Baltimore Orioles: Alex Cobb’s quality start doesn’t do the job

To his credit, Alex Cobb never complains about run support from Baltimore Orioles’ bats. His post game comments after yet another quality start that ends up in the loss or no decision column are always about how he tries to go out and do the best job he can for the team and try to put them in a spot to win. But at some point it has to be frustrating internally; Cobb had another such outing yesterday, as he provided a solid outing in a losing effort to Boston. Cobb’s line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 earned), 2 BB, 7 K.

The Orioles were in a hole early when Pearce smacked a solo homer in the first inning to give Boston a 1-0 lead. In the fourth they took a 2-0 lead on Martinez’s run-scoring double. The run scored when Adam Jones misplayed the ball in right field, allowing the lead runner to take home plate. It was Jones’ first gaffe in right, which is to be expected at some point. When you’ve played a position for ten years and suddenly you’re in another position, that’s going to happen at some point.

The Orioles couldn’t solve Boston’s starter Sale, who put a spell on them all day. Sale was called up from the DL to make the start, so Boston limited him to five innings. Granted the Orioles are a young team now with youth and inexperience, however they struck out twelve times in five innings against Sale.

The O’s did attempt to mount a rally well after Sale was gone, and they put a run across in the eighth on Trey Mancini‘s sac fly-RBI. The issue was that the bases were loaded, and the Birds only got one run. Many people would look at that and say that it’s good the Orioles are trying to play more small ball. However as I’ve always said, if you play small ball you’re going to get small results. In essence, if you play for one run that might be all you’ll get.

And true to form, Boston would put two additional insurance runs on the board in the ninth as they closed out a 4-1 victory – sweeping the series. It begins and ends with starting pitching, and both teams got great outings by their starters. I’m not going to say that Boston truly “solved” Cobb, but they put two runs up on him. The story of the game was that the Orioles couldn’t do anything against Sale. Buck Showalter on both starters (all quotes courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

Outstanding. He (Cobb) was great. He’s been that way for a while now. He’s been solid. When you think about in time of need, with our bullpen situation, that was as good as you can expect. Alex has really got a feel for the split now. To pitch seven innings against that lineup in a day game, that’s impressive. We just couldn’t score any runs. Sale took it to a different level. The first fastball he threw today was 98, the second one was 99. He was throwing a changeup at 88, 90. Doesn’t seem fair.

While he’s been used in a pinch-hitting role this weekend, Mark Trumbo has been held out of the starting lineup due to soreness in his knee. Buck Showalter believes he’ll be able to return to his starting duties on Tuesday when the N.Y. Mets come to town:

I think, that’s all indications. Mark has been fighting his way through it for quite a while. Just going to try to get ahead of it with lack of activity the past few days. Hopefully we can get him back to close to normal. Nobody’s going to be normal til a month after the season’s over.

After dropping four straight games to Boston, today’s a good time for an off-day. Especially with so many young players on the roster now – it gives them a good chance to catch their breath.

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