Results tagged ‘ Andrew Cashner ’

Baltimore Orioles: Christmas in July for Seattle

The Baltimore Orioles and starter Andrew Cashner were beaten this evening by the Seattle defense. And squarely by the Seattle defense, mind you. Granted Seattle scored more runs than the Orioles, which played a role. But I’m not sure how many times the Birds hit ’em where they ain’t, only to find that a Seattle defender was nimble enough to get there to make the play.

And mind you folks, we weren’t talking routine plays. We’re talking plays that would have either netted the Orioles a run or two, or put an additional runner on base to give them a shot at an additional run. And some of these plays defied logic. But this entire season defies logic for the Orioles.

Cashner put forward another quality start, although he had a lapse in the second inning which played a huge role. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 3 K. Cashner recorded the first two outs of the second very quickly – as quickly as he sent Seattle down 1-2-3 in the first. And then suddenly he couldn’t find the strike zone. Before you knew it the bases were loaded, and then Seattle had a 2-0 lead after Gordon’s two-RBI single.

However in between failing to get on base due to another fine defensive play by Seattle and Seattle putting more runs on the board, the O’s did battle back. Jonathan Schoop smacked a solo homer in the last of the fifth, cutting the lead to 2-1. However in a sense Seattle had the Orioles right where they wanted them; this is a team that always seems to win one-run games.

Span’s homer in the sixth would give Seattle their two-run margin back, however the Birds came back and tied it in the last of the sixth. They loaded the bases with nobody out, and Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop grounded into a run-scoring force out and fielder’s choice respectively. You might recall last week in Washington the Orioles had the bases loaded with nobody out, and only netted one run on a ground ball double-play. This result was only marginally better, however needless to say that got more than one run out of the deal.

Seattle would take the lead right back however when they loaded the bases in the seventh and Heredia scored on a wild pitch. Later in the same count Haniger would smack a sac fly-RBI, which gave Seattle their final score of 5-3 in defeating the Orioles. I can’t stress enough however, on “halfway to Christmas night,” the Orioles seemed to give Seattle gifts all night. Many of those balls would have been outs any other time. But somehow they found Seattle mitt’s and became outs.

There was a bizarre sequence towards the end of the game, with Seattle hitting in the top of the ninth. Darren O’Day was called for what might be termed a phantom balk by home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater. O’Day became incensed, and was eventually ejected (first ejection of his career). Buck Showalter came out of the dugout to continue the argument, and he was promptly shown the door as well – the 32nd ejection of his career, and first of this season.

Replays seemed to back up O’Day’s point that what he did wasn’t a balk. He didn’t do anything more than he usually does, and yes he has a hurky-jerky windup. However, Scheurwater actually called O’Day for a balk last season as well. So either Scheurwater’s the only one who’s right, or he’s seeing something that isn’t there. But needless to say, he himself was consistent with how he’s called O’Day’s windup in the past. But again, not many people saw anything there.

The series continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman gets the call for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s James Paxton. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Opportunities wasted equal chances for others

This is becoming far too predictable of a situation for the Baltimore Orioles. A quality start by a starting pitcher, and a loss – this time Andrew Cashner. At a certain point you have to wonder if the likes of Cashner and Cobb are going to wonder what they got themselves into by signing with the Orioles, who appear to be snake bitten this season. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

The O’s put two runners on base in the second inning, and Trey Mancini grounded into what appeared to be an inning-ending double-play. However the O’s put a run across on a Toronto throwing error, and led 1-0. And that’s something that’s noteworthy. When you put the ball in play, good things can happen – especially with runners on base. Unfortunately for the O’s, Toronto tied it up immediately on a Martin homer.

The Orioles would put a runner in scoring position in the fifth, but wasted that opportunity. And again somewhat of a motif for the season has been that the O’s waste chances to score, and the opponent picks right up and takes it from them. True to form, Toronto took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of that fifth inning on a Grichuk solo homer.

