Archive for the ‘ Game Recaps ’ Category

Baltimore Orioles haunted by unearned runs

This entire season has been one where the Baltimore Orioles have had little margin for error. Heck even when everything goes perfectly, sometimes they still can’t get things right. But mistakes lead to unearned runs, which add up.

David Hess pitched four solid innings this afternoon in the finale with Colorado at Coors Field. Hess’ line: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R (4 earned), 1 BB, 6 K. The Birds even spotted him a run, on Austin Wynns‘ sac bunt in the second inning. A run scored on an errant throw, and the Orioles led 1-0.

As I said, Hess pitched four solid innings. The fifth inning he started to have a few struggles. Hess’ pitch count wasn’t elevated, however the light air in Denver can tire people out quicker. One way or the other, Colorado figures him out in that sixth inning. Marquez, Hess’ pitcher counterpart, drove in a run on a squeeze bunt. Hess made an errant throw home, and the game was tied.

Hess worked out of the inning, however he had already shown his vulnerability. Arenado smacked yet another homer against Oriole pitching in the next inning, this of the two-run variety. Colorado led 3-1. That lead extended to 5-1 when Marquez smacked a two-RBI triple. Pitching against the opposing pitcher is generally thought of as easy. Apparently not for David Hess.

However the Birds battled back. Jonathan Villar smacked an RBI-single in the seventh, which was followed by a sac fly-RBI later in the inning by Dwight Smith Jr. Renato Nunez‘s RBI-single brought the O’s to within one at 5-4, however Murphy’s run scoring-single in the bottom of the seventh extended the Colorado lead back to two at 6-4.

But again, the Orioles battled back once again. Keon Broxton, who made quite an impression in his first weekend with the Orioles, smacked an RBI-double in the eighth, followed by Trey Mancini‘s two-RBI triple. But Colorado got to bat last in the ninth, and Desmond walked in the tying run. Wolters’ sac fly-RBI then gave Colorado an 8-7 walk off victory against the O’s.

I mentioned Hess’ errant throw in the fourth inning which allowed a run. On the aforementioned Murphy run scoring-single, the run scored because of an errant throw by Renato Nunez. These two mistakes both led to runs. And given that the Orioles lost by two, that kind of stands out.

But it’s never just one or two things. Oriole pitchers were also afraid to throw fastballs in the strike zone. They tried to pound the inside corners with sliders, which led to a bases-loaded situation. Colorado hitters got very patient in the ninth inning, and it cost the Orioles the game.

The Birds now come home for a quick turnaround game tomorrow afternoon on Memorial Day against Detroit at Camden Yards. 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 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles snap seven-game losing streak in Colorado

The Baltimore Orioles snapped a seven-game losing streak with their victory last night against Colorado at Coors Field. Andrew Cashner ironically has had better stat lines. But in losing efforts. Cashner’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 5 K.

Renato Núñez and Jonathan Villar put the Birds on the board in the first inning with RBI-singles. Colorado would get on the board also in the first with an RBI-double from Arenado. But in the third Núñez would smack a solo homer to give the Birds a 3-1 lead. It was Nunez’s fourth homer in as many games.

However Colorado uses the dimensions of it.’a home park to it.’a advantage. And they also have the benefit of having a slugger like Arenado. The ball flies out of Coors Field, and fast – none quicker than Arenado’s three-run shot in the last of the third. This gave Colorado a brief lead at 4-3.

But the Orioles came right back. Hanser Alberto‘s RBI-single In the fourth inning tied the game at four. That brought Villar back to the plate, and he promptly deposited the Orioles into the driver’s seat for the rest of the game with a three-run homer. And the Birds took a 7-4 lead.

Colorado would pull to within one later in the game, but that would be too little too late. Stevie Wilkerson and Dwight Smith Jr. would add RBI-singles in the seventh which acted as insurance runs. And the O’s snapped a seven-game losing steak in style, with a 9-6 win at Coors Field.

