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Baltimore Orioles let down by their pitching in Cleveland finale

The Baltimore Orioles and starter Yefry Ramirez were on the ropes early this afternoon. Literally from the first pitch onward. The Birds looked like a team that was looking forward to their flight home more so than they were playing the game that preceded it. And Cleveland looked like a team keen on winning this game before going onto tomorrow. Ramirez’s line: 3.1 IP, 6 H 5 R (4 earned), 4 BB, 3 K.

Ramirez came out of the bullpen to make this start, however what’s unclear is whether or not Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde was inserting Ramirez into the rotation or if this was simply a bullpen game. My personal opinion is that it’a the latter. Either way, Ramirez set the tone for a tough day all-around for the team. Santana’s RBI-single in the first gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead, which ran to 2-0 on Gonzales’s sac fly-RBI.

The game could have ended right at that point and the end result would have been the same. You can’t win if you can’t score runs. And the O’s got nothing off of Cleveland’s starter Bieber – who was outstanding. Bieber struck out 15 Oriole batters overall in the game. But having said that, at a certain point blowout games like these make guys kind of go into auto-drive just to finish the game.

Cleveland would score on a pass ball in the second, and then a solo homer by Perez and an RBI-groundout in the third. At that point Cleveland was well on it’s way to a blowout victory over the Birds in this series finale.

Gabriel Ynoa was tapped to eat a few innings l, and in essence to take one for the team. With the game out of control, Hyde and his coaching staff have to look forward to tomorrow’s game (and the next series). However Ynoa was unable to finish the game, and the O’s had to turn to Miguel Castro to pitch the eighth. And given that he sent Cleveland down 1-2-3, that eighth inning might have been the highlight of the game for the Orioles.

Going back to Ynoa for a moment, he had an out and runners at first and second in the sixth. He induced a comebacker, giving the O’s a golden shot at nailing the lead runner at third base. However Ynoa air mailed the throw, netting Cleveland yet another run. That was the tale of this game for the Orioles.

The O’s will now head home for a short four-game home stand against New York at Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner gets the start tomorrow night for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s J.A. Happ. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles unable to get the bats on track in Cleveland

John Means pitched a decent outing for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon. Or at least an outing that’a more decent than what his numbers say. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 K.

Means did what a starter is supposed to do. He put the team in a good position to win the ballgame. Means struggled a bit in the fifth, which drove his pitch count up. Otherwise odds are he’d probably have gone deeper into the game. He wasn’t pitching poorly.

The O’s got on the board in the fourth inning when Trey Mancini broke a scoreless tie with a solo homer to give the O’s a 1-0 lead. Mancini’s shot was on a line to left field. At first it looked like it wouldn’t have the gumption to get out, but it cleared the wall and the Birds had a lead.

Unfortunately for the Orioles, that lead didn’t last long. Luplow’s two-run homer in the bottom of that fourth inning gave Cleveland a 2-1 lead. It wasn’t a deep shot, but it cleared the wall so it counts.

Lindor’s RBI-single one inning late me extended Cleveland’s lead to 3-1. That ended up chasing Means after the inning, as a Cleveland wore him down. Means has probably been the Orioles’ most impressive starter this year, and this afternoon’s game in a losing effort is no exception.

What hurt the Orioles this afternoon was the silence of their bats more so than anything else. They were 0-for-1 with RISP in the game. That’s a problem on two fronts. First off they couldn’t get a hit with a runner in scoring position. However they also only had one opportunity with a runner in scoring position. Both are problems, although as games go on there are always peaks and valleys. Last night’s game was good in terms of offensive output for the Birds. Tomorrow’s could be as well.

Cleveland would get an insurance run in the eighth on a solo homer by Santana. The good news is that anytime Means or any other pitcher found himself in trouble in this game, they did a great job of minimizing the damage. But that doesn’t do much good when you can’t put runs on the board. But part of the beauty of baseball is that tomorrow is the next opportunity to win a game. However it’ll take more than one hit, which is what the Orioles has today – the Mancini homer.

The series concludes tomorrow at Progressive Field. Yefry Ramirez gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Shane Bieber. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Overcoming an error equals a win

The Baltimore Orioles got a good outing last night out of Dylan Bundy in Cleveland. Remember folks, it begins and ends with starting pitching. While Bundy came one out shy of a quality start last night, he did put the O’s in a spot to win. That’s all you can ask of a starting pitcher. Bundy’a line: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 earned), 3 BB, 7 K.

Bundy was cruising along in this game until he had one out in the second inning. Ramirez reached base on an error by second baseman Jonathan Villar; it was a routine ground ball, which simply went between the wickets. Ramirez would then steal second, and score on Bauers’ run-scoring single. (Because of the error that’s not an RBI-single – the run was unearned.)

