Baltimore Orioles: Did Buck Showalter tip his hand?

The Baltimore Orioles were unable to get it together again in Boston last night the way that they did in New York on Sunday afternoon. Dylan Bundy couldn’t keep Boston bats at bay, and they took advantage of the Orioles’ starter’s short outing. Bundy’s line: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K.

Boston got back-to-back doubles in the second inning, culminated by Holt’s RBI-double to give them a 1-0 lead. Holt would later score on Vasquez’s RBI-single later in the inning. Even further into the inning brought Betts, an MVP candidate, to the plate, and his two-run homer gave Boston a 4-0 lead.

Buck Showalter said after the game that he felt Bundy never really got a fair shake on borderline pitches throughout his short outing (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

This is going to sound like excuses and everything and I’ve got it. A lot of people in our situation and rightfully so. There’s about six to seven pitches … The difference between a 3-1 count and a 2-2 count, I mean, 2-1, 1-2.

Dylan couldn’t catch a break with the borderline pitches. I’m going to be nice when I say borderline. It’s one of those things I’ve learned through the years, go back and take a look at yourself and you end up going, ‘I’d want that pitch,’ or, ‘I wouldn’t want that pitch.’ I thought it was kind of a little one-sided.

I felt that was a really interesting take from a manager. We’ve all heard the rumors about Showalter not returning next season. Coaches and players alike have to be careful when talking about umpires because the league will fine you at the drop of a dime if you’re overly critical. While Showalter did parse his words a bit there, it seemed like he went a bit further than he otherwise would have.

Boston would get RBI-singles by Benintendi and Bogaerts in the fourth to run the score to 6-0. But the Orioles’ bullpen also pitched a solid five innings to close the game, not allowing even a run. The O’s would also net two runs, with Tim Beckham scoring on a fifth inning wild pitch, and Adam Jones providing an eighth inning sac fly-RBI. But the Birds fell in game one at Fenway Park, 6-2.

Going back to Buck Showalter, I really was struck by that quote. Quite frankly I think he probably wanted to go much further than that at various times this season, but again had to keep quiet. Now maybe he’s letting it fly a bit more because he knows anything that comes down from the league can’t hurt him for the most part. That’s purely speculation on my part.

The series continues this evening, weather permitting (it’s supposed to rain all day in Boston). Jimmy Yacabonis gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s David Price. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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