The issue going into the series finale of course still remains the Birds’ propensity to give up the long ball, and Coors Field’s apparent ability to surrender them. If they can find a way to keep the ball in the ballpark for this afternoon’s series finale, they’ll have a golden opportunity to win the series.

The series concludes tomorrow at Coors Field in Denver. David Hess gets the fall for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Colorado’s German Marquez. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall on walk off homer

John Means started for the Baltimore Orioles at Coors Field last night, and turned in his normal great effort. He didn’t last as long in the game as he has in previous starts, but Coors Field can do that to a pitcher who’s. It used to pitching there. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

The O’s trailed early in the game as Arenado smacked a solo homer in the last of the first. But they got back on track quickly. Newly acquired center fielder Keon Broxton got the O’s on the board in the second. In fact, he gave them the lead. He smacked a two-run homer and the Birds led 2-1.

Normally players don’t come to the Orioles and immediately pay dividends like that. In fact, usually it’s the opposite. The fact that Broxton came in and immediately made an impact is a good sign for the O’s.

Later in that second inning Pedro Severino smacked an RBI-double which extended the Orioles’ lead to 3-1. One inning later Dwight Smith Jr’s solo homer made it 4-1. These home runs are good signs for the O’s for sure. However one does have to take into account that this game was played in Coors Field in Denver. Camden Yards is a hitters park which surrenders a lot of homers. Coors Field is even more so. With the air in Denver being so thin, the ball can really sail.

Jonathan Villar‘s fourth inning RBI-double ran the lead to 5-1. However in a park like Coors Field, no lead is truly safe. Colorado started to fight back. They netted two runs off of an RBI-single and an RBI-double in the last of the fourth. While the O’s also produced an additional home run (from Núñez) in the seventh, it wouldn’t be enough.

Colorado would tie the game at six in the last of the seventh with two home runs. The game looked destined for extra innings. However as we know, the home team hits last. Story’s homer in the last of the ninth walked Colorado off winners, and the Orioles fell 7-6.

The series continues this evening at Coors Field. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Colorado’s Kyle Freeland. Game time is set for just after 9 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Hoodwinked Part II?

The Baltimore Orioles didn’t roll over for NY in this afternoon’s series finale. It looked like they might have at first, but they got their act together behind Dylan Bundy‘s effort, which put the Birds in a spot to win the game. Bundy’s line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

Richie Martin gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the second when he grounded into a force out allowing a run to score. NY would strike back on a solo homer by Frazier in the fifth. That tied the game at one, however one inning later New York would take a 3-1 lead on a two-RBI single by Urshela, which chased Bundy.

Romine’s seventh inning RBI-single and Voit’s eight inning homer put New York ahead 5-1. Things didn’t look so good for the O’s, however they got on the board again in the last of the eighth on an RBI-single by Trey Mancini. The O’s proceeded to put two more runners on base, bringing Renato Nunez to the plate…

…and Nunez didn’t disappoint. He smacked a three-run homer, tying the game up at five. This was exactly the type of spark for which the O’s had been looking for some time. It was late-game heroics, and perhaps a precursor to Orioles Magic, at it’s best. The O’s were in business…or where they?

Mychal Givens came in to pitch the ninth, and recorded two quick outs. Things appeared to be setting up nicely perhaps for a walk off Oriole win. Then NY pinch hit Torres, who had done so much damage to the Orioles already. The good news was that they kept him in the ballpark. The bad news was that he walked.

That walk set up a sequence that involved New York loading the bases, and Hicks walking in the go-ahead and eventual winning run. Givens all but came unglued in a sense with the game on the line. At least that’s how it looked on paper.

The 2-2 pitch to Torres was borderline at best. In saying that I mean that it appeared to be strike three. Givens was already walking back to the dugout, expecting ol’ blue to ring Torres up. I think even Torres thought it was strike three. But the only guy at Camden Yards who thought it was ball three was home plate umpire Jim Reynolds. There wasn’t one person at Oriole Park at Camden Yards who wasn’t shocked when Reynolds called ball three.

