Wind: 1.99 m/h
Momma said there would be days like this.
A week after engineering a series sweep of the Boston Red Sox to kick off the 2021 season, the Orioles ended their weekend on the exact opposite end of the spectrum with three losses to that same team in Boston.
This weekend's series showcased all of the Orioles' issues. Anything known to be an issue coming into the season was packaged into the three games against the Red Sox.
It started with shaky pitching and ended with shaky pitching. The bookend starters of the series — Matt Harvey and Jorge Lopez — both struggled in their respective outings, allowing a combined 13 runs in nine innings. Lopez' outing was particularly poor, allowing seven earned runs over four innings.
The struggles extended to the bullpen, too. The O's relievers allowed three runs on Thursday in the opener, another two runs and a blown save on Saturday and a whopping six runs on Sunday. Even Rule 5 draft pick Mac Sceroler, who shined in the opening series against Boston, was charged with three runs in just one inning in his Sunday appearance.
Oh, and the offense was inconsistent. The O's scored just seven runs in the first two games of the series and scored nine in the finale.
This will be the likely formula to the Orioles' losing 2021 season. When the pitching staff keeps the Orioles in the game, the offense will let them down. When the offense shows up like they did on Sunday, the pitching staff will fail.
Yes, the Orioles are going to lose a lot of games in 2021. Baltimore's opening series vs. Boston was nice, but it was a mirage. Unfortunately, this series is more indicative of who the O's are.
But as we've said before, this season can only be judged properly if you study the development — or lack thereof — of the Orioles' young players who are likely to be around when Baltimore's theoretical competition window opens up.
Cedric Mullins did his part this weekend, playing excellent defense in center field while continuing to rake at the plate. The 26-year-old extended his hitting streak to 13 games, extending back to last season. Mullins picked up five hits in the series and continued to set the table for the hitters behind him.
Trey Mancini, the heart of the Orioles, hit two bombs in the last two games of the series. Those were his only two hits, but it looks like Mancini is slowly getting back to where he was after being away from the game for an entire year.
Bruce Zimmermann, the unheralded pitching prospect from Baltimore, gave his team another quality start. Through two starts, Zimmermann has thrown 12 innings, allowed six runs and walked just two.
On the flip side, Ryan Mountcastle's issues in the field and at the plate persist. He's looked very uncomfortable in left field this season and is hitting .184 with an OPS of .541.
These are the things Orioles fans have to pay attention to this season. As hard as it is to suffer the losses while cheering for wins, fans need to focus on how the Baby Birds are doing. Their performance will decide whether or not all these losses were worth it.