Baltimore Orioles: Opponents get fat on your negligence
The Baltimore Orioles dropped the nightcap of a twin bill last night in Chicago in walk off fashion. Andrew Cashner got the start, and became only the most recent Orioles’ starter to not go deep in a game. Cashner’s line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (earned), 2 BB, 8 K.
The O’s had the lead at various points in this game, including early on. Dwight Smith Jr’s RBI-single in the first gave the Birds a 1-0 lead. One inning later however, Chicago would tie the game thanks in part to Oriole negligence. Catcher Austin Wynns threw to second base after a strikeout with two outs (when all he had to do was make the play at first base), allowing a base runner to go to third. Wynns apparently forgot how many outs there were. That led to an RBI-single by Engel, tying the game at two.
Abreu’s solo homer one inning later gave Chicago a 2-1 lead. However the O’s would take the lead right back in the fourth inning on Stevie Wilkerson‘s three-run homer. That should have been kind of a big blow in the game, however the O’s gave the lead right back in the bottom of the inning. Chicago loaded the bases with two outs following a triple and two walks. That brought Chicago’s heavy hitter (Abreu) to the plate, and he sent a bases-clearing single into center.
In reality, the game only should have been tied. However Joey Rickard seemingly took his time in getting the ball back in from center field. In fact, Stevie Wilkerson did the same in getting the ball over to first base on Engel’s second inning infield RBI-single. He took his time getting the ball to first base, and Engel best the throw out. Keep that in mind.
A sixth inning homer by Anthony Santander and a seventh inning fielder’s choice-RBI by Chris Davis however gave the Orioles the lead back at 6-5. However one-run leads are tough to protect in the ninth inning. Especially in the last of the ninth, when you lead off the inning with a walk. Alonso’s two-RBI single with the bases loaded lifted Chicago to victory.
It’s always easy to point to one or two things and say “all things being the same, things would have been different if not for this.” But that’s an unfair thing to say given that you can’t simply assume that all things would be the same. Furthermore it’s always a team effort – win or lose.
That aside, we saw Stevie Wilkerson taking his time getting the ball to first base in the second, resulting in a run. Later in the game we saw Joey Rickard doing the same in getting the ball back in from centerfield. That allowed a third run to score (from first), giving Chicago the lead.
In both instances the O’s overcame the Chicago lead. However the defense needs to tighten up in those situations. Chicago was literally gifted two runs on those two plays. Other teams aren’t letting the Orioles off the hook – they just aren’t. In fact, they’re getting fat on the Orioles’ negligence at times.
The Birds now come home after an off day today to open up a three-game set with Tampa starting tomorrow at Camden Yards. Dan Straily gets the fall for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Tyler Glasnow. Game time is set for 7 PM tomorrow night.