Orioles’ Brandon Hyde deems home runs ‘pretty annoying’ during team’s dubious pursuit of dueling records

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Baltimore Orioles manager Brandon Hyde walks on the field during a pitching change in a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Friday, June 14, 2019, in Baltimore.

Another marathon homestand in a second half full of them has the Orioles confronting both of the ignominious major league records they’re threatening to make their own.

One — their inevitable achievement of allowing the most home runs in major league history and the ways to prevent that — is the “question of the season,” manager Brandon Hyde said. They entered Saturday having allowed a major league-high 214 home runs in 109 games, and could break the record of 258 by the end of this month.


But another home loss Friday dropped them to 15-38 (.283) at Camden Yards this year. With 13 of their remaining 28 games against likely playoffs teams including the high-flying New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, it’s in play that the Orioles could challenge the 1939 St. Louis Browns for the lowest home winning percentage of all time at .234.

To Hyde, the two are at least tangentially connected.


“We give up a ton of home runs,” Hyde said. “It’s pretty annoying. But it’s kind of where we are. We play in a hitter’s ballpark in the American League East, and when we don’t throw — a lot of times, we just don’t execute very well.”

On the subject of home runs, Hyde said the Orioles might be able to combat that by pitching inside more effectively. He noted how many balls Orioles players are fouling off their lower bodies as the Blue Jays pitchers go inside often in this series, but also noted that’s not the easiest thing to do.

“We’re not there yet,” Hyde said. “A lot of our guys are still trying to survive, getting their feet wet, surviving in the major leagues. That’s why I think you see certain guys improving and certain guys still having a high ERA, because it’s not easy to do. It’s really hard to pitch in the major leagues, and some guys figure it out later than others. Some guys figure it out right away.

"But John Means doesn’t give up a ton of homers, or he hasn’t, because he throws to both sides of the plate and he’s got an equalizer of a changeup and he pitches in. I just wish we pitched in more. That doesn’t mean hit people, but be able to throw a fastball on the inside corner and off the insider corner so guys can’t lean out on you.”

A major league-high 121 of those home runs have come at Camden Yards, where previously, the most home runs the Orioles have ever allowed was 127 in 2017. The team’s hitters haven’t been able to take advantage of the hitting conditions as much as their opponents have at home, but Hyde has much more interest in the position players simply performing better in front of the home fans.

“What’s disappointing to me is I feel like we play so much better on the road,” Hyde said. “I don’t know why. I feel like we take better at-bats on the road, I feel like we’re — I don’t know. We’re more competitive on the road in a lot of ways, and we just haven’t played well at home, for whatever reason.”

It will be difficult for the Orioles to do worse than the 1939 Browns, as they’d be required to lose 25 of their remaining 28 home games to go lower than a .234 winning percentage at Camden Yards. Both the Orioles and Detroit Tigers, who are 13-36 at home this year, are challenging the 1962 New York Mets for the worst home record in the expansion era at 22-58 (.275).


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