As I’ve said often, it all begins and ends with starting pitching for the Baltimore Orioles. Tonight they didn’t get a very good start out of David Hess. Before the crowd had even settled in, two runners were on and Hess had given up a three-run home run to Sanchez. Hess’ line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 4 BB, 5 K.
Regardless of what Hess or subsequent pitchers threw out there, New York hitters found a way to put it in play, often resulting in runs. The third inning brought an RBI-double by Urshela, and a two-run homer by Frazier. When the smoke had cleared, NY had doubled their lead.
New York would put three additional runs on the board in the fifth, and the rout appears to be on. However the Birds did try to pick their way back into the game. They ultimately failed at that, but point being that they didn’t get shut out!
Stevie Wilkerson‘s three-run homer in the last of the fifth cut the lead to 9-3. However an RBI-groundout and an RBI-single would give NY an 11-3 lead. The O’s would put one additional run across in the last of the sixth, to round out an 11-4 loss.
The frustrating thing from the Orioles’ perspective is that New York shouldn’t be as good as they are right now. All of their star players are on the IL. Yet the guys who have taken their place are playing at the same frantic pace. They’re still slugging home runs, and when they play the Orioles they’re slugging them at a frantic pace.
And on that note I would say this; both the Orioles and New York have hungry players. Guys who recognize that they have an opportunity to play, and who are trying to do everything in their power to take advantage of that. First off however, NY’s “hungry players” are ahead of those of the Orioles.
As a result, the Orioles’ “hunger” manifests itself in errors of aggression. Guys want to make a play so badly that they’re actually making mistakes. NY’s hunger manifests itself in tape measure home runs and solid defense. And that’s proving to be the difference when looking at these two teams.