Toronto would net three more runs in the game, including a solo homer by Pillar in the eighth. Again, this year’s Orioles team isn’t one that can allow opportunities to go by the wayside. They should know that every opportunity wasted is going to come back to bite them. There’s no margin for error for this team or this pitching staff, something that Andrew Cashner addressed after the game (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

Yeah, I mean, you can definitely see the record, it definitely shows. But for me, I try not to look at that too much. For me, it’s all about executing pitches and giving my team a chance to win every night. I think that is kind of the one thing I’ve done over the course of my career. I’ve kept my team in the game and given us a chance to win every night. I still believe in all those guys and we’ve just got to turn it around.

The series continues this afternoon at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Anibal Sanchez. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles’ hitters are far too precise

Another quality start by a Baltimore Orioles’ starter, this time Andrew Cashner. And yet, another loss. And the worst part? New York looked fairly susceptible last night. The game was ripe for the taking, but the O’s couldn’t muster more than one run. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

At first it looked like the Orioles were going to have things on track last night. Manny Machado smacked a solo homer in the first inning to give the O’s a 1-0 lead. However I’ve said this previously; it seems that all Oriole home runs these days are solo shots. And here’s the ironic part…I don’t think they’re “relying on the homer” as much as we’re being told that they are. But don’t statistics and results indicate otherwise?

Outwardly, yes. However go just a little deeper below the surface. There’s nary one hitter on the roster against whom the opponent isn’t employing some sort of shift. And true to form, the Oriole hitters are hitting the ball to almost the exact spots where opposing fielders are playing. Hence so many quick innings.

Oriole hitters have gotten so predictable that teams can position their fielders in shifts and have a great amount of confidence that the ball’s going to go to that spot. On one hand that type of precision is somewhat impressive on the Orioles’ part. However it doesn’t help when it comes to the ball finding a hole and a guy getting on base. Obviously the only true remedy to that short of adjusting your hitting is hitting the ball over the fence.

New York would tie the game at one in the third on an RBI-single by Torres. Ironically, Torres was on base after hitting directly into the Orioles’ shift. The ball deflected off of Davis’ glove at first and popped straight up into the air – enough time for Torres to get to second base. And when things are going poorly, those are the types of things that happen.

Two innings later New York had the lead on Bird’s RBI-triple. New York would also get an RBI-double from Romine in the sixth, and a solo homer from Judge in the seventh. The O’s would actually load the bases in the last of the eighth with only one out. However a Schoop strikeout and a Davis flyout ended the threat.

The series continues this afternoon (weather permitting) at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Masahiro Tanaka. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Andrew Cashner nitpicked to the right

Andrew Cashner pitched a lot better for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon than the numbers indicate. He threw some good pitches that rightfully should have ended in either strikes or outs. However Tampa and their unconventional ways got to him. Cashner’s line: 5.0 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 4 K.

Cashner allowed a base runner in the first with one out on a softly-hit blooper to center. And that’s part of what Tampa does. They seem to specialize in literally hitting the ball so softly that your outfield is too far back to get it. That was followed by an RBI-triple by Wendle, and an RBI-double by Ramos (who was tagged out oversliding the bag at second).

Again in those situations, Tampa sees that the Orioles are playing their outfielders straight away. So what do they do? They push the ball into the right field corner. It’s one thing to hit them where they ain’t. But Tampa seemed to always put it where they couldn’t possibly be, on the right side of the field.

Refsnyder would flick another softly hit blooper into right center in the second, which scored their third run on the day. Later in the inning Cron’s two-RBI double would round out Tampa’s scoring for the day. When the smoke cleared, the O’s trailed 5-0.

Again, the Orioles are a conventional team that tries to hit the ball hard. Tampa’s about as non-conventional as it gets. And that bit the Orioles in the derriere this afternoon. This is not to say that the general manner in which the O’s try to win games is wrong – or that Tampa’s way is right. Because we’ve seen games this year in which the Orioles have bludgeoned Tampa. It just didn’t happen today.

The O’s would get on the board in the seventh on an RBI-single by Chris Davis, which interestingly enough was hit to left field. One inning before that however Cashner would load the bases with nobody out, prompting his exit. Tanner Scott came into the game and proceeded to strike out the side. That was good to see, as Scott inherited a mess and got the team out of it. And if anything, it makes you wonder if Tampa themselves were caught off guard. They seem to pride themselves in being ready for anything, however it’s somewhat incriminating to have no outs and the bases loaded only to end up with no runs.

