David Hess pitched a solid game for the Baltimore Orioles…through four innings. However he seemed to fall apart after that, allowing ChiSox runs to score off the long ball. And that was a popular motif all night. Hess’ line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 K.
I think that the bigger issue right now facing the Orioles as opposed to wins and losses is that teams are in essence getting well on the Birds. Struggling players come away with more confidence after facing the Orioles. That’s not what you want.
Chicago’s Abreu came into tonight’s game five for his previous 26. He had two hits and three RBI tonight against Oriole pitching. All-in-all, Chicago was allowed to bat around twice this evening. How does that happen?
Orioles’ pitchers are getting too much of the plate. Now that works against you two fold. The first way is obvious; if you get too much of the plate too often, big league hitters are going to hit the ball a long way.
However it also works against you because it allows hitters to sit on a fastball. When you do throw a pitch out of the zone, the hitter won’t even flinch. Then you get into having a sense of urgency to throw strikes, so you throw pitches in the zone primed to be hit.
McCann’s three-run homer in the fifth gave Chicago a 3-0 lead this evening. Now in fairness, McCann came in swinging a hot bat. But the O’s couldn’t keep him (or his teammates) off the board. Abreu’s RBI-single later in the inning ran the lead to 4-0.
In the bottom of that fifth inning the Orioles would get on the board. Trey Mancini‘s RBI-double cut the lead to 4-1. However Chicago got another three-run homer in the seventh by Abreu,and they would score on an E6. McCann’s RBI-single later in the inning and Abreu’s two-RBI single in the eighth would close out the scoring for the evening – save for one more two-RBI single in the eighth.
Oriole pitchers simply need to change up their pitches. Now that’s a lot harder to do than it sounds. Reason for that is that Oriole pitchers (both starters and relievers) need to trust their stuff. If you don’t trust your stuff you’re going to make mistakes. So yes, it’s as much mental as it is anything else. The O’s would also get a garbage-time homer from Severino, running the final to 12-2.
Ultimately this is a ChiSox team that was struggling overall coming in. The left the game feeling like they were the ’27 Yankees. That can’t happen moving forward.
It’s also interesting to note that teams are hitting consistently against the Orioles’ shift in games. You play a shift because spray charts indicate that this player favors hitting the ball to such-and-such location. However it seems that often times guys are hitting the ball right to where the players would have been if not for the shift. Basically, teams are hitting them where “they ain’t” on a much more frequent basis than the Orioles are doing that to opponents.