Results tagged ‘ Baltimore Orioles ’

Baltimore Orioles have to move on from Manny Machado

The Manny Machado-less Baltimore Orioles are in Toronto this evening to open up the second half of the season with a three-game set on the road against their AL East rivals. I do find it interesting that we still call the post-All Star break the second half. The Birds have already played 97 games, which is 16 more than halfway through the season. But I digress.

This has been a tough week for the Orioles, and I’m not talking personally per se. Machado had a lot of friends in the clubhouse, all of whom are sad to see him go. But the very public departure and the lead up to said departure of a player wears on a team. The trade discussions were already hot as it was, but the fire really got hot when Machado was lifted from Sunday’s game against Texas. While the official reason was a wet field in the wake of a rain delay (which in theory was true), we obviously knew something was up.

However all of that needs to be in the past now. It goes without saying that the Orioles aren’t in contention, nor could they potentially play their way back into contention. But the season’s still on. There in fact does appear to be a new direction in which the franchise is heading, and that has to begin tonight. Granted, the roster might well look different in a week. However the players that remain now, tomorrow, and onward need to put this out of their minds and just play ball.

In effect, I’m saying that the term I used in the first sentence (the Manny Machado-less Orioles) isn’t one that should really be used. They aren’t the Machado-less Orioles, nor will they be the Britton-less Orioles or the Jones-less Orioles. They’re the Orioles. If players keep in their minds that this player or that one is now gone and question how they’re going to go on as a team (in the manner that some fans do), things will go from bad to worse.

The Orioles will have to make a roster move prior to this evening’s game, for the mere reason that they’ll need to fill Machado’s slot on the roster. It’s unclear who will be coming up, but the Orioles will announce something before the game. Incidentally, while the Birds do open the second half on the road, it’s really just a one-series trip. Monday they’ll be back at Camden Yards for a homestand that includes Boston and Tampa.

The series at Rogers Center opens this evening. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Sam Gaviglio. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado heads off into the sunset

As I was heading into a movie theater yesterday evening official word came that the Baltimore Orioles had traded Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’ll be their starting shortstop tomorrow evening when they resume their season with a three-game set in Milwaukee. For what it’s worth, Los Angeles will then head to the east coast for a three-game set starting Monday in Philadelphia. So Orioles fans could make the trek up there if they wanted to see Manny one final time. Somehow I suspect that the reception from the phans up there won’t be quite as rosy as it was when he visited as an Oriole and they thought he might be traded there.

However that aside, I do think that Orioles fans have a reason for some optimism on a day where one might feel apt to feel sorrowful. First off, everyone wishes that they could have kept Machado. Speaking for myself, I feel that I grew up as a writer during the time when he was with the Orioles. And certainly there’s a connection with fans, seeing that Baltimore tends to embrace it’s athletes as it’s own.

But my hope is that fans won’t look so much as the not running out ground balls, the infamous bat toss against Oakland, or the act of forcing the team to move him to shortstop. Consequently, I also hope that fans don’t remember his departure simply because he couldn’t re-sign here and the team needed to deconstruct and rebuild. My hope is that fans never forget the fact that his time in an Orioles’ uniform coincided with a surprise return to glory for the Birds. It’s the same as ending any other relationship in life, be it due to breakup, divorce, or death; remember the good times.

The real reason however that fans should be optimistic is due to the fact that the Orioles got five prospects in return for Machado: Yusniel Diaz (OF), Breyvic Valera (IF), Rylan Bannon (IF), Dean Kremer (RHP), and Zach Pop (RHP). As I wrote yesterday, Diaz is the centerpiece of the trade from the Orioles’ perspective, and he very well could slide into the right field role in the future. He was assigned to double-A Bowie, along with Bannon, Kremer, and Pop. Valera was optioned to triple-A Norfolk. There was no money or international signing bonus slots that changed hands. It was a straight up 5-for-1 swap.

