The Baltimore Orioles and Mychal Givens were reminded last night that small ball isn’t just a way to play the game, it’s almost a way of life. And part of that way of life is that you literally don’t stop playing. Whereas in the AL East it seems that once a late death blow has been issued, all’s done. But small ball teams like Kansas City have a different world view.
Dylan Bundy came within two outs of a quality start last night. Bundy’s line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 8 K. Almost doesn’t cut it, however. The Orioles were though able to take an early lead on a sac fly-RBI by Andreoli. That was complimented two innings later by Tim Beckham‘s solo homer, and the Birds appeared to be setting themselves up for a nice win on a Saturday night in Kansas City.
But again, part of the small ball mentality is that you just don’t quit. Kansas City got a solo homer by Phillips in the fourth, and an RBI-double from Goodwin and an RBI-single from Herrera in the sixth. Before you knew it, the O’s trailed 3-2 and Bundy had been chased from the game.
But Trey Mancini got the Orioles right back on track in the top of the eighth. His solo home run tied the game at three, and it was followed up later in the inning by Beckham’s RBI-double to give the O’s a 4-3 lead. However again, in the AL East that right there would have probably ended the game. Unfortunately for the Birds, they weren’t playing a division game.
Mychal Givens promptly walked the lead off guy – not what you want to do with a one-run lead in the last of the ninth. Merrifield promptly deposited a Givens pitch into the stands, giving Kansas City an improbably 5-4 victory in walk off fashion. To his credit following the game, Givens didn’t beat around the bush when it came to his outing (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):
Walked the leadoff guy and made a bad 0-2 pitch. Today, especially with how our team’s been playing. We’ve been playing really good, battling circumstances with what’s been going on this year. Today, I failed the team as far as [I] didn’t close out the game. They worked their butts off getting back in the game. Just have to do a better job. A bad 0-2 pitch. I was trying to just locate it down and away. The ball got away from me, and got into his bat path.
This is a Kansas City team that’s been a thorn in the Orioles side no matter the circumstances. When the teams met in the ALCS their exuberance and never say die attitude dipped and dunked the Orioles to death with bloops and broken bat singles. Now the same is true with both teams struggling – the exuberance part, at least.
The O’s will try to salvage one game this afternoon at Kaufman Stadium. David Hess gets the call for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Jorge Lopez. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.