Baltimore Orioles: Mental lapse haunts Birds late
The Baltimore Orioles claimed Chandler Shepherd off of waivers earlier this year. They called him to the majors last night to start against Toronto. It was a so-so outing, and one in which he was in essence on a pitch count. Shepherd’s line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
Trey Mancini gave the Orioles the lead in the first inning with a two-run homer in the last of the first. It was Mancini’s 34th home run of the season. It’s undeniable that Mancini’s had such a great year, and it stands to reason to me that he’ll be voted the Most Valuable Oriole for 2019. Just a prediction – obviously you never know.
Toronto bounced right back in the second with a solo homer by Grichuck, that cut the Orioles’ lead in half at 2-1. The issue was that one inning later Biggio smacked a two-run homer which gave Toronto the lead at 3-2.
But once again it was Mancini who brought the Orioles back. His sac fly-RBI in the fifth tied the game at three. Two innings later, Mancini gave them the lead back. His RBI-single in the seventh put the Birds ahead 4-3.
The Orioles brought Shawn Armstrong onto pitch the eighth in a setup role. He recorded a quick out, before allowing Biggio aboard with a double. However that didn’t immediately indicate doom for Armstrong and the Orioles, as Armstrong’s pitched out of numerous jams since joining the Birds. And what happened tonight aside, I think he’s a keeper going into spring training next year.
However Armstrong allowed Biggio to time him in a sense. Biggio timed his timing to home plate, and was able to successfully steal third base. He later scored on Gurriel’s sac fly-RBI. And the game was tied.
Those are the types of things that the Orioles need to work on. As close as most games are (they had a one-run lead which was in essence surrendered on that play), that’s the type of thing that can make a huge difference. Again this isn’t to say that Armstrong doesn’t have a spot with the Orioles moving forward – because I think he does. It’s just something that he has to work on.
Unfortunately for the O’s, Toronto our four runs up in the ninth inning. Jonathan Villar smacked a solo homer in the last of the ninth, but it was too little too late. The Birds fell to Toronto on this night, 8-5.