The O's just can't catch a break. Then again, why should any of us be surprised? In last weekend's bouhaha in Boston Guerrero in essence broke a small bone in his hand when he was plunked. So to add injury to insult...yeah, you get the idea. I'm not going to go into the injustice that is manifesting itself against the Orioles, who seemingly stood up to a bully and are now having to pay for it in the way of personnel. Nevermind the fact that the discipline was skewed against the Orioles in the aftermath of the fights and beanings or anything along those lines. But I digress. It's not as if Guerrero was tearing the cover off the ball this year, with only one homer since May 12th to this point. However it's just one more on a large pile of injuries. Buck Showalter said that it's unclear if Guerrero will have to go to the DL at this time. The other hidden negative in this is that if the Orioles were planning on shopping Vlad at the trade deadline it's doubtful there'll be any takers now.

So how do the O's step out of the gray skies that have surrounded them and walk towards the blonde sunshine? That's easy; just win baby! That's easier said than done. One thing that a lot of other teams (including the Cleveland Indians) seem to have is the idea that they're going to win night in and night out. The Orioles rarely if ever seem to think like that. If anything, it seems that they're so used to adversity that they can't function without it. Last night I observed a young team in the Cleveland Indians that was ready to win and went out and did it. The Orioles don't look at things like that for the most part. I agree with their moment-by-moment type of approach in that they don't get ahead of themselves. If you score one run in the first inning and go into defensive mode you're probably going to lose the game in the end. However, if you don't play in a mindset that says we have the lead, you won't have it for long.

Ultimately, the Orioles need to settle into the second half and win a game. If they can do that, they can have a successful second half. First thing's first, win a game. That gets the team out of the doldrum in which they currently find themselves. However that's contingent on the starting pitching, which has been sup-par to this point. They need to go deeper into games to save the bullpen. Here's an interesting idea to speak to that point; the O's waste a lot of pitches. On favorable two-strike counts Oriole pitchers will generally throw a pitch in the dirt, usually low-and-away. For the most part, I agree with this tactic because there's nothing wrong with trying to get a hitter to expand the zone when he's down in the count. However opposing hitters know that the Orioles are going to do this, so they know to lay off on 0-2 or 1-2 counts. So suddenly the hitters have Oriole pitchers right where they want them because after being down to their final strike they come back and run the count full. So perhaps the O's should consider going directly after hitters. Granted that's risky, but it also comes with a high reward potential. Just a suggestion...