Baltimore Orioles: It all fell apart at once

The Baltimore Orioles had a shot to win yesterday behind starter Alex Cobb. And then suddenly, they didn’t. Cobb allowed a big homer, left the game with a blister on his throwing hand, AND the O’s seemingly threw their collective hands up and seemed to say oh well what are you going to do – all at about the same time. Cobb’s line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 earned), 1 BB, 5 K.

The Orioles put a couple of runners on base in the first inning, but failed to do anything. Chris Davis was called out on strikes on a questionable strike three. But nevertheless it was an opportunity squandered.

Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the last of the fifth on Garver’s two-run homer, and then doubled their lead an inning later on a two-run shot by Escobar. Prior to recording an out in that sixth inning, Minnesota would proceed to load the bases. Now the sole benefit to the defense with the bases loaded is that you have a force at every base. So with that in mind, Garver grounded a ball right to Manny Machado at short, who threw the ball home.

Throwing home in that situation is the right play, because you always want to cut the run off if you can. However Machado’s throw short-hopped the plate, and a run scored. If you need further evidence that this team is snakebitten for some reason, there it is. Machado, who later in the evening was named a starter in the all-star game, couldn’t make that play, a run scored, the bases were still loaded, AND there was still nobody out.

Not only that, but Cave’s subsequent RBI-single scored a run and kept the bases loaded with nobody out. Minnesota found ways to either hit the ball hard enough or just softly enough to find grass between Orioles’ fielders in this series and this game. Yet all of the Orioles’ hard-hit balls found mitts. So goes the season I suppose.

Polanco would score a run on a fielder’s choice-RBI, and Dozier would then clear the bases with a three-run homer. When the inning finally ended, Minnesota led 10-0. Chris Davis would smack a solo home run for the O’s in the ninth inning to keep them away from a shutout, but all in all a 10-1 loss is a pretty ugly Sunday.

There was an element of whatever the Orioles did was futile in this series and in this game. Even when an out seemed inevitable, their all-star shortstop bounced a throw to the plate. Yet the likes of Cave and others would just softly dump hits behind the infielders where nobody could get to them, or the likes of Polanco would just hit against the shift. Has to be frustrating.

The Orioles now return home and will play a doubleheader against New York starting late this afternoon. Jimmy Yacabonis gets the start for the Orioles in game one, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s CC Sabathia. Game time is set for just after 4 PM. (This is a traditional doubleheader, meaning two games for the price of one. Game two will begin roughly 20-30 minutes after the completion of game one.)

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