The Baltimore Orioles gave starter Alex Cobb the lead before he even stepped on the field. However even before that, the Birds made a mistake that potentially kept them out of a big inning. They got back into last night’s game with a big inning, and they looked poised to keep the pressure on right away. And that surely would have helped Cobb out a bit. Cobb’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (1 earned), 3 BB, 4 K.
With a runner already on, Jonathan Schoop stroked a ball to left field which allowed the runner to go to third. Inexplicably, Schoop tried to extend a single into a double. The play was right in front of him, and he was thrown out by a country mile. It’s a mistake of aggression and one that occurred because he was trying to make something happen. But seeing that Adam Jones immediately followed with an opposite-way RBI-single, the Birds all but ran themselves out of a big inning with that play.
But the Orioles did have the lead – until the fourth inning. With a runner on first and nobody out, Solarte grounded back to Cobb at the mound. Cobb started what appeared to be a 1-4-3 double-play. However Cobb made what appeared to be an errant throw to second, pulling Tim Beckham off the bag. Toronto challenged the call, and the runner was ruled safe. That was ruled as an error against Beckham, and in fact he may not have been as equipped to make that play as someone who had played shortstop all season. But from my perspective it was an errant throw from Cobb.
Following that play, Grichuk’s RBI-double tied the game at one. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Diaz gave his team the lead by grounding into a run-scoring double-play. The ironic thing about that is that the Orioles are a team that really can’t seem to catch a break. Whether it’s dumb luck or problems they cause, there’s no margin for error whatsoever. So they induce a hot hitter to ground into a double-play, and it still nets the opponent a run.
Toronto would extend their lead to 3-1 later in that fourth inning on Maile’s RBI-single. One inning later Toronto would score a fourth run on a balk called against Cobb to run the score to 4-1 – which was the final. After the game Cobb admitted that he did in fact balk, although here’s an interesting point; the runner was almost halfway between third and home plate. The balk was called when Cobb stopped his windup as he noticed the runner. So…did the runner there in essence not deceive the pitcher, which in turn made him stop – which according to the letter of the law constitutes an attempt to deceive the runner?
After the game Buck Showalter said that he pulled Cobb after five innings due in part to the fact that a blister was popping up on his throwing hand. Cobb told the media that it’s something that’s happened before. Neither Showalter nor Cobb appeared to be concerned about this in the long term, however the Birds will have to make a roster move before tomorrow’s game when Andrew Cashner will come off the DL to make the start. Might Cobb be DL-bound?
The series concludes tomorrow at Rogers Centre. The aforementioned Andrew Cashner will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s J.A. Happ. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.