Baltimore Orioles: Is Brandon Hyde mismanaging the Oriole ‘pen?

Baltimore Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde spent a lot more time on the field tonight than he intended. By that, I mean he changed pitchers a lot, beginning with starter Dan Straily. Was Straily however lifted too early, and did that set the tone for the game? Straily’s line: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K.

Straily gave up a solo homer in the first to Kipnis, however the Birds took the lead in the second at 2-1 on Rio Ruiz‘s two-run homer. Trey Mancini would extend the lead to 5-1 in the third, and for a moment it appeared that the Birds were going for a rout. However two RBI-singles in the third would cut that lead to 5-3 and one in the fourth would cut the Birds’ lead to 5-4.

Straily came out to pitch the fourth, however was lifted after pitching to one hitter. Hyde turned to Ynoa, who proceeded to give up a three-run homer to Kipnis – his second of the game. But more importantly, the O’s trailed. That set a certain tone for the rest of the game.

I’ve noticed about Brandon Hyde that he has a quick hook. He doesn’t leave pitchers out there under any circumstances if they’re not getting the job done. But is that the right thing? Managing a bullpen isn’t easy – I’m not going to pretend that it is. But Hyde went through four relievers tonight. Who knows how things would have gone had he not done so, but the fact is that he blows through relievers with ease. Is that wrong? Not necessarily. But it’s certainly not working out – yet.

The saving grace is that Stevie Wilkerson gave the Birds the lead back in the fifth with a two-RBI double. However Cleveland came back in the sixth. But Cleveland would tie it again in the sixth when Kipnis grounded into a run-scoring double play. Santana’s RBI-single, and Martin’s two-RBI single would turn it into a two run-inning.

And Cleveland added on from there, often on Oriole mistakes. This while Brandon Hyde continues changing pitchers. Again, is it possible that he isn’t good at managing things as such?

The answer is that I don’t know. Buck Showalter was great at managing a bullpen. But you can’t judge a young manager against someone of Showalter’s stature. However Hyde’s a rookie manager; if he is mismanaging the bullpen, it’s probably out of lack of experience. This isn’t to say that Cleveland and their 14 runs tonight was the direct result of poor managing overall. It’s a thankless job in a sense. And there’s no magic bullet for managing the ‘pen.

So is it fair of me to ask questions? Absolutely. Is it fair to say that things need to improve? For sure. But for the record, many other things occurred in this game. And sometimes you just have to tip your cap. If part of the issue in some losses is Hyde and his bullpen management, there’s every chance that will improve in time. You have to give people a chance to grow into their roles.

The series continues tomorrow night at Progressive Field. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Jeffry Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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