Orioles' ups and downs

June 25, 2000|By JOE STRAUSS

The rotation -- DOWN -- Just when you thought it was safe to watch them for six innings, the Orioles' starters can't hold a lead. They have lost seven of them in the six losses of this road trip, including an 8-1 whopper behind Pat Rapp on Monday in Oakland.

The road -- DOWN -- The Orioles were 20-61 (.247) away from Memorial Stadium in 1988. They are an inexplicable 10-30 (.250) on the road this season. Mike Mussina's ERA away is more than three runs higher than at home. The staff ERA is nearly two runs higher. The Orioles have won once in their last at-bat on the road. The good news is, they play only 30 road games after the All-Star break. The bad news is, does it matter?

Mike Bordick -- UP -- Last season, the Orioles' shortstop deserved his first Gold Glove. This season, he deserves an All-Star nod and perhaps a contract extension. We'll see.

Scott Erickson -- EVEN -- He has shown flashes of dominance but has yet to find any consistency. Judgment Day comes July 7. Should he stay or should he go? The Orioles are surprised the innings monster hasn't yet brought them a better trade offer.

Joggin' Jeffrey -- UP -- There was a time when the Orioles could have traded Jeffrey Hammonds for Shawn Green. Now Hammonds is healthy and leading the Colorado Rockies' surprise push. So whatever happened to Willie Greene?

Gabe Molina -- UP & DOWN -- Molina was optioned to Rochester on Tuesday for the third time this season. Before he arrived, Calvin Maduro went down and the Orioles told Molina to come back. Molina may not get to pitch much, but he'll reach Gold Medallion flying status by August.

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