Part of the rebuilding process for the Baltimore Orioles is trying out new players and seeing what they have in the organization. That can at times be a painful process given that mistakes are going to happen on the field. And moving forward, many of those mistakes will cost the Orioles games.
The O’s got yet another decent outing from Alex Cobb, who at times has to wonder just what he has to do to get a win. Cobb’s line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 earned), 1 BB, 2 K. And this came in a game where the Orioles’ offense did score, just not in bunches.
Tampa took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on two RBI-singles. At first it looked once again like your typical death by a thousand paper cuts type of game with Tampa. They get people on base, and they trickle in one-by-one. But they get them in, making things tough for you.
However even at rapidly reduced power, the Orioles’ offense will always be one that lives and dies by the long ball. One inning later the game was tied thanks to a Jonathan Schoop two-run homer. It was only a two-run shot, but it tied the game. And imagine that – a homer with at least one other person on base!
The Orioles caught a major break, which was odd for them, in the seventh inning. Choi hit what was ruled a double to lead off the inning. However the play was challenged by Tampa – and eventually upheld. It appeared to me that the ball deflected off of some fans in the first row in left field before coming back into play. The umpires saw it differently and upheld the call.
But Tampa wasn’t about to let the Orioles get a break and in effect keep it. Hechavarria smacked an RBI-single later in the inning. That scored Choi, and gave Tampa a 3-2 lead. The Orioles have seen numerous bad calls this year, and in effect have let them fester. Tampa just brushed it off and found another way to score.
Later in that seventh inning Tampa would net another run on a throwing error up the first base line by pitcher Jhan Marinez. That netted a fourth run for Tampa, which in effect was the deciding run. Chris Davis would smack a solo homer in the eighth, but that was as close as the Orioles got.
So the Marinez error could be looked at as the deciding factor. However keep in mind that games are always the sum of all parts. You never blame one guy, especially when that guy’s in effect auditioning for a job in the future. But again, this is where Orioles fans will have to trust the process. Games such as these where a mistake stands out are going to happen. In fact, they’re going to happen much more frequently moving forward. But in sum, that’s really just part of the deal. Trust the process.