Baltimore Orioles: Did Brandon Hyde err in judgement?

The Baltimore Orioles fell late last night in Anaheim. Interpret as you wish; being a west coast game it was obviously late at night (or early in the morning). But it was also in walk off fashion. Keegan Akin got the start for the O’s, and while he only pitched three innings, he left with the lead. Akin’s line: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Trey Mancini’s solo homer in the first was followed by one by rookie Domingo Leyba in the second. That gave the Birds an early 2-0 lead. Leyba’s homer was also the first of his career.

Anaheim would even the score on a two-run homer by Iglesias in the last of the second. But the Orioles pounced in the third. They loaded the bases up, only to have them cleared by Anthony Santander’s double. Pedro Severino would add an RBI-double of his own, and the Orioles led 6-4.

But Anaheim chipped away. Ohtani smacked a solo homer in the last of the third. One inning later Stassi’s RBI-double and Fletcher’s RBI-single brought them to within one. That brought Ohtani up again, and this time he smacked a two-run homer, giving Anaheim a 7-6 lead.

Austin Hays tied the score back up in the sixth with an RBI-double. Ohtani got aboard in the last of the ninth, and stole second base. He would later score, giving Anaheim a walk off 8-7 win, on Walsh’s RBI-single. The Orioles challenged the tag at home plate, but it was upheld.

My question is why were they even pitching to Walsh? First base was open, and a would-be runner at first was meaningless. The winning run was already at second.

Had I been Brandon Hyde, I would have put Walsh on base. Especially with a .153 hitter in Rengifo up behind him. As I’ve said before, managing a big league team isn’t easy. So you do have to at times cut guys some slack. But my personal opinion is that Hyde pitched to the wrong guy. There was one out, but it wouldn’t have been hard to see a .153 hitter ending up recording a ground ball double-play.

The series continues this evening at Angel Stadium. Jorge Lopez gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Anaheim’s Alex Cobb (also a former Oriole). Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

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