Keep in mind folks, these guys are all prospects. It’s tough to say how any of them turns out. It sounds like Diaz, who hit two homers in the future’s game on Sunday, could very well end up in the big leagues at some point in the future. He’s been called “a stud” by several scouts. But if one or two of the other guys ends up in the big leagues somehow, at the end of the day it’ll look like a good trade. Needless to say however, the Orioles got great value for Machado. At one point fans were writing into this site and tweeting at me saying that if all they could get was a low A prospect, they should take that. They got a lot more than that.

Dan Duquette also addressed the local media yesterday after the trade became official, saying all of the pertinent things such as it was hard to part with Manny and so forth. However he also committed the franchise to a rebuild in a sense (all quotes courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

We’re going to take a look at trading the veteran players. Our veteran players have done a nice job for us, but the ones that are nearing free agency, I think we need to evaluate our club going forward and at this time of year, the competitors are looking for the veteran players who have been seasoned in pennant races, as have our players. And we’re going to look to maximize that opportunity on the market and try to find as many good, young players as we can to deepen our farm system.

In conjunction with that, we’re also going to be making significant investments this offseason in technology and analytics. We’re going to become more active on the international market and invest in our facilities and strengthen our overall baseball operation. That’s part of a plan that we have to have to get the Orioles back to competitiveness. But this is just the first step in a new direction.

Duquette was also asked if there was a chance that the rebuilding process might get shorter based on the moves the Orioles could potentially make in the coming weeks:

Well, we hope so. It’s a growing process, but the clubs that have done it recently have given us an instructive road map in what to follow and I think we have a good idea of what it takes to be consistently good. The thing about the American League East is it identifies your strength and it also identifies your weakness. We have identified a number of weaknesses we need to shore up as we move forward to have a competitive club. Certainly to compete against the really strong clubs in the American League East.

Duquette also talks like a guy who’s going to be around longer than just this year. That’s very much up in the air, as is the Orioles’ ownership situation. But Duquette went on to say that he wants to remain here:

Well, I think everybody understands the changes that we need to make and Orioles fans should know how deeply committed we are to that plan of making these important adjustments. And like I said before, my heart is in Baltimore and I’d like to make the Orioles into a top contending organization again. Like I said, today’s a new direction for the organization. I’m glad to be helping the club go in that direction.

Maybe he has a handshake agreement with John and Lou Angelos to stay with the club. Maybe he’s just being coy or saying the right thing. Who knows? All we can say for sure is that regardless of who manages the team and/or acts as the GM after this year, the organization appears committed to a rebuild along with a commitment to analytics among other things. This is a good start, and it sounds like more changes are coming down the pike. And again, that should give fans a reason for optimism.

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado potentially to head west today

Let the official record show that Manny Machado started and played in last night’s MLB All-Star Game as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. This of course amid speculation that Machado is on his way out of Baltimore, the suitor du jour being the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yesterday I wrote that he appeared earmarked for Philadelphia – because that’s what the tea leaves were saying at the time. But when people have asked me since the beginning of the season, I’ve always said I thought he’d end up in Dodger Blue. Call it a hunch.

Machado went 0-for-2 in the game at the plate before being lifted. The American League ended up winning 8-6, in an All-Star Game that set a record with ten homers. There were also 25 strikeouts in the game. Both of those numbers are largely indicative of where the game is and where it’s continually going right now. Incidentally, the game also went extra innings, finishing just before midnight after ten innings.

It’s been reported that Los Angeles Dodger prospects Yusniel DiazErrol Robinson, and possibly others are in play to be coming back to the Orioles. Diaz specifically has been referred to as an absolute stud by numerous people. He was in D.C. on Sunday playing in the future’s game, and he smacked two home runs.

Diaz is also a right fielder, which is a position that the Orioles have struggled to fill since Markakis departed. Robinson is an infielder who’s currently in single-A, but is showing some promise. Not that it matters, but he’s also a Maryland native. Maybe that vouches for something.

The fan reaction on twitter among other media is one of sorrow. And I suppose I understand that to a certain degree. Nobody wants to part with a talent like Manny Machado. But fans should also keep in mind that it sounds like the Orioles are having the opportunity to hand-pick from Los Angeles’ farm system. This trade could very easily work out well for the Orioles down the road.

