Baltimore Orioles: Pushing too hard

The Baltimore Orioles sent Wade LeBlanc to the mound last night in a spot start. And it went about as well as one might have expected. LeBlanc’s line: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

LeBlanc is going to be optioned today back to the alternative site, and the Orioles will call Zac Lowther to the majors. He’ll be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen this afternoon. Whenever he gets into a game it will be his big league debut.

LeBlanc gave up an RBI-single to Olson in the first inning. Oakland jumped right to it early, as you would expect for a team that’s won 12 straight games. Canha’s two-RBI single in the second gave them a 3-0 lead, and Olson’s RBI-double ran it to 4-0 and chased LeBlanc to the showers.

The O’s got on the board in the last of the second with an RBI-double by Chance Sisco. But as was the case on Friday, that was all they got in what could have been a big inning. Lowrie’s three-run homer in the fourth busted the game wide open, although they got one back an inning later on an RBI-double by Trey Mancini.

The O’s are pushing too hard. They know they’re struggling right now to score, and everyone’s trying to “play the hero.” It’s almost a psychological thing as much as anything else. I see a lot of bug swings, designed to get the ball onto Eutaw St. In practice, that’s sending guys back to the dugout after striking out.

So is “trying lighter” a thing? Because that’s what the Orioles need to do. The second half of the game was also played in the rain, which dampened chances for both teams. But the damage was already done.

The series concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Jesus Luzardo. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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