Baltimore Orioles: Two outs away from a win

The Baltimore Orioles were in line to win today. It was the ninth inning and they had the lead against Boston. But ultimately, despite a decent outing from John Means, the Birds ended up back in the loss column – for varying circumstances, some of which were out of their control. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K.

Hanser Alberto‘s RBI-single in the last of the third gave the O’s the lead at 1-0. Boston however would smack back-to-back RBI-doubles in the fourth, giving them a 2-1 lead. But the O’s would tie it at two in the bottom of the inning on Keon Broxton‘s bunt-RBI single…

…or did they? After the play the umpires huddled up, and came to the decision that Broxton had run out of the baseline, a decision that ultimately led to the ejection of manager Brandon Hyde. Here’s the thing; Broxton did run out of the baselines; that part isn’t disputable according to the replay. However the issue is that’s a call that needs to be made on the spot. It’s poor form for umpires to huddle up like that and talk one another into making a judgement call (that should have been made on the spot).

Hyde said after the game that he wasn’t happy with how it was handled. Negating the hit took a run off the board for the O’s. But Hyde’s point was just what I said above; make the call. Don’t sit back and think about it and then make it.

With the Birds still trailing 2-1 in the last of the eighth, Jonathan Villar drew a walk. He then proceeded to steal second and third base, and scored to tie the game at two on a wild pitch.ater in the inning Hanser Alberto’s RBI-single gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead.

The Birds got to within two outs of the win. But then Boston’s Hernandez picked that moment to hit his first homer of the season – off of Mychal Givens. That tied the game in three, and sent it to extra innings. Boston would put up no less than five runs in the tenth, to take an 8-3 lead.

And it’s a shame that Oriole pitching let it get to that point, because Oriole bats did everything they could in the last of the tenth to bring them back. They were able to put three runs on the board and get to within 8-6. But it was too little too late.

The strike zone was incredibly small this afternoon. Boston pitchers pitched to the strike zone. Oriole pitchers pitched to where they assumed pitches should be called strikes. And they got no leeway whatsoever. That combined with the out of the lines play in the fourth inning had the Orioles’ dugout seething at the umpiring crew.

Did the umpires factor into the final score? Well, unequivocally they didn’t give up the homers and the runs in the tenth inning. But could the game have gone differently? You never know.

Brandon Hyde was happy that the team battled back. He seemed very impressed with that. But still, it’s tough to get to within two outs of a win and blow it. But you have to dust yourself off and move onto the next game.

The O’s now hear out west to open up a three-game series with Oakland at the Oakland Coliseum. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Mike Fiers. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

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