Baltimore Orioles: Nibbling doesn’t work

The Baltimore Orioles sent Gabriel Ynoa to the mound this evening in Detroit, although he ended up being one of many. One of many in a twelve inning game, that is. Ynoa’s line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

Ynoa yielded Castro’s solo homer in the third, giving Detroit a 1-0 lead. After Ynoa has left the game Reyes’ RBI-single in the fifth extended the lead to 2-0. And at various points it appeared that’s how the game was going to end. Boy was that an incorrect prediction.

That 2-0 Detroit lead held until the top of the eighth. The Birds got two runners on, and Trey Mancini strode to the plate. And Mancini smacked a three-run homer into the stands. That gave the O’s a 3-2 lead in later innings.

However that lead wasn’t about to hold either. Reyes came to the plate once again with Detroit down to their final out. And Reyes sent a pop fly to right, which just barely made it over the fence for a solo game-tying homer. Was it a cheapie? Yes. But it still counts.

The game went to the twelfth, where Rio Ruiz gave the Orioles the lead back with an RBI-single. The Orioles were in good shape, but they still needed to close out the twelfth inning. Detroit had to hit again.

Michigan native Paul Fry walked a batter, recorded an out, and then gave up a double to put two runners in scoring position. He then intentionally walked a guy to load the bases and set up a double-play. The Orioles then turned to Ryan Eades.

Eades struggles from the get-go. He walked away in a run to tie the game on four straight pitches. There went the Orioles’ lead. He then gave up a game-winning walk off grand slam to Detroit’s Hicks, which sent the O’s to defeat.

Eades didn’t have the eye of the tiger from the beginning. He tried to nibble his way into outs. This is part of why being a big league pitcher is so tough; you don’t want to get too much of the plate, but you just can’t nibble. All that does is record balls and drive your pitch count up.

Fry took the loss, but make no mistake that the game was lost when a Eades started nibbling. Now it’s also a team effort – you can’t put it all on one guy. The Orioles lost the lead in one other occasion in the game as well. But nibbling shows no confidence, and it’s a sure way to help your opponent in getting more confidence.

The series continues tomorrow at Comerica Park. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Edwin Jackson. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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