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So much for Adam Jones’ breakthrough season

Oct 12, 2012, 8:31 PM EDT

Adam Jones Getty Images

Adam Jones hit 32 homers and scored 103 runs for the Orioles during his finest regular season to date. Which is pretty hard to believe giving how badly he bombed during the ALDS.

Jones went 2-for-23 against the Yankees and led the world in ugly at-bats. To go along with his six strikeouts, he had three one-pitch at-bats and seven two-pitch at-bats (one of which resulted in a hit). Both of his hits were singles. He never worked a walk. In fact, he hasn’t walked since Sept. 21.

On defense, Jones also had a big miscue in Wednesday’s 12-inning loss, giving the Yankees their first run of the game in the third when he misjudged Derek Jeter‘s fly to center. Jones took two steps in before beginning to drift back on a ball that went over his head.

Of course, Jones hardly deserves all of the blame for Baltimore’s troubles scoring. The lineup was full of guys with lousy averages: Manny Machado came in at .125, J.J. Hardy .136, Matt Wieters .150, Mark Reynolds .158 and Chris Davis .200. The fact that the team was without Nick Markakis, whose hand was broken by a CC Sabathia pitch, and Brian Roberts finally ended up doing some damage. Nolan Reimold and Wilson Betemit probably could have helped, too.

But Jones was one of the lineup’s two All-Stars. The guy who signed the six-year, $85.5 million contract back in May. He didn’t even need to carry the load for the team; the pitching did that while holding the Yankees to nine runs over the final four games. He just needed to play like he did in the regular season, and he couldn’t.

  1. vallewho - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Maybe they would have benched him if he had signed a bigger contract.

  2. husky2score - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    C’MON GUYS!! REALLY! WERE YOU EXPECTING THE O’S TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES! You all are acting like a bunch of haters! Quit hating on the O’s they had a heck of a season!

  3. proudlycanadian - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Were Cano and Arod any better than Jones? It was a short 5 game series. In any 5 game period in a season, a player can go cold, despite great numbers for the entire season.

  4. thehypercritic - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    For someone who will occasionally dip a toe into advanced stats, you sure do enjoy trolling your readers.

    Making statements and drawing conclusions from five baseball games? That’s something the drunk beat writers facing deadline in the 60s would be ashamed of, but in 2012? Wow.

    Stop trying to parse tiny sample sizes or falling prey to recency bias. There’s no need to invent narratives out of randomness.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:57 PM

  5. mybrunoblog - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Adm Jones was caught impersonating Arod during the ALDS.

  6. phipfwe76 - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    The whole team suffered from going after pitches early in the count against CC. After seeing game 1, I expected him to go out there tonight and toss a complete game on 45 pitches. There were times where he seemed like he was throwing 4 pitch innings over and over. Orioles need some plate discipline against a horse like that.

  7. pipkin42 - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Live by the hack-first guys, die by the hack-first guys. If I never watch another J.J. Hardy at-bat I will be better for it.

  8. jrocknstuff - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Right, a 22 at bat slump in his first ever playoff appearance takes away a 162 game breakout performance.

    Especially when every game in the series stayed under the total. I swear you are the worst blogger I’ve ever read. Even worse than the idiots they put on CBS

    • Gobias Industries - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:24 PM

      “Even WORSE than the idiots they put on CBS.” You just made Gregg Doyel’s night.

  9. IdahoMariner - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    I am glad I am not the only one noticing the silliness of this post. It feels like there has been a lot of this lately – from everyone. I am wondering what is going on with our usually great writers….I miss the “old” HBT – from just a couple of months ago – where I could get intelligent commentary without a big old pile of being negative or inflammatory just for fun (fun for the writers, not as much the readers). The old HBT would have just enjoyed the craziness of this series without drawing sweeping judgments from tiny sample sizes.

  10. mkd - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Yeah I think the loss of Brian Roberts was a huge part of the Orioles losing the series. Especially considering he hasn’t played baseball for like two years.

  11. runrickyrun34 - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    There were a lot of guys who came up short this series thanks to the pitching. You had the top two HR hitting teams in the league so you know they were going to take hacks. Hitters on both teams were expanding the strike zone. The pitchers probably loved it.

    But these articles started with the article stating that the Yankees were going to sweep simply due to them having too much hitting, too much pitching, and (I can’t believe this was actually used) bigger payroll. Not even a shroud of simple facts that any of us could research to back up the prediction. A sweep would’ve been a bold prediction for any series. It doesn’t matter in the end as it’s just opinion but it was just an empty article that anyone could’ve written.

    With that said, AJ didn’t have a good series when we needed it.

    On the flipside, kudos to both Jeter and McClouth. Both guys seemed to be all over everything pitchers threw to them, even when they struck out. It just seemed like anytime a run scored for the Yankees, Jeter had some involvement. Nothing but respect for the guy.

  12. sophiethegreatdane - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Stop, just stop.

    A young player has trouble in a short post-season series? I’m shocked. SHOCKED!
    Perhaps it’s, I don’t know, a small sample size? Maybe the Yankees are a pretty good team after spending nearly $200 million bucks?

    Maybe, just maybe, a five game series in cold weather against good pitching doesn’t negate AN ENTIRE SEASON OF BASEBALL???

    Geez. HBT is making a habit of unnecessarily trolling the people who read — and essentially make — this site.

  13. kiwicricket - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    Remarkable insight. A 5 game series and the O’s just got shut out by one of the best pitchers in the game….but please don’t let that stop you writing a bunch of trash, the likes of which you guys love to mock on this site.

    There used to be a difference between your guys analysis and insight into baseball, compared to the hacky shite pasted into newspapers. Now it’s pretty much only a matter of opinion.

  14. Loose Changeup - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Welcome to the big time, Jonesy. Your first “You suck in the postseason” article has been written.

  15. randomdigits - Oct 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    I agree Jones looked bad, so did a lot of hitters from both teams. Keep in mind he did face CC twice and Pettitte once in those 5 games.

    How Hughes got out of the first inning I have no idea…

  16. trecola27 - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Young players can struggle during short playoff series, this is true.

    My only real gripe with Jones (other than the error) was his apparent refusal to change his approach at the plate. I know he’s the heart of our lineup, but would it kill him to at least attempt to leg out a bunt? He’s the fastest guy on the field! Jeter was hobbled and A-Rod struggled all series. Even if he had just squared up ONE time, it would have given the Yankees pitching something to think about. As it turned out, the Yanks rarely had to throw a strike to get him out.

    The Orioles failed to do the little things all series long. I’ve never seen so many runners stranded at 3rd base or cut down at home for bad base running. In the end it played a major role in costing them the series.

    Kudos to Girardi for making the tough decisions necessary to win. Pinch hitting for A-Rod and benching him in that final game was the difference in the series. Buck stuck with his guys to the bitter end (Not hat he had much choice given all of the injures) and they came up short. This series proved the value of clutch hitting in the playoffs. I just wish we could have cloned Nate McLouth to bat him leadoff and third, because we really missed Nick Markakis and needed a better contact hitter to split up the LONG swinging Chris Davis and Adam Jones. Who knows what next year will bring for the O’s?

    It just goes to show you that when you’ve got the king down, you had better swipe his crown because he ain’t going to hand it to you. The Tigers showed us how it’s done last night. Lesson learned O’s.

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