Keegan Akin was asked to be the Baltimore Orioles’ stopper today. And for the most part, while not making it out of the fifth, he did a good job. But when you come in having lost 12 straight games, that makes it tougher. Losing streaks don’t like to go away. Akin did put the Birds in a position to win the game, however. Akin’s line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
DJ Stewart smacked a solo homer in the third inning, giving the O’s a 1-0 lead. And the ironic thing is that throughout this losing streak, the Orioles have had the lead fairly often. Meaning they’ve taken early leads in games, only to surrender them. This time it was only one run, but of course there was the five-run lead they blew in Washington as well.
In general, Oriole pitching was very good today. They just need to put together good pitching and good hitting at the same time. And in the absence of more than one run, Oriole bats were asking the pitching staff to bite off more than they could chew.
Hamilton smacked a solo homer of his own in the last of the third to tie the game. However the game remained tied until the last of the seventh, despite the Orioles loading the bases with nobody out. A single and a throwing error later, and Chicago had a runner in scoring position. Madrigal’s run-scoring triple gave Chicago a 2-1 lead. Moncada’s RBI-single would run the score to 3-1, which was the final.
The opponent always comes up with late-inning heroics when you’ve lost twelve straight games – now 13. On that note, I’ve seen a lot of things said on media such as Twitter during games – about the losing streak, and whether Brandon Hyde or Mike Elias should continue in their roles. Regarding Hyde, there are legitimate complaints you can make about any manager. I don’t see them changing managers unless he loses the clubhouse. And there appears to be no indication of that happening.
Mike Elias was very up front about what needed to happen, and what a full rebuild entailed. It’s a painful process. The nadir of the losing was 2018, before the rebuild even began (it began in the middle of the season at the trade deadline). They actually tried to win that year, but instead we know how the season went. 2019 was really the first full year, and last year was a wash. This season is the second full year.
But again, it’s not a fun process. Sometimes I question – did people think Elias was putting them on when he made that clear at the beginning? This process probably should have happened in or about 1999, and again around 2007-08. Instead they warmed over the team, never fully committing to rebuilding. This time around however, they’re doing it the right way.
Fans may argue that doesn’t make losing 13 straight games any easier. And that’s a fact for sure. But keep in mind that the farm system had been depleted when Elias took over in advance of 2019. As of now they’re a top five farm system in baseball. That right there tells you he’s doing it right, and what will eventually be coming to Baltimore.