The Baltimore Orioles are in a spot whereby they literally can’t make mistakes in games. They have to be almost perfect in order to win – for now. Ask Andrew Cashner, who turned in another quality start for the O’s tonight, and took the loss. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 K.
Cashner gave up a two-run homer in the second inning to Martinez, who hit his first of the season. The Birds played catch-up the rest of the night, although at first it looked like they might get there. Trey Mancini‘s solo homer in the third inning cut the lead to 2-1. Two innings later in the fifth, Adam Jones‘ RBI-single tied the game and appeared to put the Orioles in a great spot.
Manny Machado was on first base with two outs at the time of Jones’ RBI-single. So it appeared that the Birds had a two-out rally going with one run in and runners at first and second. That meant that the go-ahead run was in scoring position.
However Machado inexplicably decided to try to take third base. Detroit played the ball back in, tagging the runner out on the base paths and ending the inning. In the bottom of that very same fifth inning Detroit would get an RBI-triple from Candelario, and then an additional run would score on a wild pitch in the eighth. And that was all she wrote; the Birds fell 4-2.
It’s always a tough sell to make all things being equal statements. There’s no guarantee that the Orioles push an additional run across in the person of Manny Machado in that fifth inning. However the fact is that had Machado stopped at second base as he was probably designed to do, the shot is there.
If they’re able to put an additional run across in that inning, the Birds take the lead. Again, the all things being equal argument is never a good one. And that’s especially true given the fact that Detroit ended up winning the game on another Oriole mistake, that being a wild pitch. However you see where I’m going with this…
…the fact is that Manny Machado’s going to win you more games than he’s going to lose you. But this is a totally different ballgame if he doesn’t get thrown out. You have to know the score and where you are in the game at all times. And the situation calls for continuing the inning in that case. Those are things that can’t happen, but that do when a team’s struggling.
Just a programming note, tomorrow’s game has been switched to a 1 PM first pitch. (Meaning that the final two games of the series are mid-week day games.) This change was made by Detroit and MLB, in conjunction with the Orioles, as the forecast for Detroit tomorrow evening isn’t good. Smart move, in my view.
The series in fact will continue tomorrow at Comerica Park. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Matthew Boyd. Game time is set for just after 1 PM, as I said above.