The Orioles need to do a better job of holding runners on base.
In Saturday's game against the fourth-best base stealing team in the National League, I don't recall seeing one throw over to first from any Orioles pitcher. There's no statistic to double-check that, but I asked my MASN colleague Rick Dempsey if he saw any, and he said, "Not one".
In the first two games of this weekend's series, the Nationals have gone 5-for-6 in steal attempts. Clay Rapada was the only O's pitcher to pick off a runner in the series, and that was when Danny Espinosa attempted to steal third after stealing second.
What's worrisome is that four of the Nationals' six stolen bases came while an Orioles lefty was on the mound. All four stole second base. It's much harder for a runner to steal second on a lefty because a southpaw faces first base in the stretch. The Orioles' pitchers should have had the advantage there.
In the first game of the series, one base was stolen while Zach Britton was pitching and two while Michael Gonzalez was toeing the rubber. During Saturday's game, Brian Matusz was on the mound when Espinosa stole second in the sixth inning.
Lefty, lefty, lefty.
It's an unfortunate trend, considering how this season Matt Wieters has dared baserunners to attempt to steal on him throwing out 40 percent of those who've tried. His 17 runners caught stealing leads the major leagues.
In order to continue to gun them down, Wieters needs his pitchers to give him a chance. Lately, that's not been the case.