The Orioles will have an opportunity to win the series tomorrow afternoon in the rubber match. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Sergio Romo. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Two-out rally haunts the Birds

I’ve been saying since spring training that the Baltimore Orioles had an uncanny problem with two outs. Heck, I’ve been saying it for years. And this afternoon it haunted Andrew Cashner, who wasn’t even here for most of that time. It just seems that this team lets up with they hit two outs in an inning, or two strikes in a count. I know that’s not the case, however the fact is that when they get put on the ropes per se, opponents seem to thrive against this team.

Cashner pitched very well this afternoon against Philadelphia. Certainly well enough to win. Cashner’s line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K. If you’re keeping track at home, that’s one out shy of a quality start. But given the weather conditions and intermittent rain that surrounded the ballpark for most of the day, it’s as quality a start as any other. He put his team in a spot to win the game – that’s all you can ask of a starter.

Adam Jones gave the Orioles the lead early with a solo homer in the first inning. However after that Philadelphia wratcheted things up defensively, and kept them off the board. But that was fine in a sense – until Philadelphia got on the board themselves, that is.

They tied it in the sixth on a Hernandez solo homer. However Cashner recorded two quick outs after that, giving false hope that all was okay. Then Philadelphia put a couple of runners on, starting with a walk – again, with two outs. I’m the first one to tell you that I’m not exactly thinking that a two out walk or base hit is going to start a rally. Especially with how Cashner was pitching. You get a strikeout or a ground ball in the infield, and you should be good to go.

And Cashner and the Birds got that ground ball. But it split two defenders in a shift off the bat of Franco, giving Philadelphia a 2-1 lead. And again, that’s a lesson that people such as myself and especially the Orioles might never learn. You HAVE to take those two out base runners seriously, or you risk a big inning.

Florimon would add an RBI-single of his own, and Hoskins an RBI-double. And when the smoke cleared, Philadelphia led 4-1. The O’s would load the bases in the eighth, but were unable to push anything across, falling to a 4-1 loss.

I would submit that the coaching staff needs to look at the approach of the pitchers and even the fielders with two strikes and two outs. I don’t think that they aren’t playing hard per se, but maybe they’re doing something unconsciously that’s making it easier for the opponent to make some noise. Mind you folks, this isn’t scientific. It’s just something I’ve noticed for years about this team.

The O’s now head back out on the road to open up a big four-game series in Boston. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s David Price. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles rained out

The Baltimore Orioles waited out a three hour plus rain delay before their game with Philadelphia was finally rained out. It will be made up at 7 PM on July 12th. The weather is also in question tomorrow, and the start time has been moved from 12:35 to 12:05 PM.

Some might question what the use of that is. In order to move a game time more than 30 minutes, you have to get the approval of both teams and the MLBPA. So while I do question what 30 minutes will do, the O’s are moving the game up by as much time as they can without any further approval. Andrew Cashner is now listed as tomorrow’s starter – weather permitting.

Baltimore Orioles open a huge stretch for 2018

The debate about whether the Baltimore Orioles should sell or not (and when) rages on as Philadelphia rolls into town this evening for a short two game series. In fact, this is a series that will last about a day-and-a-half, as tomorrow’s game is an afternoon affair. Players and coaches alike aren’t fans of these two-game sets. It’s only one game less than a regular series, however it’s somewhat disruptive to the normal grind.

At 13-28, people are saying sell, sell, sell. And almost conveniently, whatever return the Orioles got in a sale would probably not be enough for some people. But I digress. Dan Duquette said he wanted to wait things out until about Memorial Day before making any big decisions. We now enter a stretch that will leave us right at that point.

Philadelphia’s a good team, but they could also be suseptable here and there, especially with a young manager. The Orioles would do well to sweep them, however statistically most of these two-game sets end in splits. The Birds then head to Boston for four games (one of which is a makeup game). The O’s are playing better, and Boston’s looked ever-so-slightly more pedestrian than they did the first time the two teams met. Might the Birds have a shot at splitting that series also?

Let’s say that happened – just for conversation’s sake. That would put them at either 17-30 or 16-31; still not exactly competing for the division title. However look past that – the O’s head to the south side of Chicago for four games. The ChiSox are looking worse than the Orioles, who at least can say that they’ve seen an uptick in their play the last week or so. Would three-of-four be a stretch?

