Archive for the ‘ Game Recaps ’ Category

Baltimore Orioles cough up big lead

Toronto’s always been a bit of a bugaboo for the Baltimore Orioles. No matter what the stakes, circumstances, or odds, they seem to find a way to beat the Birds. Dylan Bundy got the start last night, and put the Orioles in a spot to win. Bundy’s line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 8 K.

The O’s took an early 2-0 lead in the first two RBI-doubles; one by Rio Ruiz, and the other by Austin Hays. Toronto immediately cut that lead in half in the second on Bichette’s RBI-single. But in terms of scoring, we didn’t hear from Toronto again for awhile.

Trey Mancini‘s two-RBI double in the second extended the lead to 4-1. The Birds then proceeded to get homers in the fourth from Jonathan Villar and Anthony Santander, and when the smoke cleared they led 7-1. Seemed like a safe lead, right? Not against Toronto.

Bichette tacked on a run with an RBI-single in the sixth. However a seventh inning three-run homer by Hernandez should have put the Orioles on alert that Toronto wasn’t going away. In truth, it did.

The O’s tacked on two runs on sac flies in the seventh and eighth. So if you’re an Orioles fan you’ve seen the Birds all but take their foot off the gas, allow Toronto back into the game, and then tack on a couple more runs to extend their lead back to four. But there was one problem…

…Toronto put up six runs in the ninth to take the lead. Including a dramatic grand slam by Grichuk. The Birds would tack on one more in the ninth, but ended up falling 11-10.

Toronto usually finds a way against the Orioles. It’s almost uncanny how much they have the Orioles’ number. Last night they came back from a six-run deficit. It just doesn’t matter how tough things look, they find a way against the Orioles.

The series concludes tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Gabriel Ynoa gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Wilmer Font. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Mental lapse haunts Birds late

The Baltimore Orioles claimed Chandler Shepherd off of waivers earlier this year. They called him to the majors last night to start against Toronto. It was a so-so outing, and one in which he was in essence on a pitch count. Shepherd’s line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

Trey Mancini gave the Orioles the lead in the first inning with a two-run homer in the last of the first. It was Mancini’s 34th home run of the season. It’s undeniable that Mancini’s had such a great year, and it stands to reason to me that he’ll be voted the Most Valuable Oriole for 2019. Just a prediction – obviously you never know.

Toronto bounced right back in the second with a solo homer by Grichuck, that cut the Orioles’ lead in half at 2-1. The issue was that one inning later Biggio smacked a two-run homer which gave Toronto the lead at 3-2.

But once again it was Mancini who brought the Orioles back. His sac fly-RBI in the fifth tied the game at three. Two innings later, Mancini gave them the lead back. His RBI-single in the seventh put the Birds ahead 4-3.

The Orioles brought Shawn Armstrong onto pitch the eighth in a setup role. He recorded a quick out, before allowing Biggio aboard with a double. However that didn’t immediately indicate doom for Armstrong and the Orioles, as Armstrong’s pitched out of numerous jams since joining the Birds. And what happened tonight aside, I think he’s a keeper going into spring training next year.

However Armstrong allowed Biggio to time him in a sense. Biggio timed his timing to home plate, and was able to successfully steal third base. He later scored on Gurriel’s sac fly-RBI. And the game was tied.

Those are the types of things that the Orioles need to work on. As close as most games are (they had a one-run lead which was in essence surrendered on that play), that’s the type of thing that can make a huge difference. Again this isn’t to say that Armstrong doesn’t have a spot with the Orioles moving forward – because I think he does. It’s just something that he has to work on.

Unfortunately for the O’s, Toronto our four runs up in the ninth inning. Jonathan Villar smacked a solo homer in the last of the ninth, but it was too little too late. The Birds fell to Toronto on this night, 8-5.

The series continues tomorrow at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Clay Buchholtz. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles show that unwritten codes are alive and well

John Means had his struggles this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles’ series finale in Detroit. Call it a so-so start, in the wrap-around game of a four-game set. Means’ line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

Means gave up a two-run homer to Mercer in the first. And in reality, Detroit never really looked back. Reyes would double in two runs in the fifth, giving Detroit a 4-0 lead.

Trey Mancini would smack his 33rd homer of the season in the top of the sixth, which cut the Detroit lead to 4-1. A half inning later in the last of the sixth Lugo would tack on a sac fly-RBI, and Austin Hays‘ RBI-single in the seventh cut the lead to 5-2. The O’s would load the bases in the ninth, however Mancini would strike out to end the game, sending the O’s down to defeat by the score of 5-2.

