Baltimore Orioles: Should walks be used to stop the homers?

The Baltimore Orioles claimed Ty Blach off of waivers last week from San Francisco. Last night he started game two of a doubleheader for the Birds at Yankee Stadium. He did make some decent pitches, and perhaps had he been pitching against a different opponent the result would have been different. But in fact he was pitching against New York. Blach’s line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 7 R (6 earned), 3 BB, 4 K.

The O’s only surrendered three home runs in this game, which is actually an improvement. However New York’s Gleyber Torres his three of them. That makes 13 for the season for Torres against the Orioles.

Despite being down early and down big, the Orioles did battle as best they could. Trey Mancini smacked a two-run homer im the third to bring the Orioles to within one at 4-3. Following Ford’s solo homer and Torres’ two, Hanser Alberto‘s three-run homer in the seventh got them to within 11-6.

Rio Ruiz added a two-RBI single in the ninth to bring the Birds back to within three. But they ended up falling 11-8. However as beleaguered as the Orioles looked in this game, it’s worth mentioning that they had the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth. There’s no quit in this team.

That doesn’t mean they did everything perfectly, however. Gleyber Torres came up to bat again in the last of the eighth with two runners on base. Torres has already hit two homers in the game, and as I said above they were the 12th and 13th homers of the season for Torres against the Orioles respectively. Manager Brandon Hyde in that moment opted to intentionally walk Torres.

This wasn’t a strategic IBB given the circumstances. It was done with the specific idea to stop Torres from hitting another home tun. Hyde admitted as much after the game. And honestly, I’m not a fan of that methodology.

I get the point; the guy’s hitting to the moon and back against you. However I would submit that it’s better to find a way to beat someone as opposed to giving in and just giving him a base. It says that you’re adverse to even trying to beat someone as opposed to just taking the easy way out and putting him on.

I do understand why Hyde did what he did. And I’m not suggesting that this is some sort of unacceptable move that should cost people jobs. That’s a ludicrous thought. But I just think that putting a guy on instead of trying to beat him in one manner or another sends a bad message.

The series continues tonight at Yankee Stadium. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Domingo German. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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