Baltimore Orioles: Was Mike Wright the wrong guy?
Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles dawned brightly at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. People wanted to call this the “home opener,” but please folks…it’s fair to call it Opening Day! Pickles and Sliders across the street were open for business at 6 AM, and a festive holiday mood set in across Baltimore.
Luckily for the home team, starter Alex Cobb was ready to go from the beginning. This was Opening Day for Cobb as well, given that he began the season on the Injured List. He was probably on a shorter leash than he otherwise would have been as a result, but he put the O’s in a position to win. That’s all you can ask of a starter. Cobb’s line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
Jonathan Villar led the game off in the home half of the first with a solo homer over the scoreboard in right field. That began a flurry in the first inning for the Birds. They ended up loading the bases, and while no bases-clearing knock took place, the O’s did clear the bases.
Trey Mancini scored on a balk by NY starter Paxton, who then proceeded to uncork a wild pitch scoring another run. Okay, maybe they didn’t totally clear the bases. But the Orioles held a 3-0 lead after one. However that was trimmed to 3-1 in the third after Torres’ solo homer. The O’s would run the lead back to three runs on an RBI-single in the last of the fifth by Renato Nunez.
However New York decided to show up in this game, albeit late. Sanchez smacked a solo homer in the sixth. New York proceeded to put two more runners on base, bringing Torres back to the plate. And unfortunately for the Orioles on their Opening Day, Torres decided he was going to have a day. He smacked his second homer of the game, this one of the three-run variety. Tack on a ninth inning three-run homer by Voit, and New York would go onto win by that 8-4 margin.
Cobb was lifted in favor of Mike Wright following the Sanchez homer, a move that was criticized by many fans on Twitter. Keep in mind first off that Cobb came off the Injured List to make this start. Brandon Hyde certainly wanted to be careful with him in that sense. Furthermore many starters are on shortish leashes in their maiden starts in a season.
Could Cobb have gone on in the game? Probably. (Recording an additional two outs would have qualified him for a quality start.) However odds are Hyde pulled him for precautionary reasons.
Now, should Wright have been the guy to come into the game in that situation? I’ll let you debate that amongst yourselves. However it.’a worth keeping in mind that Brandon Hyde is managing in his seventh big league game. Furthermore Wright got a fairly dramatic save in his last outing (the first save of his career). Some days pitchers are on, and some days they aren’t. And it’s Mary impossible to predict when they’re going to be on or off. Especially relievers. Games like these happen – all you can do is hope that the next game yields better results.