O’s-Zone Watch: 27 May 2012

Don’t sweat the loss, O’s fans… you’re gonna get to see this for years to come!

I wouldn’t say the Orioles are “beginning to struggle” and I don’t think they are “about to plummet back to the basement”.  We’re still 10 games over .500.  Only three other teams in the entire league can say the same.  I think it’s mostly a case of a young, overachieving team still finding its rhythm.  Besides, they got a lot going on down by the Harbor.

Friday night’s 8-2 win over the Royals was played in front of a home crowd of 28,954.  The incredible part about that statement is that 11,000 tickets were sold at the stadium in the two hours before game time.  Yeah, looks like even the stubborn non-believers are starting to scratch the itch…

And why not?  This morning, we officially announced that Adam Jones is here to stay.  At least through 2018.  Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter have brought legitimacy back to the cartoon bird.

27 MAY 2012:  Royals 4, Orioles 2

Orioles Park At Camden Yards (33,919 attendance)**

**Starting to fill up, slowly… that’s 70% capacity.

OFFENSE:  C

Good start early with RBI hits by Nick Markakis and Xavier Avery.  Then it fizzled out.  Multi-hit game from JJ Hardy.  But that 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position is ugly.  That’s how you lose.  Good news for O’s fans: Adam Jones has a current hit streak of 18 games.

PITCHING:  B

Another good start by Brian Matusz.  Not as good as other recent starts, but he did really well except for the 6th inning.  Only 4 runs given up (3 earned)… pitched well enough to get the W if the O’s had been able to get it going.  Near-perfect performance from the Darren O’Day/Troy Patton/Jim Johnson trio.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:  Adam Jones

Today might as well have been Jones’ birthday because it was all about him.  I know they lost, but Jones is a keeper–and for once, the Orioles are going to hold on to him.  We are finally giving the idea that we are committed to winning.

And he has that 18-game hitting streak going.  To add to his .304/14 HR/31 RBI numbers.

STANDINGS/MATCHUPS:

    • 29 wins, 19 losses (.604)
    • Tied with Tampa Bay Rays for lead in AL East
    • 14-13 home; 15-6 road**

**Wow… very surprising…

    • 5-5 in last 10 (2-game losing steak)
    • 3-2 vs KC
    • 10-5-1 series record (4 sweeps)

NEXT GAME:  BALTIMORE ORIOLES  29-19  (Tommy Hunter  2-2) @ TORONTO BLUE JAYS  24-24  (Drew Hutchison  3-2)

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