with two on and two outs.

He couldn't put away Colby Rasmus, a career .214 hitter against lefties, walking him to end an eight-pitch at bat. He then allowed a two-run single to Luis Valbuena, a .111 hitter against lefties this season.

Matusz entered the night holding left-handers to a .185 batting average. But needing just one out, he allowed two lefties to reach, turning a one-run game into a three-run game heading into the bottom of the eighth.

As for Matusz's appeal, the Orioles hope it isn't decided before Thursday's doubleheader, when they will need every arm possible.


Brewers reliever Will Smith also received an eight-game suspension for having a foreign substance on Thursday. Smith is also appealing his suspension and the Orioles believe that Smith's will have to be decided before Matusz's. So once the ruling on Smith's appeal is heard, the Orioles expect to receive the ruling on Matusz's appeal one or two days later.


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