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.

Baltimore Orioles: Fifth inning sinks the Birds

The Baltimore Orioles were unable to stay out of the big inning last night. They were already trailing the Anaheim Angels, but the fifth inning chased starter Dan Straily, and cemented Anaheim’s spot in the driver’s seat in this game. Straily’s line: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

Straily was throwing strikes last night. And that in essence was the problem. His pitches were coming in high and square down the middle. This is why it’s so important to employ late movement in the strike zone on your pitches. If they have little pizzazz, they’re going to fly a long way.

Things looked good at first, however. Trey Mancini smacked a solo homer in the first inning, and the O’s led 1-0. However Calhoun’s RBI-triple in the second inning tied the game at one. The O’s would never lead again in the game.

One inning later Trout smacked a two-run homer, and Anaheim led 3-1. But the Orioles tried to battle back an inning later in the fourth. Chris Davis dumped an RBI-single into left field, cutting the lead to 3-2. But that was as close as the Birds would get.

Anaheim our five runs on the board in the fifth inning. Staying out of the big inning is a major theme in MLB. The O’s couldn’t do it last night, and Anaheim feasted on what they left behind. A big part of that rally came with two outs, which is another area in which we’ve seen the Orioles struggle. It’s unclear why that is, but obviously opponents are seeing something with two outs.

The seventh inning brought a long rain delay. However after the delay the Orioles did manage one more run – on a solo homer by Davis. After such a bad start at the plate, Davis is starting to come on. His average is currently .193, which means he’s creeping towards the Mendoza Line. It sounds like I’m saying that sarcastically, but I’m not. First off what I said was factually true. But for a guy that started the season so poorly, that’s a feat. You have to start somewhere.

The series continues today at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy. He’ll be opposed by Anaheim’s Matt Harvey. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Anaheim comes to town amid more weather

The Baltimore Orioles open up a three-game set with Anaheim this weekend at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The weather is something that’s certainly in question for this weekend, much as it was during last weekend’s series with Tampa. There’s a possibility of thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow afternoon. I’ve also heard the term washout used regarding Sunday.

Last Sunday’s game was simple enough to reschedule because Tampa returns to Baltimore in July. Anaheim makes one visit to Camden Yards this year. If a game is rained out, would they consider making it up when the O’s head to the west coast in July? Basically playing an Orioles’ home game on the road? Not as if that’s never happened.

The series begins tonight at Camden Yards – weather permitting. Dan Straily gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Anaheim’s Trevor Cahill. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall in series finale

The Baltimore Orioles took The defending world champion Boston Red Sox to the brink last night. Boston eventually defeated the Orioles, but it took them twelve innings. The Birds matched Boston point-for-point, beginning with starter Andrew Cashner. It begins and ends with starting pitching, right? Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K.

Cashner set the tone early in the game when the first hitter reached on a two-base error. Cashner in essence started the game with a runner in scoring position. But Cashner pitches out of it, not allowing a runner to cross. All in all, this was one of the best starts of the season for any Oriole starting pitcher.

Boston would take a 1-0 lead in the third on a solo homer by Betts. That was in essence the only mistake that Cashner made. He was able to labor through the sixth inning (giving him a quality start), and left to a standing ovation for his effort.

However he was rewarded for his effort – in a certain sense at least. With the decision already made to lift Cashner, Trey Mancini smacked an RBI-double in the last of the sixth which tied the game. So while Cashner deserved to win this game, at the very least he wasn’t the loser and ended up with a no decision.

The score remained tied and we went to extra innings. The O’s thought they had won it in the eleventh. And for all intents and purposes, they did. Trey Mancini smacked what would have been a walk off home run. The ball cleared the fence in center field, and would have landed on the other side…

…the only problem was that Boston center fielder Bradley Jr. climbed the wall and brought the ball back in. It was one of the better plays you’re going to see this year in the outfield, and it foiled the Orioles’ best shot to win throughout the extra innings. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap.

Unfortunately for the O’s, that propelled Boston to take the lead in the twelfth on a solo homer by Benintendi. That’s why they’re the defending champions – they rise to the occasion. However the Orioles took Boston to the brink in this game. That’s not something that should go unnoticed. It goes as a loss in the standings, however it’s fair for a team like the Orioles ( a rebuilding team) to take a moral victory out of that. Their reward? A day off today at home.

Baltimore Orioles: It begins and ends with starting pitching

Last night the Baltimore Orioles got superior starting pitching. This evening they got an average outing at best out of starter David Hess. That might be okay in some instances. Not against the defending World Series champions. Hess’ line: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 5 K.

I’ve said this before, but it begins and ends with starting pitching. Now granted I said that in the context that in the past the O’s were a team expected to contend, and they needed solid starting pitching to do so. However the same is still true. This is the regular season, and regardless of the outlook on the entire season you need to have solid starting pitching of you’re going to win games. The Orioles got it last night. This evening? Not so much.

Now one might point out that Hess didn’t take the loss, and he certainly didn’t throw a total clunker out there. And that’s all true, and to Hess’ credit. But Oriole starters have been going four to five innings in games routinely – last night was the exception, not the rule. That sets the tone for the opponent, as well as for the Orioles. If your starter isn’t going deep into the game, you’re putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage.

Boston took an early 2-0 lead on a two-run homer by Martinez. However the Birds fought back. Rio Ruiz smacked a two-run homer of his own in the last of the first, and before we knew it the ballgame was tied. The teams would once again swap homers in the fourth inning, Boston off the bat of Bogaerts, and the Orioles off the bat of Hanser Alberto.

One inning later however, Boston did their big damage (following Hess’ departure). Moreland’s three-run homer gave them a 6-3 lead. That was the big blow of the game, however the O’s did make a run. Dwight Smith Jr’s RBI-double in the eighth cut the lead to 6-4. Later in the inning Chris Davis‘ RBI-single cut it to 6-5. But that’s as close as the Orioles would get as Boston would put up two insurance runs in the ninth, and they fell in game two, 6-5 to Boston.

The series with Boston concludes tomorrow night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Chris Sale. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: The night Boston found out John Means business

It’s tough to pitch better than John Means once again did this evening. This time it came against Boston, of course the defending World Series Champion. If you’re going to play games against the defending champs, you may as well win them. Means put them in a spot to do that this evening. Means’ line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Means kept Boston hitters guessing all game long. And that began in the first inning, when he sent them down 1-2-3. But they were never quite able to figure Means out, and it showed in the result.

Jonathan Villar hit what appeared to be a lead off homer in the first inning. However upon review it was ruled that a fan had impeded the Boston outfielder from getting to the ball. Villar was called out. One almost thought this was the Kentucky Derby!

However Villar wasn’t going to be kept off the board tonight. The Birds loaded the bases with nobody down in the second inning, and Villar came to bat with two down. He smacked a grand slam to center, giving the O’s a 4-0 lead. You can’t score more than four runs at a time, but the Orioles managed to do just that.

Boston would get one across in the fifth on a sac fly-RBI. But that was as close as they got. As I said, John Means was dominant tonight. So was the Orioles’ bullpen. Combined, they held a potent lineup to three hits.

Means is showing a lot of promise. It goes without saying that he’ll hit a bump in the road at some point. But he shut down one of the best lineups in baseball last night. Despite still being young, he may be the best starter that the Orioles have right now.

The series continues tomorrow at Camden Yards. David Hess gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Hector Velazquez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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