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Bird Watching - O's Sweep Rangers, Head Up To Fenway

Standings
Coming off their first 4-game sweep at home since 2008, the Orioles are now 46-39 and a season high seven games over .500, finding themselves sitting pretty in first place. The Birds played some piss poor baseball against the Rays and dropped three of four, only to rebound and sweep the Rangers. The offense is hitting the cover off the ball, pitching has been pretty good and they are 4-0 during the Manuel Machado suspension, not bad.
Davis Struggling 

Chris Davis

It’s officially panic time for one of the best players on the Orioles. Chris Davis is struggling and struggling bad. How bad? His .207 average is 15 points below Ryan Flaherty’s. Ouch. Crush showed signs of breaking out this season, only to follow up with a lengthy slumps. We all knew Davis couldn’t replicate the insane numbers he put up last year, but no one thought he would struggle like this.

Heading into this weekends series with Boston, Davis is hitting .207 with 13 homers and 42 runs batted in. Compare that with last June when Davis hit .290 with 12 bombs and 30 rbi. Normally, a guy hitting .207 would find himself on the bench, but the Orioles can afford to keep him in the lineup and wait for his bat to come around because of the production they are getting from the rest of the lineup.

I wish I knew what is going on with Crush but I have no idea. It seems like he is real impatient in the box and just comes up and hacks away. Teams are shifting him a lot more than last year so that could be taking some hits away, it’s got to be frustrating for the big guy. He plays his ass off in the field and shows up everyday ready to play and doesn’t make excuses. He’s an easy guy to root for and we know Davis has the ability to catch fire in the second half and still put up pretty good numbers.
PEarce Pie

Steve Pearce

If you follow Orioles baseball, no doubt you are absolutely in love with Steve Pearce right now. This guy has been great this season for the Birds. DFA’ed by the Orioles earlier this season, he ended up coming back and is now the Orioles hottest hitter. He had another beauty of a game last night, going 4/5 and swiping two bases.

After bouncing around between 4 teams since 2011, Pearce seems to have found a home here in Baltimore. Despite playing in only 48 games this season, he has been huge for the Birds. Batting .338 with 10 bombs this season, Pearce has given the Orioles that spark they need while Davis has struggled.

He seems to be one of “Bucks Guys” and as long as he is hitting well, he will find himself in the lineup. Pearce’s hot bat means limited at-bats for Delmon Young (.327 in 40 games) and David Lough. I’m in favor of keeping Pearce’s bat in the lineup, even if it means giving Davis, Cruz, or Markakis a day off. Give the big guys some rest and let Steve stay hot. He has played all over the field for the Birds this year, playing in left,right, first, and DH. The legend of Steve Pearce continues to grow.
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Looking Ahead

The Orioles are taking on the big boys in these next few series, away at Boston for 3, then they play these weird 2 away-2 home series vs the Nats. Baltimore has owned the Sox the past few years and I’d expect to see this trend continue, taking 2 outta 3 from the Sox.

The atmosphere at the Nats games will be fantastic and they should be great games. Always fun to play the teams close to you and now that both teams are good that makes the series that much better. 3 of 4 from the Nats would be awesome, but winning two vs the Nats pitching is more likely. All year the Orioles have been right on the edge of first place and this is the time to put some separation between them and the other teams in the division. Gotta take advantage.
No better way to kick off 4th of July weekend than with a first place ball club. Enjoy the 4th. Lets Go Birds.
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Bird Flag

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h/t Matt D

 

 

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