The Baltimore Orioles had a rare morning start today against Atlanta. National television will give you strange start times. They Birds sent Tyler Wells to the mound in the series finale, and found themselves in a pitcher’s duel. Wells’ line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
Wells made one bad pitch, and it ended up in the seats. Olson’s solo homer in the last of the first gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead. The Orioles would load the bases in the third and get nothing, but they pushed a run across on Ramon Urias’ RBI-groundout in the fourth.
Overall in the game, the Orioles were 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. That‘a a big problem. However keep in mind that Atlanta had the same sort of stat; it was a pitcher’s duel, after all. The Birds shut Atlanta down with RISP to the tune of 1-for-11. So it goes both ways.
The game went to extra innings, and the O’s immediately took advantage of the ghost runner rule. Anthony Santander’s run-scoring single in the top of the tenth gave the O’s a 2-1 lead. However Atlanta took advantage as well. A Felix Bautista wild pitch tied the game at one in the last of the tenth. Harris would later smack a run-scoring double in the twelfth, walking Atlanta off as 3-2 winners.
The Birds also had Austin Hays as a ghost runner in the top of the 11th. Adam Frazier flew out to right to begin the inning, and Hays tagged up at second to try and take third. And he was thrown out, recording two quick outs.
Everyone applauds aggressiveness in games. No matter what the sport. Obviously it’s great if it works. But sometimes you wonder if the reward is worth the risk. I was shocked that he ran, myself. But that effectively ended the inning (without ending the inning, that is). Sometimes it’s better to stand pat and work towards the result you’re looking for, as opposed to going full force like that. End of the day we’ll never know what would have happened had he not tagged up.
The Birds now return home to take on Tampa after a largely successful road trip (despite how it ended). Kyle Gibson gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Shane McClanahan. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.