They split this wrap-around series with Detroit, two games a piece. Therefore Detroit still has a worse record than the Orioles, which is fine by them. Make no mistake that while some fans think it’s funny or fashionable to want to finish dead last to get the top pick in the draft, the players and coaches take issue with that attitude. You want to win as many games as you can.

This game did have a brief controversial moment towards the end. Renato Nunez was hit by a pitch on the hand in the eighth inning. Nunez would eventually exit the game, and x-rays were negative. However he didn’t appear happy about the HBP.

In the last of that eighth inning the Orioles’ Ryan Eades hit Detroit’s leadoff hitter. Both benches were warned. As it turned out, there was no further conflict in the game.

Was that a purpose pitch? Needless to say, it looked suspicious. But if it was keep in mind that it was a matter of Eades thinking that Nunez shouldn’t have been hit, and taking up for his teammate. We can argue until we’re blue in the face that the game’s unwritten rules are good or bad. But the fact is that they exist – like it or not.

People often take about players needing to just scrap these unwritten codes. I have no issue with them – the game polices itself. However there’s only one way to totally get people to stop hitting opposition players intentionally: make ANY HBP an automatic ejection. And I can guarantee you the players association would never allow that, as the fact is that sometimes players get hit. Sometimes pitches innocently have pitches get away from them. That happens, and guys would end up getting tossed for it.

So unless you’re willing to take draconian measures like that (which would never fly), baseball’s unwritten codes are here to stay. They’re part of the fabric and the present of the game – like it or not.

The Orioles now head home to open their final home stand of the season against Toronto at Camden Yards. The O’s haven’t yet named a starter, while Trent Thornton will start for Toronto. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles prompted to victory by Hanser Alberto’s squeeze

The Baltimore Orioles handed Asher Wojchiekowski the baseball this afternoon in the Motor City, and got exactly what they needed. They got a starter who put them in a position to win the game. And in the process they’re finding out more and more that Wojciechowski could be a keeper going into next year. Wojchiekowski’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Detroit took an early 1-0 lead on Wojchiekowski and the Birds, on an RBI-double by Mercer in the last of the first. However an inning later the O’s bounced back and tied it on DJ Stewart‘s RBI-single. Detroit briefly had the lead back on Greiner’s RBI-single in the last of the second. But the Orioles weren’t about to let this one get away from them after blowing two late leads and losing in walk off fashion in the twelfth last night.

They took control for good in the third. Hanser Alberto tied it with an RBI-single. The great thing about that was that it was a bunt RBI-single. The Orioles put on the squeeze play and Alberto bunted for a base hit. And…it worked!

And as I’ve been saying all year, sometimes things happen when you get traffic on the base paths. Because later in the inning with two runners on, Rio Ruiz stepped to the plate and smacked a three-run homer. That gave the Orioles the lead for good at 5-2.

Jonathan Villar‘s two-RBI single in the sixth rain the score to 7-2, however the game was interrupted by a 40 minute rain delay as some storms passed over Detroit. But the O’s didn’t let up once play resumed. In fact, they racked on an insurance run. Anthony Santander‘s RBI-single in the eighth ran the final to 8-2.

The Alberto squeeze play was the catalyst for the win. That’s a play on which the Orioles normally aren’t able to deliver. However it’s possible that the fundamentals that the coaching staff have been preaching all season are finally starting to kick in. While many fans will say that’s too little too late, it helps the O’s going into spring training next year. It’s a rebuild; the future is everything.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at Comerica Park. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Tyler Alexander. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Nibbling doesn’t work

The Baltimore Orioles sent Gabriel Ynoa to the mound this evening in Detroit, although he ended up being one of many. One of many in a twelve inning game, that is. Ynoa’s line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

Ynoa yielded Castro’s solo homer in the third, giving Detroit a 1-0 lead. After Ynoa has left the game Reyes’ RBI-single in the fifth extended the lead to 2-0. And at various points it appeared that’s how the game was going to end. Boy was that an incorrect prediction.

That 2-0 Detroit lead held until the top of the eighth. The Birds got two runners on, and Trey Mancini strode to the plate. And Mancini smacked a three-run homer into the stands. That gave the O’s a 3-2 lead in later innings.

However that lead wasn’t about to hold either. Reyes came to the plate once again with Detroit down to their final out. And Reyes sent a pop fly to right, which just barely made it over the fence for a solo game-tying homer. Was it a cheapie? Yes. But it still counts.

The game went to the twelfth, where Rio Ruiz gave the Orioles the lead back with an RBI-single. The Orioles were in good shape, but they still needed to close out the twelfth inning. Detroit had to hit again.