I think that the way you have to look at it is that Baltimore (perhaps more so than any other city) really embraces it’s athletes. That’s why it’s so tough to see Machado go, because he has rapport with the fans and the city. But he’s not “walking,” per se. The Birds are getting something – a lot, actually – back for him. The next generation of Baltimore stars to be embraced may well come in this deal.

Diaz appears to be the centerpiece of the deal from the Orioles’ perspective, but I’ve heard that as many as five prospects total may head to the Orioles. If that’s true, they will have all but gutted Los Angeles’ farm system. But we’ll just have to wait and see.

What’s also unclear is whether or not any of the players would make an impact at the big league level right away. Diaz might have a shot at being brought up immediately, but odds are the rest of the players will need more seasoning – perhaps even Diaz. But ultimately time will tell.

Baltimore Orioles: Is Manny Machado as good as gone?

Manny Machado will be the starting shortstop for the American League in tonight’s All-Star game, representing the Baltimore Orioles. However as everyone knows, that’s far from the big story line right now involving Machado. It appears that come Friday night, Manny Machado will be wearing a different uniform than the orange and black.

It was reported yesterday that the Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies had a “handshake deal” to send Machado to Philadelphia. Some reporters (mainly Philadelphia reporters) even said that the deal would become official on Wednesday. The Orioles have refuted that claim, saying that they were close to a deal (not naming any team specifically with whom they were close), but that nothing had been agreed upon.

I’m willing to believe that there probably is a handshake agreement in place. I’m also willing to believe that someone on the Philadelphia side leaked it out. And if that’s true, it’s probably to the detriment of that team. Because it would stand to reason that other suitors would then have the option of upping their offer. Are we to believe that the Orioles wouldn’t go back on said handshake agreement if they could better their team even more?

But ultimately this is just posturing. Many fans are frustrated because of the risk for injury and so forth. It goes without saying that if Machado were to rip up his ACL in the all-star game tonight, any potential deal would be off. Would that be the Orioles’ luck? Probably. But think about it…how many players sustain serious injuries in the all-star game?

Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado finish lackluster first half strong

The usual question hung over the Baltimore Orioles going into yesterday afternoon’s game; was it Manny Machado‘s last game with the team? Ultimately we have no way of knowing. But one of these days it actually will be.

This series finale with Texas was a bullpen game for the Orioles. While Miguel Castro got the start, the plan was never for him to pitch long enough to qualify for the win. Especially seeing that he loaded the bases in the top of the first inning with nobody out, and then gave up a grand slam to Guzman. Castro’s line: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 K.

But the O’s began the battle to come back almost immediately. Machado smacked a solo homer in the last of the first to cut the lead to 4-1. It’s tough to come back from a first inning grand slam, but the Orioles found a way. They cut the lead to 4-2 two innings later on Caleb Joseph‘s RBI-double.

But that third inning was the key one for the Orioles. Perhaps it’ll go on to represent the moment when things changed for the team this year for all we know. Probably not in terms of being in contention, however more so for respectability. The O’s have picked up one run here and there over the course of the season throughout games. Finally, it seems they found a way to achieve a big inning.

In the wake of that Joseph RBI-double, the O’s loaded the bases  for Adam Jones. And he delivered as he has for most of his career with the Birds, swinging at the first pitch and smacking a bases-clearing double down the left field line. That gave the Orioles a 5-4 lead, and it was extended to 6-4 when Jones scored later in the inning due to a throwing error.

Texas’ Choo would hit a solo homer in the eighth, cutting the lead to 6-5. They would also have the tying run on first base in the ninth inning, when Andrus hit a double into the right field corner. It was the type of thing that’s happened to the O’s all season long; an opponent placed the ball just perfectly on the field whereby the tying run was going to be able to come into score with two outs in the ninth inning. It was about to be yet another disappointment for the Orioles late in the game…

…before it wasn’t. Schoop relayed the ball home after Trumbo dug it out of the corner, and nailed the runner at the plate. And it wasn’t even close. And the Orioles won the game, closing out a disappointing first half with a two-game winning streak and by taking two-of-three from Texas.

The real interesting part of the day however came in the middle of the fourth inning when the game was halted by a passing rain shower. The teams sat through a short 26-minute rain delay. When play resumed, Jace Peterson was in the on-deck circle to bat for Manny Machado. While there were no shots of Machado bidding farewell to his teammates or anything along those lines (he sat in the dugout wearing an Orioles sweatshirt), questions circulated around the ballpark.

To their credit, the Orioles dispelled rumors almost immediately by alerting the media that Machado had been lifted as a precautionary measure due to a messy infield. They also said that he would be representing the Orioles at Tuesday’s all-star game in Washington D.C. So he won’t be traded before then, in other words.

I tweeted at the time that it’s pointless to speculate, as the Orioles will release a statement whenever he’s traded. However I will say this; I see it as very possible that the finishing touches on a deal are being made with a suitor. Now that’s only my personal opinion, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s playing elsewhere on Friday when the season resumes. And his own comments after the game sounded somewhat like a guy who knew he was on his way out (quote courtesy of Brittany Ghiroli,

Just looking back at everything that’s happened this year, trade rumors, everything, just overall playing with this team has always been incredible. Whether we’ve had our ups and downs this year, it is what it is. Me putting up the numbers I did at shortstop, where people didn’t think I should have made the move in my walk year, but I did. I’m going to the All-Star Game as an Oriole and as a shortstop. It’s just always a blessing. I thank God, I thank my family for always supporting me, my teammates, the fans, the organization, I mean, it’s just been very incredible.

The bit about shortstop was interesting there as well. Almost as if he was reminding his future team that he’s a shortstop. Nevertheless, this was a good team win for the Orioles, and exactly what they needed going into the break. So that’s that – until Friday night.

Baltimore Orioles: Brooks Robinson returns in advisory role, Birds win

The Baltimore Orioles will take wins anyway they can get them. Whether it’s 1-0 or 10-0, a win’s still a win. And yes, it all starts with starting pitching, in this case Yefry Ramirez, who was strong in last night’s game. Ramirez’s line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K.

Ramirez of course has been with the Orioles for a few weeks, and has in fact shown some promise. He pitched five shutout innings last night for the Birds, who are looking at a possible bullpen game today. Any trouble that Ramirez and others got into, they were able to get out of.

On a side note for this game, it came with some good news for Orioles fans. It was revealed that the great Brooks Robinson was going to be returning to the organization in a “Special Advisor” role. It’s unclear what exactly that’s going to mean, but Robinson was very clear in that he won’t be participating in any baseball decisions. It sounds more like a community outreach type of deal than anything else (quote courtesy of Dan Connolly,

I’ll be trying to be out in the community maybe and doing some things to try to promote this club and get people to the stadium. I mean, it’s a beautiful ballpark and the Orioles have always been trying to bring people in and been in the community.

And perhaps it was the news of Robinson’s return to the organization which pushed the Orioles to victory last night. A pre-recorded statement from Robinson announcing his new position was played for the Camden faithful during the sixth inning last night. The Birds then proceeded to put runners at the corners in the last of the sixth with nobody out. They would take a 1-0 lead on Jonathan Schoop‘s sac fly-RBI.

It may not be the most graceful way of gaining a run, but it still counts. And when you only put up one run, you have to ensure that defensively you’re covering your bases. Adam Jones made a diving catch of a line drive in the top of the seventh to keep a Texas runner off base. That would have only been one base runner, however in a one-run game that could have made a big difference.

However the big defensive play came in the top of the eighth. The Orioles put two runners on base with nobody out. Reliever Mychal Givens managed to pick the runner off of second base, That was followed by a ground out and a pop out to end the inning. Again, when you’re playing in a one-run game there’s no margin for error. For once this season, the Orioles shut things down when they needed to.

The Orioles were planning to start Jimmy Yacabonis in this afternoon’s series finale. However Yacabonis has taken ill with strep throat, and is unavailable. Buck Showalter said that he would announce his starter this morning, but it’s expected to be someone in the bullpen. Just a prediction with no prior knowledge, but I’m going with Mike WrightMike Wright.

The series concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. The aforementioned TBD is starting for the Orioles, with Texas throwing Mike Minor. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall to Texas in series opener

Another quality start by a Baltimore Orioles’ starter, and another loss. Last night it was to the Texas Rangers, in game one of a three-game set. And Alex Cobb seems to be the willing victim almost every time. Cobb’s line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Cobb wasn’t perfect, but he put the Orioles in a position to win the game. That’s all you can ask of a starter.

Cobb gave up a solo homer to Gallo in the fifth, and Texas took a 1-0 lead. However the Orioles did move to battle back, putting a runner on second in the bottom of the inning, getting him over to third, and then to home plate on Danny Valencia‘s sac fly-RBI. The O’s were very much in this game as it went along.

However the story of the season for the Birds has been clutch hitting. And no, I’m not even talking about their lack thereof. I’m talking about clutch hitting by the opponent. Oriole opponents have seemingly always just found a way to do whatever they need to do in order to win the game. And at times it’s happened in fairly uncanny manners.

This time it was a three-run homer in the seventh inning by Rua. Namely, a pinch-hit home run. Whatever the button that the Orioles have pushed this year, the opponent’s ended up pushing a seemingly better one. To make matters worse, Mazara’s RBI-double later in the inning ran the score to 5-1.

Now I will say that the Orioles did get some clutch hitting in the last of the seventh from Caleb Joseph. He put the Birds back in the game with a bases-clearing double that cut the lead to 5-4. He saw the pitch and he just went with it, which was good to see. But the O’s couldn’t get any closer than that, and they fell 5-4 in the opener with Texas.

The Orioles are also swapping out catchers again, deciding to option Chance Sisco to triple-A Norfolk after the game. The plan is to formally recall Austin Wynns sometime before tonight’s game. And speaking for myself I think that’s a smart move. Sisco has potential but in my view needs some additional seasoning. Wynns was a shot in the arm when he was here before.

Jimmy Yacabonis is scheduled to start tomorrow’s series finale, however he’s been taken ill and that start is now in jeopardy. There’s a chance that Yacabonis has strep throat, which (knock on wood!) I’m not exactly sure how you get during the summer. So that might leave the Orioles scrambling for a starter come tomorrow.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Yefry Ramirez gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Martin Perez. Game time is set for 7:15 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Death by 1,000 paper cuts

Tonight was supposed to be an off night for the Baltimore Orioles. However Philadelphia trekked into town for a one-shot makeup game for a previously rained out affair. Kevin Gausman got the start, and he labored through five rough innings. Gausman’s line: 5.0 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

Of the five runs that were charged to Gausman and the five runs they scored overall in the game, I’m not sure that any of them (save perhaps for a solo homer) didn’t come off of or after a ball that was squared up. The Orioles were dipped and dunked to death, bled by 1,000 paper cuts, and chiseled to death. One the flip side, the Birds consistently square balls up and hit them into the outfield – only to find fielders.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead on a soft bloop RBI-single by Santana in the third inning. Later in the inning Williams would ground into a force out which scored a run, and the O’s trailed 2-0. And Alfaro’s two-RBI double in the fourth would give Philadelphia a 4-0 lead. Toss in a solo homer two innings later the next time Alfaro came up to bat, and the Birds had dug themselves a 5-0 hole.

However the O’s got their bats going in the sixth. Manny Machado‘s RBI-single got them on the board, cutting the Philadelphia lead to to 5-1. Trey Mancini would cut the lead to 5-3 in the seventh with a two-run homer, followed by a solo shot by Jace Peterson. However while a valiant effort to come back, the Birds wouldn’t get any closer and fell 5-4. For what it’s worth, Philadelphia also swept the season series with the Birds with this win. The two teams won’t face each other again until the 2021 season – unless of course you count Grapefruit League play next spring.

I’ve had fans tweet and comment on the site how I always throw in that opposing teams score on softly hit balls. The fact is that a hit’s a hit, no matter how you get it. And whether you get aboard with a hit, a hit batsman, a walk, or an error, a base runner’s a base runner. One way or the other, teams are getting them on and getting them in against the Orioles.