That’s the type of play that’s often snowballed on the Orioles this year (and last). However Bundy and the Birds buckled down and refused to allow that one mishap to define who they were in this game. And that’s kind of a big deal. First off they got out of the inning without further damage, and that ended up being the only run the Birds surrendered in the entire game. They put that error behind them and moved on.

And they weren’t trailing for long. Jonathan Villar, who committed the aforementioned error, smacked a three-run homer one inning later in the top of the third. Again, this is a good sign – and not just for the obvious. It showed that Villar himself didn’t let that one mistake define him in this game. Look at it this way; his error led to a run being surrendered. He then directly drove in three runs. That’s a net gain of two!

Stevie Wilkerson‘s solo home run in the fourth extended the Orioles’ lead to 4-1. And the game remained at that score for almost the rest of the way. Wilkerson came up again in the eighth, and smacked an RBI-single to the gap in right center. Wilkerson was later thrown out at second as he tried to advance to second base (on a play that was challenged by Cleveland). However the damage always done, and the O’s had an insurance run…

…an insurance run they in essence didn’t need, however. Oriole pitching was superb last night. And that began with Dylan Bundy. He set the tone, and the bats picked him up also. However had the O’s hung their head after that error early in the game, I suspect things would have ended quite differently.

The series continues this afternoon at Progressive Field. John Means gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Adam Plutko. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Is Brandon Hyde mismanaging the Oriole ‘pen?

Baltimore Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde spent a lot more time on the field tonight than he intended. By that, I mean he changed pitchers a lot, beginning with starter Dan Straily. Was Straily however lifted too early, and did that set the tone for the game? Straily’s line: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K.

Straily gave up a solo homer in the first to Kipnis, however the Birds took the lead in the second at 2-1 on Rio Ruiz‘s two-run homer. Trey Mancini would extend the lead to 5-1 in the third, and for a moment it appeared that the Birds were going for a rout. However two RBI-singles in the third would cut that lead to 5-3 and one in the fourth would cut the Birds’ lead to 5-4.

Straily came out to pitch the fourth, however was lifted after pitching to one hitter. Hyde turned to Ynoa, who proceeded to give up a three-run homer to Kipnis – his second of the game. But more importantly, the O’s trailed. That set a certain tone for the rest of the game.

I’ve noticed about Brandon Hyde that he has a quick hook. He doesn’t leave pitchers out there under any circumstances if they’re not getting the job done. But is that the right thing? Managing a bullpen isn’t easy – I’m not going to pretend that it is. But Hyde went through four relievers tonight. Who knows how things would have gone had he not done so, but the fact is that he blows through relievers with ease. Is that wrong? Not necessarily. But it’s certainly not working out – yet.

The saving grace is that Stevie Wilkerson gave the Birds the lead back in the fifth with a two-RBI double. However Cleveland came back in the sixth. But Cleveland would tie it again in the sixth when Kipnis grounded into a run-scoring double play. Santana’s RBI-single, and Martin’s two-RBI single would turn it into a two run-inning.

And Cleveland added on from there, often on Oriole mistakes. This while Brandon Hyde continues changing pitchers. Again, is it possible that he isn’t good at managing things as such?

The answer is that I don’t know. Buck Showalter was great at managing a bullpen. But you can’t judge a young manager against someone of Showalter’s stature. However Hyde’s a rookie manager; if he is mismanaging the bullpen, it’s probably out of lack of experience. This isn’t to say that Cleveland and their 14 runs tonight was the direct result of poor managing overall. It’s a thankless job in a sense. And there’s no magic bullet for managing the ‘pen.

So is it fair of me to ask questions? Absolutely. Is it fair to say that things need to improve? For sure. But for the record, many other things occurred in this game. And sometimes you just have to tip your cap. If part of the issue in some losses is Hyde and his bullpen management, there’s every chance that will improve in time. You have to give people a chance to grow into their roles.

The series continues tomorrow night at Progressive Field. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Jeffry Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles, Andrew Cashner fall in pitcher’s duel

Andrew Cashner did exactly what he was supposed to do tonight for the Baltimore Orioles. He put the Birds in a great position to win, and to split a doubleheader with New York. Only problem was that New York’s starter German pitched an equally good start. And Oriole bates just couldn’t get what they needed in the way of a clutch hit. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K.

Cashner of course is credited with a quality start. However both he and the Orioles would trade that for a victory. However to the victors go the spoils.

Voit’s RBI-double in the third inning gave New York a 1-0 lead. One inning later the Orioles’ bugaboo reared it’s ugly head: the home run ball. And after hitting two homers in the first game this afternoon, it was once again Torres (with a solo shot).

The Orioles did threaten in the fifth, and got on the board on a sac fly-RBI by Hanser Alberto. That fifth inning was shaping up nicely for the Birds, and it could have been even bigger. However Pedro Severino took a called third strike that should have been ball four.

