How Much Is Inside That Glass, Anyway?

It’s really not as bad as it seems. Or is it?

By Christopher Heun

The Orioles have the day off Thursday. But the bullpen will be warming up regardless, just for the sake of routine.

There’s an old baseball adage that says you’re never as good as when you win, and likewise you’re never as bad as when you lose. We’re going to lean on that heavily as we consider the O’s performance so far this season.

The good news about this year’s Birds is they’re not as bad as the team that’s lost nine out of its last ten games. Just like they aren’t as good as the team that won eight out of nine earlier in April.

Of course, it would be a lot easier to nod in agreement if more than two regulars were hitting over .257 or if the starting rotation could familiarize itself with the seventh and eighth innings. But things will change. For the better. We hope.

(Imagine the hand-wringing if the team was scoring runs in bunches and still losing.)

One reason for O’s fans to get excited is that despite the Ruthian performance of Alex Rodriguez in April, an astonishing 14 home runs and 35 RBI – the Yankees still have a losing record. The last-place Yankees, no less.

As poorly as the Birds are playing, the Bronx Bombers are playing even worse. At least we can take comfort in the Yankees’ misfortune. Here are some other reasons to look on the bright side for the rest of the season, countered by equally compelling evidence to throw in the towel.

The Glass Is Half Full:
The Orioles are ahead of the last-place Yankees in the standings.

The Glass Is Half Empty:
The Orioles are only percentage points out of last place. And the Devil Rays jumped ahead of them in the standings with a dramatic extra-inning victory over Joe Nathan and the Twins Wednesday night.

The Glass Is Half Full:
Erik Bedard will not finish the season with a 6.09 ERA, his current mark.

The Glass Is Half Empty:
Erik Bedard, the team ace, has a 6.09 ERA.

The Glass Is Half Full:
Maybe Steve Trachsel isn’t nearly as bad as we thought. He went seven innings Wednesday afternoon, has pitched the second-most innings and has the second-best ERA among starters.

The Glass Is Half Empty:
Steve Trachsel is the good news? Before Wednesday, a starter had not lasted 7 innings since April 12, a span of 18 games. And who pitched April 12? Steve Trachsel!

The Glass Is Half Full:
Orioles pitchers lead the league in strikeouts, with 209. Only three other teams have more than 180.

The Glass Is Half Empty:
They lead the league in walks, too. Apparently, Daniel Cabrera’s case of the walks is highly contagious. Adam Loewen has handed out 26 free passes in 30 innings.

The Glass Is Half Full:
Nick Markakis is batting .239. That’s heads and shoulders above his April last year. That must mean his second half, like last year, will be a monster.

The Glass Is Half Empty:
Aubrey Huff, Corey Patterson, Jay Gibbons and Kevin Millar all have lower batting averages than Markakis. Before the season started, when Huff marveled at the balance of the lineup, do you think this is what he meant?

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About mptaylor11

Roar from 34, a Baltimore Orioles Blog. Humor. History. Homerism. Since 2006.
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