This entire season has been one where the Baltimore Orioles have had little margin for error. Heck even when everything goes perfectly, sometimes they still can’t get things right. But mistakes lead to unearned runs, which add up.
David Hess pitched four solid innings this afternoon in the finale with Colorado at Coors Field. Hess’ line: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R (4 earned), 1 BB, 6 K. The Birds even spotted him a run, on Austin Wynns‘ sac bunt in the second inning. A run scored on an errant throw, and the Orioles led 1-0.
As I said, Hess pitched four solid innings. The fifth inning he started to have a few struggles. Hess’ pitch count wasn’t elevated, however the light air in Denver can tire people out quicker. One way or the other, Colorado figures him out in that sixth inning. Marquez, Hess’ pitcher counterpart, drove in a run on a squeeze bunt. Hess made an errant throw home, and the game was tied.
Hess worked out of the inning, however he had already shown his vulnerability. Arenado smacked yet another homer against Oriole pitching in the next inning, this of the two-run variety. Colorado led 3-1. That lead extended to 5-1 when Marquez smacked a two-RBI triple. Pitching against the opposing pitcher is generally thought of as easy. Apparently not for David Hess.
However the Birds battled back. Jonathan Villar smacked an RBI-single in the seventh, which was followed by a sac fly-RBI later in the inning by Dwight Smith Jr. Renato Nunez‘s RBI-single brought the O’s to within one at 5-4, however Murphy’s run scoring-single in the bottom of the seventh extended the Colorado lead back to two at 6-4.
But again, the Orioles battled back once again. Keon Broxton, who made quite an impression in his first weekend with the Orioles, smacked an RBI-double in the eighth, followed by Trey Mancini‘s two-RBI triple. But Colorado got to bat last in the ninth, and Desmond walked in the tying run. Wolters’ sac fly-RBI then gave Colorado an 8-7 walk off victory against the O’s.
I mentioned Hess’ errant throw in the fourth inning which allowed a run. On the aforementioned Murphy run scoring-single, the run scored because of an errant throw by Renato Nunez. These two mistakes both led to runs. And given that the Orioles lost by two, that kind of stands out.
But it’s never just one or two things. Oriole pitchers were also afraid to throw fastballs in the strike zone. They tried to pound the inside corners with sliders, which led to a bases-loaded situation. Colorado hitters got very patient in the ninth inning, and it cost the Orioles the game.
The Birds now come home for a quick turnaround game tomorrow afternoon on Memorial Day against Detroit at Camden Yards. Gabriel Ynoa gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Daniel Norris. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.