The Orioles lose to the Tigers, 6-5. (Jon Meoli, Baltimore Sun video)
No team in baseball has struck out more often than the Orioles, and manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday that the ideal would be to bring all those numbers down to zero.
"We'd like to not ever strike out," he said. "If you're getting a return, in other words, if you're scoring runs. But we're not getting enough runs to win games that we pitch well in. That's always a true sign. I don't really care what's happening all over baseball. I care about what's happening here. It's something everybody is concerned with. It's kind of how the game is played."
With 189 strikeouts through 17 games and a strikeout rate of 28.5 percent, the Orioles offense has had major problems putting the ball in play. Their .215 average entering Wednesday tied for second worst in the majors. Tim Beckham and Chris Davis are among the league leaders in strikeouts.
Showalter said plenty goes into that, but he hit back at the sense that it was a problem with making adjustments.
"All hitters do that," Showalter said. "It's a game of constant adjustments, from pitch to pitch, at-bat to at-bat, game to game, to [Francisco] Liriano then another relief pitcher then another relief pitcher and another relief pitcher. Things are thrown at you every day.
"That's why hitting is so hard to do. I still think it's one of the hardest things to do in sports. You couple that with a lot of the conditions, and it's hard. Guys are trying to make the adjustments. It just hasn't happened. I see all the work that goes into it every day. You'd like to see them get a return for the amount of effort they're putting into it. Sometimes, it's hard to get out of your own way."