Baltimore Orioles: Alex Cobb haunted by defense behind him

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Alex Cobb didn’t pitch perfect this evening. Heck, he wasn’t in the game long enough for that. But I feel that he was pitching good enough to put the O’s in a spot to win the game. Which is the task of every starting pitcher. Cobb’s line: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R (4 earned), 2 BB, 2 K.

Toronto took a 2-0 lead in the last of the first when Guerrero smacked a two-run scoring single. However keep in mind that there were two runners in scoring position due to the fact that Santander misplayed the ball in the outfield. That ultimately came back and bit the O’s.

Toronto also netted a run in the fourth, but the Birds gave them an extra out. With a runner at third Fischer grounded into what would have been a tailor-made double-play. The Orioles were willing to concede the run, however Hanser Alberto has trouble transferring the ball to throw back to first. That doesn’t go as an error (because you never assume the double-play), but it cost the Orioles runs in the future, and of course it cost Cobb some pitches.

And in fact, Cobb gave up a two-RBI single to Biggio later in the inning. That ran the final to 5-0. Again, Cobb wasn’t perfect. But I think that he in theory pitched well enough to win. Errors and extra outs can at times do a pitcher in.

Here’s an interesting question; was this Cobb’s final appearance for the Orioles? With the trade deadline being Monday, he’s a veteran guy with good experience, and could be a candidate to be traded. Could he help a team for a potential stretch run in a stretch season? Yes, he could.

But there are a lot of other things at play. Are teams willing to part with prospects to potential work their way into the postseason in the strangest year on record? Furthermore? With potential labor unrest coming, do teams really want to commit themselves to a salary? All good questions. 

Four innings seems to be the magic number for manager Brandon Hyde. I find that interesting, and perhaps a little concerning. It’s one thing if the pitcher’s struggling. But we’ve seen Hyde pull pitchers who were doing okay or even holding their own at the four inning mark. The recognize that I’m a mastodon in the sense that I want my starters to go deep into games. If anything, bullpens are bigger than starters now. But four innings to me is a really short outing. I feel it taxes the bullpen too much.

This isn’t to be overly critical of Hyde. I recognize he’s doing the best job he can and that he’s only a second-year manager. Plus, nobody’s ever managed a sixty-game season before. It’s just interesting to me that he seems to get his starters after four innings. Just something I’ve noticed.

The series continues tomorrow afternoon at Sahlen Field. Jorge Lopez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Taylor Roark. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

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