Two weeks into the 2010 season and heading into tonight’s action the Astros and Orioles are a combined 2-16. The Astros actually started 0-8 before picking up their first win today over the Cardinals. So what’s wrong with these two teams?

Well to put it blunt for the first case—the Astros stink. They were mostly projected to rank in fifth or last place in the NL Central, any other division probably would have put them in dead last but I understand just not be able to pick them behind the Pirates. So Houston stinks, but they have been extremely horrid thanks to Hunter Pence batting .121 and Carlos Lee with a putrid .086 clip. Plus, Pedro Feliz has been hitting in the three hole for this team. Not good. Not good at all.

The Orioles were a little different in the preseason rankings. While no one had them ahead of the three-headed monster (New York, Boston, Tampa Bay) in the East, this was still supposed to be one of the most improved teams in the majors. I even picked the O’s as one of my possible surprise teams prior to the season. Whoops. It’s obviously still early, but putting yourself in a 1-8 hole in the AL East is usually not a good way to be a successful improved team. Besides catcher Matt Wieters and outfielder Felix Pie, the Orioles are simply not hitting. Take at look at these averages…

  • Adam Jones, .211
  • Nick Markakis, .207
  • Nolan Reimold, .130
  • Garrett Atkins, .219
  • Miguel Tejada, . 229

It’s not unusual to see a couple expected run producers struggle just nine games into the season, but five of your main sluggers? Plus Brian Roberts, who is a great catalyst at the top of this lineup, played four games before landing on the DL with a strained abdominal. Simply put, the offense is a mess.

The pitching hasn’t been much better, but you can’t blame this start on the starters. Kevin Millwood has a 2.13 ERA in two starts, Brian Matusz and Jeremy Guthrie have been decent, but the bullpen especially the back-end is all over the place. The “closer” Mike Gonzalez has blown two saves already as the group owns a 5.08 ERA.

Obviously the O’s won’t continue to lose at this rate, but for a team that was projected to improve by about 13 games, you can probably forget about that one. As I’m writing this tonight, they are already trailing in Oakland 3-0 in the third inning. Oy vey!

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