The Baltimore Orioles started Alex Cobb this evening at Citi Field in Flushing Meadows. Cobb was dominant for six innings, and Oriole bats gave him exactly what he needed to win – although nothing more. Cobb’s line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K.
This was also an exciting night for the Orioles and Orioles fans, as newly promoted catcher Austin Wynns made his big league debut. Wynss was almost masterful behind the plate, blocking balls and controlling Cobb and subsequent pitchers like an old pro. True to form, his first big league at bat came in the second inning, and it resulted in his first big league hit. There’s nary a better moment than seeing a guy get his first hit as a major leaguer to the cheers of his parents and family in the stands. That’s one of the things that makes baseball great.
The Birds got on the board early, and almost often. The first two hitters reached base, which is not something we’ve seen out of the Orioles much this year. The Orioles took a 1-0 lead on Manny Machado‘s RBI-single. Danny Valencia would add a sac fly-RBI, and the Birds held a 2-0 lead.
New York would put a run across in the fifth on a sac fly-RBI by Bautista. But Oriole pitching across the board shut them down for most of the game. The concern is that New York pitching also kept the Orioles down after that first inning. And things were looking up in that inning, but that was all the Orioles were able to get.
All in all, the O’s smacked six hits and walked twice on New York pitching. So were they just lucky to get out of this game with a win, or did it take a certain skill to win it? The answer is both. In order to win a 2-1 game you have to tap dance out of various situations, and the Orioles did that – especially in the ninth inning when the winning run was on base. Perhaps that receded just enough pressure to give the Birds the moxie they needed to flush out a tight victory.
It’s also worth mentioning that the O’s hadn’t played since Saturday. Am I suggesting that they were rusty? Not really, I’m actually saying the opposite. I’m saying that perhaps with some time off they were a bit more relaxed in playing tonight. And perhaps that helped them when the going got tough.