Little did the Baltimore Orioles know that all it was going to take to get back on track after Tuesday’s loss was a little thunder and lightning…off the bat of Mark Trumbo, that is. Of course I sprinkled a little bit of Shakespearean double-entendre in there, as the O’s had to wait out a rain delay in Washington last night. And a long one at that, of well over two hours.
Andrew Cashner came off the DL to make the start last night, and was outstanding. Cashner’s line: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Cashner would have been outstanding I suppose is probably the better line. When the rain delay hit he had a 2-0 lead after four. The crew chief tried to get the teams through five to make it an official game, but between the fourth and fifth innings the rain and the ominous forecast became too much. When play resumed, both teams switched pitchers; and while Cashner had the lead, technically he didn’t make it through the necessary five innings to qualify for the win.
Jonathan Schoop led off the second with a rare thing indeed: a bunt. He dragged one down the third base line that was incredibly well-placed. Washington never saw that coming, and Schoop was safe at first. Bunting for a base hit – a new trend, perhaps?
That brought Trumbo to the plate, and on an 0-1 count suddenly the Orioles had a 2-0 lead on a two-run homer. And that right there illustrates one thing of many that the Birds’ offense has lacked this year. Get one or two guys on base, and then have someone hit one out. It worked to perfection in that inning, and it gave the Orioles the lead.
Going back to Cashner for a moment, I do believe that the five inning rule is something that should be looked at. Maybe not overall, but just in some circumstances. Cashner obviously would have continued in the game if not for the rain delay. We obviously don’t know how things would have played out, however it doesn’t seem right tha Miguel Castro gets credited for the win. Nothing against him, as he was great in the game also, but perhaps that’s a rule that should be amended to say that in a scenario like we saw last night the starter gets credited with the win.
That said, it’s something that’s technically possible now. The official scorer can credit anyone he wants with the win if he thinks they should get it. This would have been a textbook case of a scorer doing the right thing and giving Cashner the win, however that didn’t happen (it could still be changed). And rarely if ever does a scorer take it upon himself to do something like that.
When play resumed just prior to 11 PM with most of the fans long gone, it was just a matter of pitching for the Orioles. Adam Jones smacked a double in the sixth, and was later plated on a Valencia sac fly-RBI. But the Orioles’ bullpen held the line. Washington was able to load the bases in the last of the ninth, but the Birds made it through to the end and took the win for theirs.
Buck Showalter echoed the sentiments I just made on Cashner getting the win after the game, while not seeming too thrilled about waiting out a long delay and then continuing the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
There was that infamous window that was coming out of New York. It’s supposed to rain here in a little while. But it’s another rule that should be changed. Cashner should get the win. … Obviously, I thought Castro was key, too.
The league has been asking teams to put a focus on completing games on the day that they begin this year if at all possible. Technically however that didn’t happen, as the game ended well after midnight! But it was in fact completed, and it goes down as an Orioles’ win.