Should there be concern about the Baltimore Orioles? Sure, they had their way with the New York Yankees Tuesday winning 14-5, but they had – yet again — another day of poor base running and undisciplined play.
We all remember the infamous Al Pacino speech in “Any Given Sunday” talking about football being a game of inches and those inches being the difference between winning and losing. Baseball too is a game of inches where hustle and smart base-running skills can make the difference in the end product of a box score.
Baltimore has not yet received that memo in 2014.
The Orioles have shown such lackluster discipline on the bases and in the field in two games vs. the Yankees that one could easily question if Buck Showalter is in charge of the proverbial ship in Baltimore.
Nelson Cruz provided Orioles’ fans with the first base running blunder on Monday, running first to third with one out on a routine fly ball to Jacoby Ellsbury generating a Yankees double play. Steve Lombardozzi was the last on Tuesday when Yankee catcher Brian McCann picked him off at second base.
It would be the second time in as many days that an Orioles base runner would be picked off on second base by a Yankees catcher. Monday Jonathan Schoop was caught napping by McCann, ending an Orioles’ scoring opportunity.
Let’s be honest, runners getting picked by the catcher on second is a rare embarrassment for most MLB teams. Having it happen twice in two days is simply inexcusable.
The plethora of running errors were complimented by errors in the field including Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen who allowed Ellsbury to steal third before going in to his wind up.
The end product Tuesday was a positive one for the Orioles thanks to the production from the plate. However, the errors, namely the base running errors, are something that will eventually catch up to Baltimore.
Obviously not the season is too young for panic. But, Concern? Absolutely.