© Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

4 Thoughts While Sitting At Camden Yards

Alex Woodward
April 23, 2019 - 10:12 pm

By Alex Woodward


Tonight was a beatiful night at Camden Yards. Not only did the Orioles snap their 4 game losing streak with an offensive explosion of homeruns but the weather was perfect. Partly cloudy skies with the temperatures in the low 70's. As I comfortably watched the birds grab their 9th win of the season, I found myself jotting down a couple random thoughts while watching:


There are a lot of homerun balls to be had at Oriole Park

Camden Yards was surprisingly more full tonight than I had expected. The team came into tonight with just 4 wins in their past 15 games, they were 1-10 at home and they are in a rebuild so you wouldn't expect a crowd at full capacity. It was still more than I expected for a Tuesday night though as the official attendance was announced at 8,953 which is the most for a weekday game since the Yankees were in town in the first homestand of the season. Even still, there are a TON of empty seats here and there's no shortage of available seats in homerun territory. Whether you are a die hard Oriole fan still looking for your first homerun ball, if you're a baseball collector or if you just want to see how many baseballs you can get at the ballpark in one season...now is the time to do it. The Orioles broke out offensively with 4 homeruns tonight and they have given up 59 homeruns on the season so far which is by far the most in the major leagues. Whether it's the home team hitting them out or the opposition, there is no shortage of homerun balls to go around and now is the time to grab a glove and head out to the outfield seats. 


Oriole Pitching

Tonight the Orioles pitching held up, allowing just 1 run off just 6 hits to the White Sox but for the most part this season it has been rough to watch the Orioles take the mound. They've allowed a major league record 59 homeruns so far (the first team in major league history to allow 50+ HR's before the end of April) and they came into tonight with the worst team ERA in the majors at 6.34. The bullpen has been the main source of their struggles by making things worse more often than shutting things down. That heavy usage of the bullpen + the starters inability to work deep into the ball game has led to position players taking the mound at a ridiculous rate. The Orioles have used 3 position players as pitchers this season which sounds bad enough but when you put it in perspective: the Orioles have only used a position player on the mound 12 times in their HISTORY and 3 of those were before the end of April....that's eye opening. Things won't get much better as the weather heats up but I think fans should keep in mind that this is an evaluation year. Yes, I know the pitching stinks but you have to keep trotting them out there to see if they can improve and if they have what it takes to be a part of the future. I'm guessing the Orioles will set numerous major league records this season and nearly all of them will be tied to this pitching staff. Hey, at least they're throwing strikes. 


My mind is on Mountcastle

After setting the International League on fire last week with a .370 batting average with 4 HR's and 11 RBI on his way to winning International League player of the week, I've been thinking about how Ryan Mountcastle fits onto this team. The knock on Mountcastle is that he needs a lot of work defensively but it's obvious his bat is major league ready. Renato Nunez is a similar player to Mountcastle. Both are young and both have great bats with mediocre gloves. Nunez has served mostly as a DH for the Orioles this season and that has helped him hit 6 HR's with a team high 17 RBI's. At this point I don't expect Ryan Mountcastle to be called up anytime soon. His best position would be at first base but it doesn't appear the Orioles plan on making too many changes there at the moment and I would assume that Trey Mancini would be next in line as far as first base reps. Even still, I can't help wondering when and where O's brass will end up trying to fit him on this roster. Hopefully he can develop his glove more this season in the minors because any added power to this unimposing lineup would be a welcome sign for the future. Until then, just keep mashing in Norfolk. 


When was the last time I saw a Chris Davis hit in person?

I don't know if this says more about my attendance at the ballpark or Davis' struggles. We're well aware of his record setting hitless streak and his abysmal batting average over the past few seasons. Tonight, not only did I see Davis get a hit in person for the first time since last summer but I also saw him launch a homerun for the first time since last summer! It turns out it wasn't just me...no one has seen a Chris Davis homerun at Oriole Park since August 24, 2018.  I picked Davis as my "pick to click" in our daily game on the Scott & Jeremy Show today and it paid off! Like Davis, I've been in a slump as I was the only one on the show without a "click" before his 3rd inning 2-run shot to left center. I guess I need to come to more games at the yard to help Chris and myself. Hopefully whatever he has been working on since snapping out of the funk in Boston is working. He's quietly starting to heat up. He's 9-25 (.360 batting average) over his last 9 games played with 8 RBI's. 


Follow @AlexW1057