I’ve been saying since spring training that the Baltimore Orioles had an uncanny problem with two outs. Heck, I’ve been saying it for years. And this afternoon it haunted Andrew Cashner, who wasn’t even here for most of that time. It just seems that this team lets up with they hit two outs in an inning, or two strikes in a count. I know that’s not the case, however the fact is that when they get put on the ropes per se, opponents seem to thrive against this team.
Cashner pitched very well this afternoon against Philadelphia. Certainly well enough to win. Cashner’s line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K. If you’re keeping track at home, that’s one out shy of a quality start. But given the weather conditions and intermittent rain that surrounded the ballpark for most of the day, it’s as quality a start as any other. He put his team in a spot to win the game – that’s all you can ask of a starter.
Adam Jones gave the Orioles the lead early with a solo homer in the first inning. However after that Philadelphia wratcheted things up defensively, and kept them off the board. But that was fine in a sense – until Philadelphia got on the board themselves, that is.
They tied it in the sixth on a Hernandez solo homer. However Cashner recorded two quick outs after that, giving false hope that all was okay. Then Philadelphia put a couple of runners on, starting with a walk – again, with two outs. I’m the first one to tell you that I’m not exactly thinking that a two out walk or base hit is going to start a rally. Especially with how Cashner was pitching. You get a strikeout or a ground ball in the infield, and you should be good to go.
And Cashner and the Birds got that ground ball. But it split two defenders in a shift off the bat of Franco, giving Philadelphia a 2-1 lead. And again, that’s a lesson that people such as myself and especially the Orioles might never learn. You HAVE to take those two out base runners seriously, or you risk a big inning.
Florimon would add an RBI-single of his own, and Hoskins an RBI-double. And when the smoke cleared, Philadelphia led 4-1. The O’s would load the bases in the eighth, but were unable to push anything across, falling to a 4-1 loss.
I would submit that the coaching staff needs to look at the approach of the pitchers and even the fielders with two strikes and two outs. I don’t think that they aren’t playing hard per se, but maybe they’re doing something unconsciously that’s making it easier for the opponent to make some noise. Mind you folks, this isn’t scientific. It’s just something I’ve noticed for years about this team.
The O’s now head back out on the road to open up a big four-game series in Boston. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s David Price. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.