That didn’t end the inning, but it changed the momentum of the inning. Replays backed up the fact that the ball was way outside. However that one blown call turned the inning, and allowed New York to reign itself in. Voit would add an additional RBI-single in the last of the seventh, and New York took the night cap as well from the Orioles by the score of 3-1.

The O’s will be happy to get out of NYC, where they sat through a lengthy rain delay on Monday, had another rainout on Tuesday, and then dropped both ends of a doubleheader today. They probably feel that it’s time to move on. Next stop: Cleveland.

The Birds will open a four-game set with the Tribe tomorrow evening at Progressive Field. Dan Straily gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.

Baltimore Orioles, David Hess bitten by the long ball

The Baltimore Orioles dropped the first leg of a twin bill at Yankee Stadium this afternoon. David Hess got the start, and with mixed results. Hess pitched a solid enough six innings, and within that six he pitched a few 1-2-3 innings. However he was hurt by the long ball. Hess’ Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 6 K.

Hess gave up four homers on the afternoon. That’s not going to be conducive to winning a game. The good news however was that the Birds’ offense kept up. For the most part.

The Orioles actually had a lead in this game – a couple of times. Trey Mancini smacked a two-out solo home run in the first inning. The put the Orioles on the board, and set the tone for the game. Sanchez would tie the game in the last of the first with a solo home run of his own.

However an inning later Austin Wynns smacked an RBI-double, and the O’s had the lead back at 2-1. However the story of this game was New York’s homers off of Hess. Torres sent a solo shot over the wall in the last of the second, followed by Maybin’s solo homer. At which point NY led the Orioles 3-2.

Eduardo Nunez briefly tied the game in the fourth with a solo homer of his own, but Torres still had to come to bat again in the bottom of that fourth inning. He smacked a two-run homer, which gave New York the lead back at 4-3. Later in the inning they were able to score in a non-homer manner, on an RBI-single by Tauchman.

The good news for the O’s is that they kept New York off the board for the remainder of the game. Hess took over the major league lead in number of home runs surrendered in this game. Not exactly the list on which you want to be the leader. However other than the homers, Hess actually looked fairly decent. That has to be one of the takeaways from this game.

Another should also be that in pitching six innings (and with Brandon Kline pitching the sixth and seventh), Hess was able to help the Orioles save the bullpen for the second game. That’s always a concern in these doubleheaders.

Game two of this doubleheader is later this evening at Yankee Stadium. Andrew Cashner gets the call for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Domingo German. Game time is set for just after 6::30 PM. (Before the first game New York announced that the second game would start no earlier than that time; this as opposed to normally in a straight doubleheader when the second game starts 25 minutes after the completion of the first.)

Baltimore Orioles rained out again!

The Baltimore Orioles should be praising the New York Yankees and MLB this afternoon/evening. They came to a decision to post phone tonight’s game before making the teams and fans wait through a ridiculous rain delay and so forth. The players and coaches certainly wish that had been the case last night!

Last night’s game of course will be made up tomorrow afternoon in the first game of a straight doubleheader. Normally I give the starting pitchers of course, however that’s unclear for both teams given tonight’s rain out and the fact that there are two games tomorrow. Game time is set for 3 PM at Yankee Stadium, with game two set to begin approximately 25-30 minutes after the completion of the first game. (Both teams will also get a 26th roster player for the second game.)

Baltimore Orioles the victims of weather once again

You’re liable to see something new in baseball everyday, and in fact I saw something I had never seen before this evening with the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx. It rained in NY all day, and more rain is expected tomorrow. The New York Yankees announced that the game would start at 7:45 PM.

But that never happened; the field itself was still soaked. The managers, umpires, grounds crew, etc. got together on the field several times over the course of an hour or so. It appeared that they were actively trying to play the game, although the field conditions seemed to indicate that wasn’t possible.

The game was officially canceled at approximately 8:45 PM – one hour after they thought they’d be able to start the game. However this was just a bizarre scene; the coaches walking the field and nobody seeming to know what was going on. At various points Oriole coaches looked incredibly frustrated; almost as if they felt their hands were being tied and they were being forced to play despite the field conditions. It took a bit of time, but the right decision was eventually made.

The game will be made up on Wednesday as part of a single-admission doubleheader. This is the third time this year the O’s will have gone through that routine, however the first game will begin at 3 PM. The second one will commence approximately 25 minutes after the completion of the first one.

As of now, tomorrow’s game is expected to be played at Yankee Stadium. David Hess gets moved into tomorrow’s starting slot for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s J.A. Happ. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Is Chris Davis starting to return to form?

Baltimore Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis is hitting .263 in his past seven games. That might sound lackluster for a guy who led the league in homers just a few short years ago, but this is Davis about whom we’re talking – his struggles have been well-documented. Certainly Orioles’ starter John Means appreciates his effort this afternoon – especially after a two hour and 45 minute rain delay to even get the game started. Means’ line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K.