Michigan native Paul Fry walked a batter, recorded an out, and then gave up a double to put two runners in scoring position. He then intentionally walked a guy to load the bases and set up a double-play. The Orioles then turned to Ryan Eades.

Eades struggles from the get-go. He walked away in a run to tie the game on four straight pitches. There went the Orioles’ lead. He then gave up a game-winning walk off grand slam to Detroit’s Hicks, which sent the O’s to defeat.

Eades didn’t have the eye of the tiger from the beginning. He tried to nibble his way into outs. This is part of why being a big league pitcher is so tough; you don’t want to get too much of the plate, but you just can’t nibble. All that does is record balls and drive your pitch count up.

Fry took the loss, but make no mistake that the game was lost when a Eades started nibbling. Now it’s also a team effort – you can’t put it all on one guy. The Orioles lost the lead in one other occasion in the game as well. But nibbling shows no confidence, and it’s a sure way to help your opponent in getting more confidence.

The series continues tomorrow at Comerica Park. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Edwin Jackson. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles are better year-over-year

The Baltimore Orioles came into tonight’a game in Detroit with 47 wins on the year – which is where they finished 2018. So behind starter Aaron Brooks tonight, they had an opportunity to cement themselves as better than they were last season. Brooks’ line: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 0 K.

Trey Mancini got the Orioles on the board off the bat with an RBI-single in the first inning. The lead remained at 1-0 through the fifth inning, when DJ Stewart smacked a two-run home run. Mason Williams‘ RBI-groundout would tack on an additional run later in the inning. And with that, the Birds took a 4-0 lead.

Two RBI-singles in the last of the fifth got Detroit on the board. Those RBI-singles also cut the Orioles’ lead in half at 4-2. But the Orioles weren’t done.

Trey Mancini smacked a two-run homer in the seventh gave the Orioles a couple of weeks insurance runs, and ran the final score to 6-2. Incidentally for what it’s worth, nearby Pontiac, MI native Pail Fry pitched a scoreless seventh for the Birds, striking out two. Fry’s parents were in attendance at tonight’s game, and their son didn’t disappoint when getting the opportunity to pitch in his hometown. As I’ve said before, that has to be a thrill for players.

And with that, the Orioles have 48 wins on the year. Not anywhere near the threshold the organization will eventually demand of manager Brandon Hyde and his players. However in the here and now, bettering your mark from the previous year will do.

Make no mistake that there’ll be nobody popping champagne because the Birds won more games this year than they did last year. But when you’re rebuilding you have to celebrate and take the good along with the bad. I think that this does mean a lot, contrary to what some people (including Brandon Hyde) say.

Before the season I said that success in 2019 would resemble winning more games than they did in 2018. The Orioles have now done that. Even if they don’t win another game this year (doubtful), that means something. Or at least it should – to both players and fans.

The series continues tomorrow night at Comerica Park. Gabriel Ynoa gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Daniel Norris. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: To the victors go the spoils

Dylan Bundy pitched another decent game for the Baltimore Orioles again this evening. He battled and then battled more. That’s what you want out of a starting pitcher. That’s what you want out of any player. Means’ line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (two earned) 2 BB, 6 K.

The Orioles drew a walk and had to HBP’s in the first to load the bases. Austin Hays would then walk with the bases loaded, giving the O’s a 1-0 lead. However an RBI-single by Lux in the second would tie the game at one. But the Orioles took the lead back in the fifth with a solo homer by Pedro Severino.

After that, things got strange. First off, Rio Ruiz allowed the bases to get loaded with a fielding error in the sixth, bringing Martin to the plate (with two outs). Martin appeared to offer at a two-strike pitch, but on appeal first base umpire Jim Wolf said he checked in time. That kept the at-bat alive.

Bundy then proceeded to strike Bundy out swinging, which in theory preserved the Orioles’ lead. However Severino let the ball go right by him behind the plate, and it went to the backstop. Not one, but two runs scored on a passed ball. An oddity for sure.

The check swing is a judgement call. Plays as such also happen very quickly. Umpires have to make snap decisions. However the Orioles’ dugout was up in arms when that call was made. As was Dylan Bundy.

And that may well have made him dig just a little deeper to strike Martin out. However that extra sauce on the ball may well have led to Severino’s passed ball, which lost the game for the Orioles. Mind you folks, it’s never one thing that causes a win or loss. It’s the sum of the parts. But those two things stand out in this game.

