Results tagged ‘ Anthony Santander ’

Baltimore Orioles: 2020 season in review

2020 was perhaps the strangest season in Baltimore Orioles’ history. Well, strike that – in MLB history. After a lengthy delay due to COVID-19, the league opened it’s season in late July. The Birds opened against Boston at Fenway Park – and were promptly blown out by Boston.

But we also saw shades of what the 2020 Orioles were truly all about that weekend at Fenway. The O’s took the other two games of the series. This was a team that bounced back quickly from bad losses, and who wasn’t about to hang their heads for long.

This team had it’s ups and downs. They were swept by Miami, but swept Washington and Philadelphia. And in the process, they found that they had some great pieces going forward.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year was Anthony Santander, who ended up being the Most Valuable Oriole. This despite playing in only 37 games due to a late season injury. Santander hit only .261 on the year, however he was clutch. He always came through when the O’s needed a late hit or run-scoring play. That’s something we’ve seen in Baltimore previously in other players. However it’s a tough trait to find.

The Birds also found some pieces to take forward in the pitching department, such as Thomas Eshelman, Dean Kremer, and Keegan Akin. Where any of these players winds up next year in terms of on the roster, in the minors, and/or in the bullpen depends largely on their spring outings. But that’s also true of a lot of guys.

Again, the O’s had their ups and downs this year. They were streaky. Yet by virtue of the 60-game season, they stayed in mathematical playoff contention until the final week. And that’s due in large part to their never-say-die attitude. We saw it time and time again over the course of the sixty games. And given that the nucleus of the team is expected to at least be similar in 2021, I would expect to see that same trait next year.

For the record, my season prediction was that the O’s wouldn’t finish in the basement of the AL East. I was correct in that. They won 25 games, and Boston won 24. So I was correct by exactly one game. However more importantly, they did improve year-over-year. In 2019 the O’s had a win percentage of .317 (over 162 games). This year it raised to .417 (over sixty games).

Granted the number of games is different, but that translates to 67.5 wins in a 162 game season. This as opposed to last year’s 54 wins. So if you look at it from that perspective they’re trending in the right direction. Whether that progress goes into next season remains to be seen. But in certain senses, 2020 was a success for the O’s.

Baltimore Orioles fall late despite Anthony Santander

The Baltimore Orioles seem to be in perpetual bullpen mode when it comes to starting pitchers. Asher Wojchiekowski was pitching well, but only went four innings tonight before being lifted. Incidentally lots of teams operate in that manner now, but I’ve noticed that the Orioles seem to do it also here and there. Wojciechowski’s line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K.

The O’s took the lead early tonight on the heels of a Hanser Alberto single in the first inning. Cedric Mullins was already on first base, and he scored when the Tampa outfield misplayed the ball. Hey if a team like Tampa’s going to give you runs like that, you take them!

Mullins would later score on a fielder’s choice by Renato Nunez. The Birds led, 2-0 and appeared in control. However Lowe’s third inning two-run homer tied the game at two. Two innings later in the fifth Diaz grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded, giving Tampa a 3-2 lead.

As I’ve said, Tampa finds weird ways to score runs. That fielder’s choice came on a high Baltimore chop off the turf. The pitch of the chop allowed the Orioles to only record one out, which allowed a run to score. This as opposed to a ground ball double-play which would have gotten the Orioles out of the inning.

However as has been the case so often this season, Anthony Santander came to the Orioles’ rescue. To be blunt, the dude’s going out and having himself a season. He’s quickly winning the hearts and minds of Orioles fans from the Delaware line to Richmond (VA), and everywhere in between. He’s turning into a legit stud.

Nevertheless, his RBI-single in the seventh scored Hanser Alberto, and tied the game at three. However unfortunately, sometimes complaining does work. Tampa complained about the strike zone for most of the game. In the last of the eighth, it got really small for Oriole relievers. As a result, Perez smacked a misplaced slider out of the ballpark, giving Tampa a 4-3 lead. And a 4-3 victory.

Sometimes you have to roll with the punches. Tampa’s good at that. Their hitters adjusted to the strike zone. The Orioles did not. What that doesn’t change is the heroics of Anthony Santander, who lifted the team on it’s back when it needed it the most.

The series concludes tomorrow night at Tropicana Field. John Means gets the call for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Ryan Yarbrough. Game time is set for approximately 6:40 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Anthony Santander starts really that snaps skid

Alex Cobb did his job last night as the Baltimore Orioles’ starter. He put the team in a position to win. That’s what you ask of your starting pitcher in every game, but especially when you’ve lost six straight. Cobb’s line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

And Cobb has a brief lead in the game as well. Pat Valaika‘s solo homer in the second inning gave the Birds a 1-0 lead. However losing streaks don’t go easily. You had to know that both Boston, as well as “the losing streak,” were going to put up a fight.

Bradley’s solo homer in the fifth tied the game at one. Later in the inning Verdugo’s RBI-double gave Boston a 2-1 lead. One inning later, Pillar’s infield RBI-single extended Boston’s lead to 3-1.

And the Boston bullpen didn’t appear to be looking to allow the Orioles back into the game. Out after out was recorded, and the Birds seemed to be headed for their seventh straight loss. Only they weren’t.

Anthony Santander‘s spot came up in the eighth inning. He strode to the plate with a runner on and the Orioles trailing by two. And Santander delivered; he sent a deep shot down the left field line. The distance was never going to be an issue. But would it stay fair?

And the answer was YES, it would! Santander’s two-run shot tied the game at three, and put life into the Orioles. It’s tough to put into words what Santander means to this team right now, as he’s hitting everything that’s coming his way. And it’s generally leaving the ballpark. He also seems to have the clutch gene in him whereby he makes his presence known at the right times. A two-run homer in the first inning is a great thing. But doing it when Santander did is even better.

The game went to extra innings, which of course meant that Boston got to start the tenth inning with a runner at second base. Three walks later, they had a 4-3 lead. But that wasn’t about to render Santander’s earlier heroics null and void…

…because the O’s also got to start their half of the tenth with a runner at second. Cedric Mullins led off the inning and dragged a sacrifice bunt up the first base line. However Boston tried to make the out at third base, and instead got nothing. That gave the Birds runners at the corners with nobody out. A wild pitch later and the runner from third scored tying the game.

Following a single which also left runners at the corners, Boston would walk Anthony Santander. Being walked with second base open is respect. And fear. But it was probably the right call by Boston.

However the O’s weren’t about to squander this chance to win a game, and snap the skid. With the bases loaded, Pedro Severino‘s RBI-single gave the Birds a 5-4 win. And it’s a big win at that, as it snaps a six-game losing streak. Which is a load off of the minds of everyone in the clubhouse.

The O’s will try to go for the series split this afternoon at Camden Yards. Wade LeBlanc gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Zack Godley. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Anthony Santander thrives in extra-inning loss

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Wade LeBlanc struggled last night against Toronto. He couldn’t fully locate his pitches, and Toronto hitters turned on them the second time through the order. LeBlanc’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

But the good news for the O’s is that they had Anthony Santander on their side. He smacked a two-run homer in the last of the first to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead. However in the top of the third Grichuk’s two-run homer tied the game back up at two.

But Santander wasn’t going to be outdone. In the third he took the lead back with his second homer of the game, this a solo shot. However Santander continues to put the league on notice that he’s quickly turning into a big time slugger. And the Orioles couldn’t be happier about that.

However Toronto would put five runs on the board in the fifth inning. They loaded the bases with nobody out (chasing LeBlanc), and didn’t really look back. Five-run innings are tough to come back from. But the Birds would certainly try.

They got a two-run homer from Chance Sisco in the last of the fifth. That ran the score to 7-5, as the Birds inched their way back into the game. Renato Nunez would later add on a sac fly-RBI. That brought the Birds to within 7-6.

Hanser Alberto‘s RBI-single in the seventh tied the game at seven. And following that, to extra innings we went. However the O’s couldn’t sustain the momentum in the tenth. Gurriel reaches base on a fielder’s choice, allowing a run to score from third. And the O’s fell, 8-7.

Even in a losing effort we do see the Orioles’ knack for coming back. And as I said above, Anthony Santander is putting the entire league on notice that he’s arriving on the scene. That’s perhaps the biggest takeaway out of everything in terms of the Orioles’ start to the season. They may well have a bona fide slugger on their hands.

The series concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. Tommy Milone gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Tanner Roark. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall despite Anthony Santander’s two homers

John Means didn’t even last an inning for the Baltimore Orioles against Washington today. In fact, he turned in the shortest outing of his career. If anything, Means was getting too much of the plate. Means’ line: .2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 0 K.

Means surrendered three runs, two on RBI-singles, and one on a sac fly-RBI. But in what’s become commonplace, the O’s showed signs of life. Anthony Santander‘s solo homer cut the lead to 3-1.

Washington would extend their lead to 5-1 in the fifth with two additional runs. But again, that aforementioned Santander homer was a harbinger of things to come. Both the act, and the person who did it.

The O’s were thrust right back into the game in the last of the sixth. Pedro Severino smacked a three-run homer, and suddenly the Birds we’re back to within one at 6-4. One inning later Anthony Santander came to the plate again. And he didn’t disappoint, smacking a solo homer and tying the game at five.

This Oriole team is nothing if not resilient. They battle back and they play to the final out. And they’re starting to do it with power. Anthony Santander is starting to turn into a legit stud at the plate. He’s not only hitting the ball, but it’s traveling a long way after he makes contact.

Unfortunately, Santander’s two homers weren’t enough today. Washington put a runner at third base in ten eighth, and he would score on an E5 throwing error. That would end up being the winning run for Washington.

And that really shows you the two aspects of this game offensively. It’s great to smack the ball out of the yard, especially when runners are on base. However sometimes when you put runners on base things happen. That run came with two outs, so it would have been the end of the inning.

The Orioles dropped this series, but as I wrote last night they’ve won the season series with Washington. Given that they’re the defending champions, that means something. This Oriole team is in good shape, and people are starting to notice.

The O’s begin a three-game set with Toronto tomorrow night at Camden Yards. The Birds are yet to announce a starter, but Toronto will throw Hyun Jin Ryu. Game time is set for just after 7:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Can you say SWEEP?!

The Baltimore Orioles and starter Thomas Eshelman went into this afternoon’s game in Philadelphia already guaranteed of a series victory. They had to wait an additional hour and forty-five minutes due to a rain delay, but they had their eyes set on a series sweep. And that’s the mark of a winner; it’s not enough to take two-of-three. They wanted a sweep. Eshelman’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

As has been the case in the other two games of the series, Philadelphia actually had the lead. Realmuto’s two-run homer put them ahead 2-0 in the fourth. But that was about the gist of the noise that Philadelphia made.

The O’s loaded the bases in the fifth, and started a rally when Pat Valaika grounded into a fielder’s choice-RBI. However later in the inning with the bases loaded again, Anthony Santander cleared them with a three-run double. That gave the Birds a 4-2 lead. And they showed no signs of looking back.

Jose Iglesias would add a two-RBI double in the seventh, and Pedro Severino a three-run homer in the eighth. Realmuto would also smack another two-run homer to get Philadelphia back to within five runs at 9-4. But just for good measure, the Birds weren’t done. Rio Ruiz‘s two-run homer in the ninth ran the final to 11-4.

This was truly a remarkable series. Keep in mind that the O’s were on the verge of sweeping Washington before Sunday’s game was suspended. If they can complete that game of course tomorrow they will have swept Washington. But in the interim they’ve swept Philadelphia. This is a team that was seen as a joke going in. I don’t think anyone’s laughing anymore.

Whether this is truly a season to remember in Birdland remains to be seen. But so far so good. It could all go south tomorrow. But needless to say, this team is fun to watch, and they okay hard. Quite frankly, that’s all the city of Baltimore has ever asked for.

The O’s now return home to open up a three-game set with Washington. (Please note, last Sunday’s suspended game will be completed at 5 PM prior to the series opening.) Tommy Milone gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Stephen Strasburg. Game time is set for 45 minutes after the completion of the suspended game.

Baltimore Orioles: Game in Washington suspended

The Baltimore Orioles are currently leading Washington 5-2 in the top of the sixth inning with one out. Starter Asher Wojchiekowski is long gone, starting on short rest. Wojchiekowski’s line: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

Washington starter Strasburg kept the O’s at bay for the most part, as did the Orioles’ pen with Washington. But that changed in the fifth inning. Bryan Holaday smacked an RBI-single to give the O’s a 1-0 lead. Hanser Alberto‘s RBI-double later ran the score to 3-0. Tack on an RBI-single by Anthony Santander, and the Birds held a 5-0 lead.

Washington got two back in the bottom of the inning on Castro’s two-run homer. However the Birds made it out of the inning. And it appeared to be smooth sailing moving forward.

But as is the case in life at times, that wasn’t the case. A torrential downpour came out of nowhere in the sixth inning, prompting the umpires to call for the tarp. But the grounds crew was ill-prepared. On top of that, it appeared that the tarp hadn’t been put away properly to begin with. Because the Washington grounds crew struggled, and struggled…and struggled more. Just to get the tarp on the field. 15 minutes later, the rain was beginning to cease, but the field was a mess. There was mud all over the infield.

Two hours later, the game was finally suspended. It will be picked back up with one out in the sixth inning and two runners on base in the top of the sixth. This will occur on Friday at Camden Yards, with Washington as the home team. The time of the game hasn’t been announced, but the previously-scheduled game will occur after the completion of this one.

For the record, any stats that occur on Friday will be retroactive to today. Any players who exited the game won’t be able to play in the continuation. It’s literally as if the game never stopped.

The O’s are off tomorrow and head to Philadelphia for three games on Tuesday.

Baltimore Orioles: Anthony Santander and company chump the champs

Thom Eshelman got the start for the Baltimore Orioles tonight in Washington D.C., but didn’t last as long as the Birds would have liked. Eshelman wasn’t awful, but he didn’t have that glossy finish on his pitches as we’ve sometimes seen. As I’ve said before, roughly a third of a pitcher’s starts are going to be great, a third poor, and a third in between. That final category is where Eshelman was tonight. Eshelman’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Washington got a solo homer from Soto, and a sac fly-RBI from Suzuki in the second inning. Washington would also net an RBI-double in the last of the sixth by Thames. It’s important to note, that run started out as a swinging bunt, and it snowballed…

…when you get runners on base things happen. Reliever Shawn Armstrong came off the mound to field a swinging bunt, and threw errantly to first base. That gave the runner second, and he took third on a wild pitch. That allowed him to score on Thames’ RBI-double.

Obviously he would have scored on a double anyways – most probably, at least. But when you give up extra bases like that you also allow teams to find ways score runs simply by putting the ball in play. That’s what the Orioles need to stay away from.

While the Birds put up 11 runs on 19 hits on Friday night, through seven they had only mustered two hits tonight. This perhaps prompted Brandon Hyde to send up two pinch hitters in the eighth: Pat Valaika and Pedro Severino. And they didn’t disappoint; they smacked back-to-back solo homers to put the O’s right back into the game, cutting the Washington lead to 3-2.

So that run allowed by Shawn Armstrong was the only thing standing between the Orioles and pay dirt. Washington has led almost the entire game, and their pitching had dominated the Birds. But it was a tense lead. It felt like they were allowing the O’s to hang around. And they paid royally for that.

Later in that eighth inning the O’s had a couple of guys on, with Anthony Santander coming to the plate. And he sent a towering fly ball towards left…it barely cleared the fence, but it was a home run. And a three-run shot at that, which gave the O’s a 5-3 lead. And an eventual win.

Washington did mount a rally attempt in the last of the eighth. Cole Sulser, who’s quickly earning the trust of Brandon Hyde, put two runners in scoring position. However with the game hanging in the balance, he knotched a strikeout with two outs ending the threat and the inning.

One thing we know about these Orioles is that they play until the final out is recorded. Washington almost seemed to lose interest as the game wore on. And the Birds cranked it up when it mattered most. With the win, the Orioles have officially won the D.C. leg of the Battle of the Beltways.

The series concludes tomorrow at Nationals Park in D.C. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Stephen Strasburg. Game time is set for just after 12:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: These colors don’t run

The Baltimore Orioles have struggled against Tampa the last few years. They almost find a way to beat the Orioles, no matter what happens. They took a 2-0 lead on starter Alex Cobb last night, and it appeared that the trend was continuing. Cobb’s line; 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K.

Tampa put up runs in the first and third on RBI-doubles, following an hour rain delay before the game. And that’s one of the many ways they’ve done the Orioles wrong over the years. They get people on base and quickly get them in. They have no issue piecemealing one run here and one run there. One run means their opponent has to score two to beat them.

The Orioles however could have rolled over and played dead. Knowing the history of Tampa prancing to victory using any means possible, what would have been the point. But orange and black…those colors don’t run.

The Birds showed Tampa the way that they operate. As opposed to piecemeal, they score runs in clumps. Anthony Santander tied the game at two with a two-run homer in the fourth. A few minutes later, the Birds had the lead when Pedro Severino went back-to-back and smacked a solo shot.

Tampa tried to win by playing the Orioles’ game with a solo homer by Lowe to tie the game in the fifth. But the orange and black weren’t going to allow this night to be spoiled. They got the lead back in the last of the fifth on Santander’s RBI-single. Rio Ruiz would reach base in the seventh in a fielder’s choice in the last of the seventh, and a run would score on a throwing error. And Hanser Alberto would add a solo homer in the eighth to complete the Birds’ 6-3 victory.

I do think it’s important to note that this is a team that’s given the Orioles problems. Not as many as say New York, but I digress. They’ve always seemed to be able to find a way to win. But the Birds didn’t allow it on this night. Because these colors don’t run.

The O’s also consummated a trade after the game. Reliever Richard Bleier was traded to the Miami Marlins for a player to be named later. An interesting turn of events for sure, but that’s the news.

The series continues this evening against Tampa at Camden Yards. Wade LeBlanc gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Tyler Glasnow. Game time is set for just after 7:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Big wheels keep on turning

The Baltimore Orioles turned to Wade LeBlanc this afternoon at Fenway Park in the series finale with Boston. And LeBlanc didn’t disappoint. While for the second straight day the O’a fell short of a quality start, it was also the second straight day where starter put them in a great position to win a game. LeBlac’s line: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Whether it was Fenway Park’s dimensions or something else, Oriole bats were hot right off the bat. They took a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run homer by Rio Ruiz. For a short period, it appeared that it might be a game – Boston cut that lead to 2-1 in the second on a solo homer by Vasquez.

But that was short lived. The O’s came right back. Jose Iglesias‘ RBI-double in the third have the Birds their two-run cushion back. And it was full steam ahead from there, as they’d get a sac fly-RBI from Austin Hays, and a solo homer from Anthony Santander in the fourth. They also chased the Boston starter before the end of the inning.

Boston would get a solo homer from Pillar in the fifth, and an RBI-single by Bogaerts in the sixth. Other than that, the Orioles shut the door on Boston. Chris Davis even added an insurance run with an RBI-double in the ninth. (Davis would later commit an unforced base running gaffe by getting doubled off second, but luckily it didn’t cost the O’s.)

The star of the day had to be Anthony Santander. He had the aforementioned solo home run. He also saved a homer by Bogaerts in the last of the fourth. The ball looked to be curling around the Pesky Pole, however Santander lept into the empty stands and caught the ball. Shades of the final game last year.

It’s worth reminding folks that 2019 began the same way. The Birds fell on Opening Day in NY, and won the final two games of the series to register a series victory in the beginning of an otherwise forgetful season. However I think there were a lot of people who expected the Birds to get swept this weekend in Boston. Yes, Friday was bad. But they bounced back in the final two games in convincing fashion. That should mean the world to fans.

Even in a sixty-game sprint, it’s too early to look at the standings. But while they have the same record as the NY Yankees, if you really want to be technical the Birds are ahead of them in the standings. Because the Orioles’ wins were division games. But it’s still early. ; don’t read into too much. You’d just rather win two-of-three in the opening series than drop two-of-three or get swept. As the title states, big wheels kept on turning this weekend for the O’s.

The Orioles now head to South Florida for a short series against Miami at Marlins Park. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Miami’s Pablo Lopez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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