If you look at the Baltimore Orioles’ line score, Alex Cobb‘s Numbers don’t look so hot. However he was pretty on his game tonight. Sometimes the line or box score doesn’t tell the story that should or could be told. Cobb’s line: 6.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
Cobb retired Toronto in short order in the first two innings. However he allowed two infield base hits to start off the third. That’s two balls that were placed perfectly and had to be eaten. Two base runners, no outs.
Biggio then connected on another infield hit, in what amounted to a swinging bunt up the third base line. That scored a run, giving Toronto a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning Grichuk would smack a three-run homer, and the O’s trailed 4-0.
Now one might argue that a pitcher who gave up a three-run homer shouldn’t be called a hard-luck loser. And that’s a fair point. However keep in mind that those runners wouldn’t have been on base if not for the infield hits. So all things being equal, it easily could have just been 1-0 Toronto. Instead, it was 4-0.
Pedro Severino would get the O’s on the board in the last of the fourth with an RBI-single. However to their credit, Toronto pitching shut the Orioles down for the rest of the game. And in fact, Toronto would even score an additional run in similar fashion. Grichuk would dump a softly-hit bloop RBI-single into shallow right center field. And as insurance runs, Biggio would add a two-run homer in the ninth. Just for good measure, the O’s decided to get into the bloop game. Renato Nunez‘s bloop RBI-single tan the final to 7-2 in Toronto’s favor.
The Orioles have struggled over a great many years with teams that would nitpick them to death in this manner. Dating back over several different era’s. Think back to the 2014 ALCS against Kansas City. The O’s were paper cut to death in a series full of broken bat and bloop singles.
I’m not sure how you defend against this type of thing. The only defense is a good offense, and that didn’t happen for the Orioles tonight. If you keep the bats hot you can keep up in games. Even when the opponent’s getting every break in the book. Granted Toronto did get three runs off of homers. But the damage was done in simplistic manners.