Austin Voth got the start for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon in the series final at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark. And Voth pitched five outstanding innings, putting the Birds in a spot to win the ballgame. Issue was he didn’t get the run support that he should have. Voth’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K.
The score was still 0-0 when Voth exited after the fifth inning. Runs were tough to come by this afternoon. However Cincinnati broke through in the last of the sixth with an RBI-double by a Votto. Later in the inning Farmer’s sac fly-RBI extended their lead to 2-0.
But the O’s did have some fight in them, as is usually the case. Cedric Mullins got a run in with a sac fly-RBI in the top of the seventh. And one inning later Anthony Santander tied the game at two with a solo homer.
Needless to say, Santander has a certain moxie about him that not everyone has. He comes through in the clutch when the team needs a base hit, a run, etc. And that’s a tough thing to find. The O’s are certainly thankful that he’s here as opposed to having to play against him.
All of that said, this ultimately wasn’t the Orioles’ day. Drury’s solo homer in the last of the eighth have Cincinnati the lead back, and ultimately a 3-2 win. The Orioles dropped two-of-three this weekend.
This leaves the Orioles at .500, while Cincinnati’s 40-61. Statistically this is a series the Orioles should have won. Is Cincinnati a better team than the Orioles? No. So thus, is this a step backwards?
I would submit that the answer to that appears to also be no. Look at it from the opposite perspective; did the Orioles ever take two-of-three from a much better team circa 2018-2022? Of course. Heck, last year they swept Washington at home, which ultimately led to Washington ripping their team apart and commencing a rebuild.
And as a reminder, the O’s aren’t totally out of their rebuild yet. This probably isn’t the beginning of their window to win a title. Now it’s certainly a year we’ll point to and say that they turned a corner, but they probably aren’t quite there yet.
All of that said, it’s also about how you match up with another team. You could have the best record in the league, and match up poorly with the mix of players an awful team has. It happens all the time. Now if the Birds lose the straight, maybe this ends up being a step backwards. But you aren’t going to win them all, abs you aren’t always going to win series’ against teams you should beat. That’s just how it works.
The Orioles now head to Globe Light Field to open up a three-game set against Texas. Spencer Watkins gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Jon Gray. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.