Following the Chicago series, the O’s head to Tampa for three games over the physical weekend days on Memorial Day weekend. The Birds just finished up with Tampa, who while having the spunk and audacity of youth, is still a young team. Again, would it be a stretch to say they could take two-of-three?

If things occurred just as I said above, the O’s would be at either 22-32 or 21-33. And we’d literally be at Memorial Day, when Washington comes to town. Many of you will say that the record would still indicate a sell-off is necessary. And I’m on record as saying that I think the Birds should consider selling Machado right now (IF they get the proper return, that is). But it would be interesting to see what people would be saying if the O’s were able to string together a few positive series’ in the next week-and-a-half or so.

And here’s the other thing; a lot of people out there refuse to look just a bit deeper and thus past the tips of their noses (no matter how long) at this team. It’s all fine and dandy to simply read the box score and/or look at the standings and callously suggest that you know what’s going on or what the story is. Let’s keep in mind that this Orioles team was incredibly nick’d up the first five weeks or so of the season. The likes of Schoop, Beckham, Trumbo, Britton, and O’Day were on the DL. Some of them still are. Now they have Schoop and Trumbo back, and that at least has the offense looking better.

They also had just about everything go wrong in games that could have gone wrong. And I’m not talking about errors, many of which could be attributed to some of the aforementioned injuries. I’m talking about balls taking weird hops, instant replay overturns that shouldn’t have happened, strike zones changing, etc. So what, am I saying that the Orioles are actually a team in contention in disguise?

No, not at all. I’m saying that there are intangibles in games, all of which seemed to break the opponent’s way regarding the Orioles for some time. You’re never as bad as you’re made out to be when things are really going poorly. The Orioles are an example of that. And when things are going well, you’re never really as good as you think. As I said above, Boston’s looked just a bit more human over the past couple of weeks.

Mind you folks, when I went through the litany of games and series’ above, those weren’t predictions. Those were me saying what was possible and where it would leave the Birds. If they’re going to end up with a respectable record, they have to start shaving space off between wins and losses. And you do that by winning series’.

The series with Philadelphia opens tonight at Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Philadelphia’s Nick Pivetta. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Command issues hurt Andrew Cashner

Andrew Cashner‘s had a tough go in his first month as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. He’s had a tough go of things, and in fact that trend continued last night against Detroit. Cashner’s line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 7 R (6 earned), 3 BB, 4 K.

Cashner suffered from command issues in last night’s game, which had the Orioles playing catch-up literally from the beginning. Cashner gave up an RBI-single in the first inning. One inning later Martin’s RBI-single ran the tally to 2-0, which was followed up by a Cabrera three-run home run. And before we knew it, the Birds trailed 5-0.

Cashner was throwing strikes. If anything he was getting too much of the plate with his pitches. And that can be as big of a problem as not catching the plate. Because if you’re catching too much of it, you’re going to get hammered. Buck Showalter on Cashner (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

Just, you could see the very first hitter, that’s something that’s not very characteristic of him. His command. He just didn’t have a good feel for it. He’s trying to go off the plate and almost bounced a breaking ball I think to Cabrera and kind of centers it up a little bit. Just never really got into sync, so to speak. He’s been pitching so well for us for the most part. I know that’s frustrating for him.

Detroit would plate two more runs in the fourth and one in the seventh, but the O’s would start a comeback attempt in the fifth on Gentry’s RBI-groundout. However it was the last of the seventh which really put them in business. The Birds would load the bases with one out, and Chance Sisco was hit by a pitch – scoring a run. Jace Peterson would then walk, netting another run. And Manny Machado‘s two-RBI single would bring the O’s to within 8-5. However Martinez would smack a solo homer in the top of the ninth, giving Detroit an insurance run and an eventual 9-5 win.

As Buck Showalter says all the time, sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other side. Detroit starter Liriano was really good last night. And that’s a quality that a lot of Oriole opponents have shown this month. The question is whether or not opposing starters have been good BECAUSE of the Orioles, of if they’ve just been really good. I suppose it matters how you want to look at it.

