The Baltimore Orioles probably went into this evening’s game hoping perhaps to win behind Kevin Gausman. The Boston Red Sox went into this evening’s game ready to impose their will in order to win the game. There is a difference. Gausman’s line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 6 K.
Adam Jones made what appeared to be a bid for an early first inning home run. However the Boston defense made a great play, which foreshadowed the entire evening. No matter where the Orioles hit the ball, they were prepared. And when Boston would get someone on first base, it may as well have been a double – because they stole at will against Gausman. They had obviously studied Gausman and his rhythm, and they exploited what they found.
However instead of taking the Jones drive and thinking that Boston’s Price was suseptible on this night, the Birds were unable to do what I described above. In essence, exploit their will. And the result was indicative of that inability.
Boston took an early 2-0 lead on Martinez’s two-run homer in the first. However Gausman would actually settle down a bit, not giving up another run until the fifth on Benintendi’s sac fly-RBI. However later in the inning Bogaerts would effectively end the game, smacking a three-run homer over the Green Monster in left field.
The Orioles would get two back in the ninth on Manny Machado‘s two-run homer, cutting the lead to 6-2. But that was as close as the O’s would get. And as I said, Boston imposed what they wanted to do in this game – and the Orioles allowed it.
Part of how teams like Boston beat you is because you push too hard. Ask Danny Valencia, who smacked a single in the fifth. He was thrown out trying to extend that into a double. And it wasn’t even close. Even when things aren’t going well, when you press even harder you still play right into the hands of your opponents.
Boston had a certain swagger in this game from the outset, which the Orioles have never really had – even when things were going really well. They run to first base as opposed to walking after a base on balls. Now in theory that shouldn’t mean anything; however it probably shows that they want to be out there competing and so forth. Does it mean that the Orioles don’t? I’m not willing to say that, because I’m not in guys’ heads. But again, sometimes you have to will good things to happen.
And take me at my word folks, and don’t read into what I’m saying. I’m not suggesting that the O’s are going through the motions – because they walk to first on base on balls’ or for any other reason. I’m just saying that there’s a certain spring in Boston’s step, for better or for worse. I think that the Oriole players are the ultimate professionals, and I don’t believe that they’re going through the motions per se. But as I said, sometimes you have to will good things to happen.