If there’s ever a lesson that the Baltimore Orioles are going to learn in 2018, it’s that their opponents aren’t anywhere near as charitable as they are in games. When the O’s make a mistake, they’re held accountable for it – almost tenfold. When the opponent screws up, the Orioles can’t seem to follow suit.
Kevin Gausman didn’t throw a quality start, but he pitched better than his numbers indicate. Gausman’s line: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R (5 earned), 0 BB, 9 K. The zero walks and nine strikeouts kind of stand out. Gausman was dealing in yesterday’s game, although he did surrender the home run ball. And he was let down by the defense behind him.
The O’s actually took the lead early on an Adam Jones solo homer in the first. This after an hour and forty-five minute rain delay before the game even started. However New York took the led right back in the top of the second when Andujar smacked a two-run homer. One inning later New York seemingly opened the game right up when Stanton hit a two-run shot of his own to give them a 4-1 lead.
One would have thought that the O’s wouldn’t even attempt to come back from that. But the one difference in yesterday’s loss and other ones of late is that the Birds did show a pulse. And while that won’t win you any awards, it’s a start. Joey Rickard‘s solo homer in the last of the third cut the lead to 4-2. Then the sixth inning occurred.
With a runner on first Sanchez grounded into what appeared to be a tailor-made double-play. However Schoop’s throw back to first was air mailed, giving New York an extra out and a runner in scoring position. So as opposed to two outs and nobody on, they had a runner at second with one out. Kind of a big difference. Gregorius’ RBI-single would score Sanchez, and Gregorius would then take second on a fielding error by Adam Jones (who misplayed the ball).
Again, opponents aren’t as charitable as the Orioles. When the Birds make mistakes in games, they’re held accountable for them and then some. Jones would also allow Hicks to advance to second on a throwing error later in the inning after Hicks’ RBI-single gave New York a 6-2 lead.
However again, showing a heart beat doesn’t win you any ponies. But the O’s did attempt to come back in this game. And with those three unearned runs, it’s very possible that things would have been very different had those aforementioned mistakes not occurred. Manny Machado smacked a solo homer in the sixth to cut the lead to 6-3, and later in the inning Danny Valencia‘s RBI-double cut it to 6-4. However that’s as close as the Birds would get. In fact, NY would add two more runs in the eighth, while Jones’ RBI-single in the ninth brought the O’s back to within three at 8-5 (the final).
Jones really illustrated why this season makes no sense for the Orioles. People want to say that they stink and so forth, and obviously that’s what their record indicates. But Adam Jones is a perennial all-star center fielder, who we know is better than those errors indicate. (They were also made in the rain – in fairness.) So you have a roster of guys who are for whatever reason performing below what their career numbers indicate.
Some will say that they’re aging, and in some instances that’s true. But most of these guys are in their 20’s and early 30’s – and they’re performing as if they’re in their early 40’s. Ultimately you just have to ride out the mistakes as best you can, however this team doesn’t “stink.” They just aren’t performing up to where they should be. And again, they’re being held accountable by their opponents 100% of the time for their mistakes. Yet they can’t seem to do the same in return.
After the game the Orioles optioned catcher Andrew Susac back to triple-A Norfolk. A corresponding roster move is obviously forthcoming before today’s game. Who that will be still remains a mystery, however.
Weather permitting, the series wraps up this afternoon at Camden Yards. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Domingo German. Game time is set for just after 1 PM (again, weather permitting).