Baltimore Orioles: It begins and ends with starting pitching

Last night the Baltimore Orioles got superior starting pitching. This evening they got an average outing at best out of starter David Hess. That might be okay in some instances. Not against the defending World Series champions. Hess’ line: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 5 K.

I’ve said this before, but it begins and ends with starting pitching. Now granted I said that in the context that in the past the O’s were a team expected to contend, and they needed solid starting pitching to do so. However the same is still true. This is the regular season, and regardless of the outlook on the entire season you need to have solid starting pitching of you’re going to win games. The Orioles got it last night. This evening? Not so much.

Now one might point out that Hess didn’t take the loss, and he certainly didn’t throw a total clunker out there. And that’s all true, and to Hess’ credit. But Oriole starters have been going four to five innings in games routinely – last night was the exception, not the rule. That sets the tone for the opponent, as well as for the Orioles. If your starter isn’t going deep into the game, you’re putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage.

Boston took an early 2-0 lead on a two-run homer by Martinez. However the Birds fought back. Rio Ruiz smacked a two-run homer of his own in the last of the first, and before we knew it the ballgame was tied. The teams would once again swap homers in the fourth inning, Boston off the bat of Bogaerts, and the Orioles off the bat of Hanser Alberto.

One inning later however, Boston did their big damage (following Hess’ departure). Moreland’s three-run homer gave them a 6-3 lead. That was the big blow of the game, however the O’s did make a run. Dwight Smith Jr’s RBI-double in the eighth cut the lead to 6-4. Later in the inning Chris Davis‘ RBI-single cut it to 6-5. But that’s as close as the Orioles would get as Boston would put up two insurance runs in the ninth, and they fell in game two, 6-5 to Boston.

The series with Boston concludes tomorrow night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Chris Sale. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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