Obviously it’s easy to suggest that Givens has to have better control than that. But he also did everything except strike Torres out. In reality, he did strike him out in his mind. And that’s exactly the type of thing which can throw a pitcher for a loop in a game.

As I’ve said before, it’s unfair to blame one call made by one umpire on a loss. But that was fairly glaring to anyone who saw it. Generally pitchers try not to engage umpires when they leave the field, but when the inning finally ended Givens walked off the mound while giving a long, cold, and calculating stare to Reynolds. Almost a threatening stare. And one can’t really blame him.

The O’s now head back out on the road for a three-game series and road trip to Coors Field to take on Colorado. John Means gets the call for the Birds, and Colorado is yet to decide on it’s starter. Game time is set for just after 8:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Did the Birds get hoodwinked on a rule?

First off, the Baltimore Orioles gave up four home runs last night to New York. It’s tough to argue that you lost because of a bad call in a situation like that. However there was a play at the plate of involving the O’s in the last of the fifth, and the runner was called out. The Birds challenged, and the call was upheld. But was that the correct call?

Dan Straily struggled once again, although this time he struggled against a lineup that’s taking right now. New York was raking when they came into the series, and it.’a continued. Straily’s line: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 2 K.

New York smacked two separate two/m-run homers in the second inning, putting the Birds in an early 4-0 hole. Torres also smacked his ninth homer against the Orioles this year in the third, running the score to 5-0. Only two of Torres’ homers this year have come against a team other than the Orioles. The way he hits Orioles’ pitching is uncanny.

Hanser Alberto would get the Orioles on the board in the last of the third with an RBI-double. However NY would come back an inning later with another home run, this time by Sanchez. Not to mention Torres’ tenth homer against the O’s later in the game.

However the Birds would start a rally in the last of the fourth when Joey Rickard reached on a fielder’s choice. However New York fumbled the ball around the infield, allowing a run to score. One inning later, Richie Martin‘s solo homer cut the lead to 7-3. Later in the inning Renato Nunez smacked a two-run shot, and the O’s were within two at 7-5.

However it was the end of that fifth inning that leaves me with questions. Joey Rickard doubled, and Pedro Severino was sent home to try to score – from first base. It was always going to be a close play, and I do question the decision to send him. Better to continue the inning with two runners in scoring position (and two outs) than have the runner cut down at the plate, abruptly ending the inning and cooling a rally. No need to take an unnecessary risk.

But they sent Severino. He was thrown out at home plate. But the question is whether or. It NY catcher Sánchez blocked the plate. The Orioles challenged the play, and it was upheld under review. End of story, right?

Again, when you surrender four home runs it’s tough to look at one call and say that played a role. Similarly, when you went 2-for-8 with RISP it’s tough to point at one call or one play and say that played a role in the loss. But…did the Birds suffer an incorrect call on that play?

MLB rule 7.13 clearly states that a catcher may block the plate only if he has the ball. Sanchez clearly blocked the plate, and he did have the ball – eventually. But there was about one second as Severino was coming in where he was also blocking the plate while waiting to receive the ball. In accordance with the rule and how it’s written, the Orioles has a very legitimate case.

And keep in mind, if that’s called correctly the Birds would have trailed by one and the fifth inning would have still be going on. Instead they trailed by two, and the inning was over. You never know how things would have turned out – certainly it’s possible that New York could have extended their lead had things been different. We just don’t know.

My personal view is that the umpires blew that call. Again, a million things happen in games that can sway them – it would be wrong to say that specific thing led to the Orioles losing. Unequivocally, that would be an inaccurate statement. But if we’re talking about the rules as they’re written, the Orioles were seemingly legislated out of a further rally with that call being blown.

The series concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Masahiro Tanaka. Game time is set for just after 12:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: New York goes bombs away at Camden Yards

As I’ve said often, it all begins and ends with starting pitching for the Baltimore Orioles. Tonight they didn’t get a very good start out of David Hess. Before the crowd had even settled in, two runners were on and Hess had given up a three-run home run to Sanchez. Hess’ line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 4 BB, 5 K.

