Baltimore Orioles: Did Brandon Hyde mismanage the pitching staff?

I thought Spencer Watkins have the Baltimore Orioles some good innings as a starter this afternoon. In fact, I thought he could have gone further into the game – despite it only being his second start. Watkins’ line: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K.

The first two ChiSox pitches of the game yielded positive results for the O’s. The first was a bunt single. Austin Hays followed with a two-run homer on the second pitch. This gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead early.

Watkins gave up a solo homer to Vaughn in the fourth inning. He recorded one out in the fifth before being pulled. Being the last game before the All-Star break, the thought is that manager Brandon Hyde wanted to work out the bullpen a bit.

I suppose my question is whether or not that was a good idea. I get the point, but even in a losing season, these are still regular season games. The games still count. I would argue that the onus should be on winning the game as opposed to working out the bullpen.

And that decision would cost the O’s. Vaughn would smack a three-burn homer in the sixth to give Chicago a 4-2 lead. Again, these are regular season games. The goal needs to be to win them at all cost. Nobody’s faulting the Orioles for not winning, given the rebuilding. But the goal should be to win them.

And that score held on until the very end. With the Birds down to their final out, Hyde pinch-hit Trey Mancini. And Mancini delivered big time, with a two-run homer to tie the game. That’s about as clutch of a play as you’re going to see, abs potentially the best one Mancini’s made all year.

That sent things to extra innings, and with two on in the tenth it appeared that Hyde was going lift reliever Tyler Wells, who appeared to be on the ropes. But Wells was left in, and Engle proceeded to smack a two-run homer, giving Chicago a 7-5 victory.

Again, did Hyde err in keeping Wells in the game? Wells has been perhaps the Orioles’ best reliever in the first half. So maybe one can understand why he’d opt to leave him in. End of the day, results largely dictate whether any of these moves were right or wrong.

And that’s all she wrote for the first half. Well, the period before the All-Star break, that is. The O’s draft fifth in tonight’s MLB draft. You might also catch a line on here from me about Trey Mancini in tomorrow’s Home Run Derby. And of course Cedric Mullins in Tuesday’s All-Star game. This while I stick my toes between the sand in Ocean City all week. Surf’s up, dude!

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