While we try to figure out who the (46-49) 2017 Orioles are there’s one thing we do know. We’ve actually known this about them for several years; they’re bullies with bats and that’s a capital “B.” Ask the Texas Rangers they just left town with broom whips on their backsides. The Orioles hammered them for 34 runs and 10 homers in a 4-game sweep.
Thursday night the Orioles pulled out the brooms and the lumber as they finished the 4-game sweep with a 9-7 win highlighted by a 4 home runs by 4 different Orioles. The Orioles have hit 4 homers in a game 10 times this season that’s tops in MLB.
These Orioles rank near the bottom in pitching but when those bats get booming they can put a hurting on any pitching staff. Those same menacing hitters that hit those tape measure bombs can conversely go a week when it seems they do nothing but strikeout; such is life with a lineup full of big swingers.
For years the Baltimore Ravens trademark was their Ray Lewis led defense it was rock solid and always among the NFL’s best. The Orioles trademark is Joe Angel screaming “wave that baby bye-bye!!” as another one flies out of Camden Yards.
It’s by design, the Orioles play in a small park that’s a house of horrors for any pitcher. It plays closer to fair in April and early May but once the weather warms up that 364 sign on the left center field wall is a joke, so is the 318 down the right field line. Just about any fly ball into the Baltimore summer night has a chance to be a souvenir.
Last year the Orioles led all major league teams with 253 home runs, in fact the Orioles have led the majors in homers 3 of the last 5 years and the other 2 they finished second and third. That’s what they do; they hit the ball far and trot around the bases.
Last season Mark Trumbo led the majors with 47 homers it was the fourth consecutive season an Oriole won the home run crown. Chris Davis hit 53 in 2013, Nelson Cruz went ding-dong 40 times 2014, and Chris Davis was tops with 47 in 2015.
It doesn’t look like an Oriole will win the home run crown in 2017; Jonathan Schoop is the club leader with 19 but that’s a long way from Aaron Judge’s 30. These Birds may not have a 40-50 HR guy but they have 6 that could hit 30 plus and 8 that could hit at least 15-20.
Here’s how Buck’s bombers stack up in home runs…. Schoop 19, Machado 18, Davis 17, Jones 17, Trumbo 16, Mancini 15, Smith 11, Castillo 9.
If it’s still true that chicks dig the long ball welcome to Camden Yards, ladies.