Regardless of what Hess or subsequent pitchers threw out there, New York hitters found a way to put it in play, often resulting in runs. The third inning brought an RBI-double by Urshela, and a two-run homer by Frazier. When the smoke had cleared, NY had doubled their lead.

New York would put three additional runs on the board in the fifth, and the rout appears to be on. However the Birds did try to pick their way back into the game. They ultimately failed at that, but point being that they didn’t get shut out!

Stevie Wilkerson‘s three-run homer in the last of the fifth cut the lead to 9-3. However an RBI-groundout and an RBI-single would give NY an 11-3 lead. The O’s would put one additional run across in the last of the sixth, to round out an 11-4 loss.

The frustrating thing from the Orioles’ perspective is that New York shouldn’t be as good as they are right now. All of their star players are on the IL. Yet the guys who have taken their place are playing at the same frantic pace. They’re still slugging home runs, and when they play the Orioles they’re slugging them at a frantic pace.

And on that note I would say this; both the Orioles and New York have hungry players. Guys who recognize that they have an opportunity to play, and who are trying to do everything in their power to take advantage of that. First off however, NY’s “hungry players” are ahead of those of the Orioles.

As a result, the Orioles’ “hunger” manifests itself in errors of aggression. Guys want to make a play so badly that they’re actually making mistakes. NY’s hunger manifests itself in tape measure home runs and solid defense. And that’s proving to be the difference when looking at these two teams.

The series continues tomorrow at Camden Yards. Dan Straily gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s CC Sabathia. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory

The Baltimore Orioles had New York on the ropes last night. The Birds, behind starter Andrew Cashner, dominated New York’s lineup in all phases of the game last night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. But often, losses are about the plays you fail to make as much as they are about the plays that are made by the opponent. The Orioles failed to hit the cut off man on various occasions last night, allowing NY runners to take extra bases. Those runners would eventually score. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 2 K.

Trey Mancini smacked an RBI-double, and Pedro Severino an RBI-single in the first inning to give the O’s a 2-0 lead. NY would cut that lead to 2-1 an inning later on a solo homer by Torres, who can’t seem NOT to homer against the Orioles. That was his ninth homer of the inning year, with seven of them having been against the Birds. It’s uncanny.

But the O’s kept the pressure on. Hanser Alberto and Renato Nunez smacked solo homers in the third, extending the lead to 4-1. Alberto and Dwight Smith Jr would also add RBI-singles in the fourth. The game appeared well in hand at 6-1. However New York chipped away. And as I said, the O’s allowed multiple runners to take extra bases. That came back to haunt them.

New York netted two runs in the sixth, cutting the lead to 6-3. However you still felt that the O’s were in command of the game. Especially after Mancini added an additional run on a sac fly-RBI in the bottom of that inning. However as I said, New York chipped away, and took advantage of Oriole mistakes. And I’m not talking errors, but as I am said above – things such as not hitting the cut off man. Torres also smacked his second homer of the game in the eighth, cutting the Orioles’ lead to 7-6.

Pedro Severino allowed a foul pop which appeared catchable to fall in the ninth, keeping an at-bat alive. The ball appeared to sail on Severino; at first it looked like it was going to fall near the screen. But it had a lot of English on it, and it came back towards the field – falling near home plate. However that’a another Oriole mistake that haunted the Orioles, and of which New York took advantage. Hicks tied the game with a sac fly-RBI, and Sanchez followed that up with a three-run homer. New York won the game 10-7.

Games like this are part of the rebuilding process. However it’s pretty incriminating to lose a game in which you were winning 6-1. But again, little things such as letting teams take extra bases and not catching a pop up will just eat you alive. The O’s took advantage of multiple New York mistakes to build that lead also – which is promising. But when you give a team like NY (who’s seemingly getting by right now squarely on confidence) extra opportunities, they’re going to take advantage.

The series continues tonight at Camden Yards. David Hess gets the call for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Domingo German. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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.

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