Baltimore Orioles: To the victor goes the breaks

Kevin Gausman did all that he could to get the Baltimore Orioles a win last night. The only thing further he could have done was pick up a bat and try to plate runners himself. Gausman retired the first 14 Boston hitters in the game, flirting with perfection. Gausman’s line: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K.

Unfortunately for Gausman the Birds just couldn’t muster any runs offensively. While many folks want to point to the offense being in a funk, keep in mind that on Monday they put up eight runs. This game was just a classic pitcher’s duel in a sense. And to be honest, that’s a good thing to see every now and again in MLB.

The O’s had what they thought was a run in the last of the third. With Machado on second Schoop singled to left field. Machado was waved home, and was thrown out at the plate. Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t have sent the runner. One could already see that runs were going to be at a premium, and the last thing you want to do is take a risk. But it took a perfect play to nail Machado at home plate, and sure enough Boston executed that.

One inning later Davis led off with what looked to be a solo homer which would have given the Orioles a 1-0 lead. However Boston centerfielder Bradley lept at the wall and brought the ball back into the ballpark. Even with all of the pitching falling into place, Boston was determined that it just wasn’t going to be the Orioles’ night.

As the game went to extra innings, Boston got an infield hit and two walks to load the bases in the 11th. However Oriole reliever Brad Brach uncorked a wild pitch, allowing the lone run of the night to score. And the Orioles fell 1-0.

Regarding those two walks, many of the pitches in that sequence were very borderline and thus very close. All of them went Boston’s way. That’s not a crutch by which the Orioles can stand on. However Boston didn’t really earn this win – the Orioles gave it to them with the wild pitch. And when you do that, the breaks often don’t go your way. But also keep in mind that when you get people on base, anything’s liable to happen. All it takes is one mistake – and it was the Orioles who made that one mistake last night.

The Birds will try to salvage one game in this series tonight at Camden Yards. Wade Miley gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Chris Sale. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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