With skid at four, O's need to figure what they're made of

Is the venting over? Have we all taken a chill pill, slurped it down with some morning java and moved on from Thursday night's 6-5 loss to the Yankees? Sure, everyone out there in Birdland is entitled to the all-too-familiar teenage-girl-esque eye roll along with a "Here we go again" after that loss.

Blowing a 5-0 lead to the Yankees? Check. The bullpen squandering away a solid starting performance? Been there. No clutch hitting with runners in scoring position? Done that.

Facing Detroit, Texas and New York, the Orioles had a chance to find out what they are made of in the first two weeks of the season.

The question now is: What are they made of?

Will the real Orioles please stand up? Showalter's gang is suffering from multiple personality disorder.

Are the O's the team that got off to a 6-1 start? You know, the team with a .421 average with runners in scoring position? The team whose first four starters of the season all went at least six innings giving up one run or less?

Or are they the team who, during a four-game skid, has been outscored 29-10 with a starting pitchers' ERA of 9.53? In their last five games, the Birds have hit just .200 with runners in scoring position.

I believe the Orioles are somewhere in the middle. The O's have enough talent offensively to go through hot streaks and create some havoc in the American League East, but not enough middle-of-the-order talent still in their prime to go pound for pound with lineups like the Yankees. Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano are three of the most dominant hitters in the game today. Derek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero, while still valuable and definite upgrades in the O's lineup, just aren't on that same level anymore.

As for the Birds' pitching staff, there are too many unknowns. You can count on Jeremy Guthrie going six-plus solid innings most starts. After that, Buck Showalter's best chance for some productive starts, Brian Matusz, is injured. Next up are three talented-yet-unproven young arms in Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton.

What does it all add up to? Exactly what we've seen so far this season - some great moments and some rough moments when it comes to pitching. It's very difficult to catch lightening in a bottle like the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 and have all your young arms click at once. The O's are more likely to have some growing pains coupled with glimpses of greatness to come in that department.

Now as the O's head to Cleveland to take on the first-place Indians, we should all stop overanalyzing and some of you need to stop panicking. During the first two weeks of the season, we have learned that the Orioles, in the words of former NFL coach Dennis Green, "are who we thought they were."

They are a club trying to turn around 13 years of losing baseball. They are a mix of young unproven talent and veterans looking to prove they still have bullets left in the gun. Will they be able to compete? Yes. Will they be able to win season series over the Red Sox and Yankees and take the division? Most likely not; the Orioles just aren't there quite yet.