Baltimore Orioles: Is the pitching staff turning a slight corner?

You’d be hard-pressed not to notice that the Baltimore Orioles’ pitching staff (both starters and bullpen) have been performing well the past few games. This against pretty stiff competition in Toronto and New York. This afternoon it was starter Chris Ellis in the Bronx, who kept a potent New York lineup at bay. Ellis’ line: 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K.

Ellis and the bullpen led the Birds in a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. Again, this against a potent New York lineup. And the Birds even held a lead from the fourth inning on. Trey Mancini scored from third on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.

And that’s also a good sign. Mancini had to make a snap decision whether to run. And he decisively went for it, and slid in safely to home plate to give his team the lead. As much bad base running as we‘ve seen from this team this season, that was good base running and that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

The Orioles would also get an RBI-double from Cedric Mullins, and an RBI-single from Austin Hays in the seventh. However Torres would break up the no-hit bid in the bottom of the inning with an infield RBI-single. One inning later Gallo would smack a two-run homer to tie the game.

However down the stretch New York would load the bases a couple of times. And the Orioles would pitch out of it. Many people will say, “yeah but they loaded the bases.” Pitchers will get themselves in trouble – it’s the nature of the position. But good ones will work their way out of trouble also. The Orioles did that today by way of ground ball double-plays.

And the game itself was there for the taking. In the ninth it was the Orioles’ turn to load the bases. And they’d score on a sac fly-RBI by Pedro Severino. Now again, a crass person’s going to say “but they only got one run.” Well in a tie game in the ninth inning if you get one run, you’re in good shape. It’s all in the context of the situation. And the Birds went onto a 4-3 victory over New York.

People might argue that this is just a good stretch that Oriole pitching is going through. And it might be the case – we’ve seen that before, just as we’ve seen bad stretches. But it also could be the staff coming together here as we go into the home stretch of the season. They certainly played a bug role in winning a ballgame today.

The series concludes tomorrow at Yankee Stadium. Keegan Akin gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Corey Kluber. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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