I don’t believe that quirky things like that are gifted to you when you’re a “good team” such as Los Angeles. It would be ludicrous to suggest that. But good teams bound for the playoffs always take advantage of the opportunities they’ve been given. The game’s based on failure – either the hitter or pitcher is going to fail. And again, a good team will take advantage of your failures.

The O’s now head to Detroit for a four-game set at Comerica Park. Aaron Brooks gets the call for the O’s tomorrow, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Jordan Zimmerman. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles equal 2018

With tonight’s win, the Baltimore Orioles equaled their 2018 mark of 47 wins. They did it tonight behind a fine effort by John Means. He tamed one of the best lineups in baseball for all intents and purposes. Means’ line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K

Dwight Smith Jr’s RBI-double gave the O’s a 1-0 lead in the last of the second. And that lead held up until the sixth when Pollock smacked a two-run homer. Los Angeles is one of the best teams in baseball; you can’t totally shut them down.

However the Birds weren’t going to be stopped. Dwight Smith provides an additional RBI-single in the bottom of that second inning to tie the game at two. Right when it looked like we might end up in extra innings, Oriole bats came to life.

Jonathan Villar gave the Orioles the lead back in the seventh. He hit a no doubter into the stands, which opened up a 5-2 lead for the O’s. The record will also show forevermore that Villar hit the 6,106th home run of the 2019 big league season – a new major league record. Again, forevermore the record will show that said record was broken by an Oriole.

Pedro Severino would add a two-run shot in the eighth, and LA would add a run in the ninth. However when all was said and done, the Orioles had a 7-3 victory. Their 47th of the year.

As I said, that ties last year’s win total. My goal at the beginning of the season was for the Orioles to win more games than they did in 2018. So tonight they equaled that mark. Incidentally, they only reached 47 wins on the last day of the season last year.

The prevailing odds are that they’ll achieve my goal. Many people say that’s setting the bar too low. Maybe it is. But at the end of the day they’ll be able to say they did better year-over-year. And that’s an important sentiment to take into spring training next year.

The series with Los Angeles concludes tomorrow evening at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by LA’s Rich Hill (himself a former Oriole). Game time is set for approximately 7:15 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Outdone by a contender

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Ty Blach found himself grossly overmatched this evening. However that’s true of the entire Orioles squad up against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With their win tonight, Los Angeles clinched the NL West Division crown.

Bellinger’s RBI-single in the first inning got things going early on. LA would later put two runners on with Seaver coming to the plate. And Seager’s three-run homer opened the game up wide in the first inning with the O’s trailing 4-0.

The third inning would bring Seager back up to bat, and with that another home run. Seager’s two-run homer ran the score to 6-0. Lux’s solo shot in the fifth topped things off at 7-0.

The Orioles would get on the board in the eighth when DJ Stewart would smack his first homer of the season. But perhaps the best thing you can say about these Orioles is that they keep playing regardless of the situation. Renato Nunez‘s RBI-single in the eighth, combined with an errant throw, cut the lead to 7-3.

As I’ve said previously, you get people on base and things can happen. Even against a team as good as Los Angeles. The O’s were far outmatched this evening by a team in serious contention. But it also gives the O’s something to shoot for. Their aim and their belief is that they’ll get back to that stage at some point down the line.

As I said, this game was Los Angeles’ clincher for their division. With the win, they’re NL West Champions. So the normal array of champagne, beer, etc. was wheeled into the visitors’ clubhouse at Camden Yards this evening for their use. Now their goal will be to win a World Series.

The series continues tomorrow night with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Los Angeles’ Ross Stripling. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles swept away by Texas

The Baltimore Orioles gave the ball to Asher Wojchiekowski in this afternoon’s series finale in Texas. And unfortunately, the net result was about the same as what we had been seeing in the first three games of this series. Wojciechowski’s line: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

RBI-singles in the first and second innings gave Texas a 2-0 lead. The backbreaker for Wojciechowski was Solak’s two-RBI single later in the second inning. And that ended Wojciechowski’s day.

The O’s however did try to make a run of things. Renato Nunez smacked a solo homer in the last of the second to get the Orioles on the board. However Texas just kept piling on run after run. Solo homers in the third and fourth innings gave Texas a 6-1 lead. Pedro Severino‘s RBI-double would cut it to 6-2.

Again however, Texas kept piling runs on. When the smoke cleared, they beat the Orioles 10-4 this afternoon. This while sweeping this series at Camden Yards.

Obviously you never want to get swept at home, but this series gave the Birds a chance to see some additional players that might make a difference going into spring training next year. Part of rebuilding is the evaluation process. And the O’s have their work cut out for them.

%d bloggers like this: