Dave Trembley isn't just unhappy with his team's lack of hitting. He's unhappy with their lack of good, smart at bats.
His message in Tuesday's pregame press conference was to take more pitches, be more selective, work the count a little bit, and don't be scared of hitting with two strikes.
Part of being a major league hitter is understanding when your team needs you to work the count and when it's okay to swing at the first pitch. Last Saturday's game two of the day/night doubleheader in Minnesota was the perfect example of Orioles hitters either not knowing that or failing to execute.
Kevin Millwood had just had a long sixth inning that he struggled to get out of. When he finally came in off the field, he was back on the mound just five pitches later. Why?
In the top of the seventh inning, Craig Tatum grounded out on the first pitch. Then, Julio Lugo grounded out on the first pitch. When Nick Markakis came up to bat, and he was the only one who knew he needed to work the count, if for no other reason than to extend the inning and give his pitcher a breather. So, Nick took the first two pitches. Both were strikes. He was forced to swing at a close third pitch and he popped it up to third.
There you go Millwood. Hope you weren't planning on finishing that Gatorade. Trembley, Jeff Datz and other coaches clearly were not happy in the dug out.
The O's lack of selection at the plate has also been brutal in the first inning. Of their seven games on the recent road trip, opposing pitchers got out of the first inning in 16 or less pitches in every single game.
Trembley says the issue has been addressed. We'll be paying close attention to pitches seen per at bat on MASN over the next few days.