The O’s will have a shot to win the series in the finale this afternoon at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Daniel Norris. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Big series in the Motor City

The Baltimore Orioles motor into Detroit this evening to open a three-game series. However this isn’t just any three-game set – the very soul of the season may well be on the line for the Birds. And I don’t say that lightly. You can’t win a division in April (although Boston and the New York Mets seem to think you can), but you can certainly lose one.

And it’s interested that I brought up Boston above. The Orioles aren’t the only team on which they’ve beaten up this year, obviously since they’re 12-2. As good of a team as they are, they’ve probably over-achieved a bit thus far. And the Orioles, while not perfect, aren’t as bad as they’ve looked. However they’ve under-achieved thus far.

But it’s also fair to look at the teams’ schedules and compare them a bit. Boston got Tampa twice, Miami, New York (Yankees), and the Orioles. The Birds got Minnesota, Houston, New York (Yankees), Toronto, and Boston. Boston’s had a much lighter schedule – on paper that is.

For the firs time, the O’s will get to play a series starting tonight in which they’re playing an opponent that they should handle mightily. Now I say that with a fair amount of trepidation, as the games aren’t played on paper. They just aren’t. Detroit could well decide to take up that mantle of over-achieving, and take the fight straight to the Orioles tonight and for the remainder of the week. But the Orioles have to find a way to make sure that doesn’t happen.

And that means zeroing in on the strike zone, and anticipating pitches better than they’ve done. This season isn’t over by a long shot, and the battle to get back in has to start tonight. Incidentally regarding the schedule, the O’s have only played six home games thus far. Now granted they’ve only won two of them, but in reality it’s almost like a three-week road trip given the fact that they could never really unpack and stay awhile.

That changes after this series, as the O’s will play their longest home stand of the season. But there’s little relief in that right off the bat, as Cleveland comes in this weekend. But following them they’ll see Tampa and then Detroit again. But all of these games are only worth anything to the Birds if they can win most of them – and again, that effort must start tonight.

The series opens this evening at Comerica Park in Detroit. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Francisco Liriano. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Bats only used on the road?

The Baltimore Orioles got a great effort out of starter Andrew Cashner last night, but it wasn’t enough. Of late, that’s seemed to be the case when it comes to their starting pitching. As the season got rolling we thought it would be the hitting that carried the team. While there have certainly be games where the starters have struggled, the starting pitching has been more consistent than the hitting thus far. Cashner’s line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

However the strange thing is that Oriole bats were very active this past weekend in the Bronx. The Orioles were being no-hit last night into the eighth inning. Is it the cold? It might be easy to point to that, but it was colder in NYC this past weekend than it is in Baltimore right now. And manager Buck Showalter isn’t about to fall back on that excuse (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

That’s an excuse that our guys won’t use. You look up on the scoreboard and somebody’s scoring a bunch of runs in cold weather. It’s the conditions we play in and in the past we’ve got some guys with a track record that that hasn’t affected. I don’t think that’s going to come into it. I know the people who came out for the game tonight really don’t want to hear it.

The O’s thus far are just one of those very rare teams that doesn’t play very well at home, but okay on the road. And while you play as many road games as you do home games, that’s kind of a problem. You want to protect your home field so to speak. Buck Showalter also pointed out that quite a few Orioles squared balls up well last night and were robbed. So it isn’t as if guys aren’t hitting the ball well, teams are just playing good defense against the O’s.

While the O’s were being no-hit, Toronto couldn’t muster much either. The teams played to a scoreless draw through seven innings. Toronto would put a run across in the eighth on a throwing error to take a 1-0 lead. However once they got their fist hit, the O’s came right back. Sisco’s RBI-single tied the game at one. However in the end, it was a mislocated O’Day pitch that did the O’s in. Granderson smacked a solo homer against him in the ninth, and Toronto went home winners at 2-1.

The Birds had a flurry of chances in those final two innings, but could only muster one run out of a bases loaded situation. And yes, Toronto set their defense almost perfectly. That should tell the Orioles that their hitters are becoming too predictable. Sometimes spectacular defensive plays aren’t made fully by sheer skill and a bit of luck. Sometimes it’s also due in part to the fact that the defense was set up right where the batter usually hits the ball. And that’s part of what’s happening with the O’s.

The O’s will try to salvage one game in this series and homestand this evening at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Marco Estrada. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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