New York bats seemed hungry tonight, and they feasted on Baltimore Orioles’ starter Jorge Lopez. New York took a very aggressive approach tonight, swinging at anything and everything. And it worked. Lopez’s line: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 earned), 2 BB, 4 K.
Lopez was aggressive as well. Evidenced by his four strikeouts. But when a pitcher is attacking the zone and the hitters are swinging early, that’s going to be a problem. New York loaded the bases in the first inning before even recording an out. LeMahieu scored on a passed ball, and Sanchez’s two-run single gave New York a 3-0 lead.
In theory one would think that a pitcher attacking the zone would be a good thing. But you also have to know when to back off a bit. With a runner on base in the second, Lopez elevated a fastball to Judge, who ran the score to 5-0 with a two-run homer.
The Judge homer came with two outs and on an 0-2 count. In a sense, Lopez had Judge right where he wanted him. However that’s a spot where you in essence want to waste a pitch. Throw a slider low-and-away (or anything off the plate), and see if you can get the hitter to chase.
Instead, Lopez threw a fastball and tried to attack the hitter. However that fastball was elevated. In other words, it missed it’s spot. And Judge made him pay for it. Sometimes you have to be smart enough NOT to attack the zone.
New York would score again in the sixth on a balk call (again with the bases loaded), and a two-run double by Voit. The O’s would get on the board in the bottom of that sixth inning on Trey Mancini’s RBI-groundout. They would also add a run in the last of the ninth inning on an RBI-single by Ramon Urias. That would make the final 8-2, in favor of New York.
The O’s used multiple relievers in this game, which compounds things going into tomorrow. They were considering making tomorrow a bullpen game, but now it might appear that they’ll have to call someone up and make a roster move. We don’t know that for sure right now, but it might stand to reason that’s where things are going.
The series concludes tomorrow at Camden Yards. As I said, the Orioles’ starter is TBD, but whomever he is he’ll be opposed by New York’s Jordan Montgomery. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.