For the record, Means is a keeper for the Orioles in the midst of this rebuild. Granted he’s still inexperienced, however speaking for myself I’m seeing something in him that’s an intangible and hard to find. He has grit, and he doesn’t give in. He’s not afraid to have the ball put in play, which is a quality Orioles fans haven’t seen in a young starter for some time. If he plays his cards right, Means could be the organization’s next great pitcher.

Chris Davis got the Birds started this afternoon with a solo homer in the second inning. Later in the inning Stevie Wilkerson followed suit, and the Birds held a 2-1 lead. The only mistake that Means made was in the third, as Trout smacked a solo homer to cut the Orioles’ lead to 2-1. However Trout is a once in a generation talent, so you all but give him a pass on that. However as I said, Means isn’t afraid to have the ball put in play. His attitude is I’m going to give you everything I have; if you beat me, you beat me.

The good news was that the Orioles as a team didn’t allow that solo home run to beat them. I put it like that because while the O’s never trailed in this game, sometimes something like that can swing a game. The Birds had the intestinal fortitude not to let that happen. They got a two-run homer from Dwight Smith Jr. in the last of the third, and a two-run shot from Pedro Severino in the sixth. This capped off a 5-1 Orioles’ win, salvaging two victories on a tough home stand.

It is noteworthy that Chris Davis is starting to get his stroke back. The fact that he fell as far as he did is still tough to explain. But somehow he seems to be coming out of that elongated slump, which lasted over several seasons. A lot least for now, it appears that’s the case.

I’m not sure that it’s feasible to think that Davis could ever be the feared hitter he was a few years ago once again. Anything’s possible, however that comment has as much to do with age as anything else. But Davis hit cleanup this afternoon for the first time in 2019, and as I said he’s trending upwards. If he can simply be a solid hitter who’s capable of hitting-for-power here and there, that would help the Birds’ offense leaps and bounds.

The O’s now head out on the road and will open a three-game set against New York in Yankee Stadium tomorrow evening. David Hess gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Jonathan Loaisiga. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Did a lack of situational hitting doom the Birds?

The Baltimore Orioles fell 7-2 to Anaheim this afternoon in the middle game of a three-game set. Dylan Bundy got the start, with mixed results. One could argue that Bundy out the Birds in a spot to win early, at least before the game blew up on them in the sixth inning (after Bundy had departed). Bundy’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K.

The O’s found themselves down early, as Pujols smacked a two-run homer in the first inning. However the Orioles tied the game back up at two almost immediately, as Dwight Smith Jr. hit a two-run shot of his own in the bottom of the inning. And Bundy settled down a bit after that, incidentally with a nice shut down inning in the second following the Smith homer.

If you watched the game or if you look at the line score, it appears that the sixth inning won the game for Anaheim. And in fact, that was certainly the big inning. But make no mistake that the seeds of this loss for the Orioles were lain in the last of the third. Yes, while the O’s were at bat.

The Birds led the inning off with two singles, giving them two on and nobody out. Rio Ruiz came to the plate, in a situation that screamed for a bunt. Ruiz, being a lefty, could have easily dragged one down the first base line, possibly even for a base hit. But more importantly that would have put two runners in scoring position, giving the O’s a shot at taking the lead, and perhaps even at a big inning. Instead, Ruiz swung away, and ended up striking out. Anaheim would later pitch out of the inning.

The O’s let them off the hook in a sense, due to either an unwillingness or a lack of an ability to bunt. Ruiz works on his bunting everyday. It was intriguing to me to watch, because Anaheim seemed to know that the situational hitting was poor for the Orioles – the first baseman played back. Basically had Ruiz gotten a bunt down, he had a golden chance to actually reach base safely.

This is part of learning and thus part of the rebuilding process. However you have to play to the scoreboard, and the Orioles didn’t really do that in that moment. A bunt and a base hit would have given them a two-run lead. Heck, a bunt and a sac fly would have given them a one-run lead. So…why swing away?

Without fail, Anaheim held the Orioles accountable almost immediately for the O’s not holding them (Anaheim) accountable. Pujols smacked a second homer, this one a solo shot. That gave them the lead, which they never surrendered. They went onto put up three in the sixth, and one more in the ninth.

You have to hold teams accountable for their mistakes. Because other teams are certainly holding the Orioles accountable. There’s no guarantee that runs would have scored back in the third had Rio Ruiz bunted. The ends could have very well been the same. But you have to think ahead in the game and ask yourself if you’ll ever have this opportunity again in the game. And for the Orioles at least, that generally isn’t happening. If they utilized situational hitting better, they’d have a better record than they do.

The series with Anaheim and the home stand conclude tomorrow at Camden Yards. John Means gets the call for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Anaheim’s Griffin Canning Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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