The Orioles as I said square up a lot of balls. They’re just hit right to outfielders. Opposing teams seem to have this knack of hitting the ball so softly that it ends up as a hit against the Orioles. And from the Birds’ perspective, it has to be frustrating to see and experience. You’re in position and placed perfectly in accordance with the spray charts, and the guy eases up on the bat just enough to dump it right in front of you. There’s no rhyme or reason to how or why it happens. It just does. And it happens a lot to the Orioles.

The Birds will welcome the Texas Rangers into Camden Yards tomorrow night for a weekend series – the final set before the all-star break. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Cole Hamels. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Play one team right off another in the Manny Machado sweeepstakes

Dylan Bundy only lasted four innings last night as the Baltimore Orioles fell hard to New York, 9-0. It’s impossible to win when you don’t score any runs, which was the Orioles’ plight last night. Bundy’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 3 K.

The big blast came in the third with New York already leading 1-0, as Bird smacked a grand slam off the right field foul pole. Obviously New York added to the lead the rest of the night, but that all but ended the competitive portion of the ballgame. And it’s really indicative of the Orioles’ season in a way. Opponents are always able to dig just deep enough to get what they need to beat them. In this case, the ball appeared to be going foul, but stayed just fair enough to smack off the foul pole.

The big story around Camden Yards has been Manny Machado, and where he’s going – and when. New York threw their hat into the ring seeing as they were in Baltimore the first part of this week, and the assumption’s been since then that he was going there. I’ll once again caution against trading a player of his caliber within the division. Even if you get a great haul in return, the fact is that there’s probably another team out there willing to give you just as good a haul. And that has Machado signing a new contract with New York (perhaps even before the current one expires) and living happily ever after for years and years written all over it.

But in the interim, New York is all but doing the Orioles a favor by even being involved. If New York wants him, that means Boston wants him. We also know that the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested. That also means that Arizona has to consider trading for him. And it goes on and on.

If you listen to the national media, many of them point out that the Orioles don’t have nary any leverage in this scenario because Machado would really end up being a rental. (Obviously whichever team trades for him would have his rights until the end of the season – so they could wow him with their culture and find a way to re-sign him.) However with so many teams interested, how exactly do the Orioles not have leverage?

Before last night’s game word circulated that New York had made a “good” offer to the Orioles. So then the Orioles probably went back to Boston and Los Angeles and said this is what’s on the table right now, but I wanted to give you a chance to make a counter-offer. And I suspect that charade has been going on for some time. That ensures the Orioles are going to get a haul in return. This as opposed to the low-A prospect that many people felt they’d get at one point.

Many people tell me that the longer they wait the harder it’ll get to find a deal. It seems to me that it’s quite to the contrary. The deal could get better as they let this drag on. Because in reality the Orioles have until the end of the month. Now I don’t think they’ll wait that long, and in fact it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s traded before the all-star break. But the more they wheel and deal, the more they’re able to play one team off of another. And the better the return gets.

The Orioles were scheduled to be off today, but they’ll take on Philadelphia at home in a makeup game from earlier in the season. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Philadelphia’s Nick Pivetta. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Plunk heard ’round the world leads to Jonathan Schoop’s walk off

For one game at least, the Baltimore Orioles seemed to be the Baltimore Orioles again. The Birds showed a lot of grit in tonight’s game against New York, and it’s games like these which is what we’ve come to expect from this core group of players. Andrew Cashner‘s numbers look worse than he actually pitched, but he put the team in a spot to win. Cashner’s line: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 7 K.

The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the last of the fourth when Joey Rickard sent a tight grounder inside of third, which scored two runs. But new York came back an inning later on a three-run homer by Bird, giving them a lead at 3-2. However as I alluded above, what we saw was the Orioles never allowing their heartbeat to be silenced. Manny Machado sent a deep shot to left on the first pitch of the last of the fifth, immediately tying the game back up at three.

However New York would take a two-run lead in the seventh on a sac fly-RBI by Bird, and an RBI-single by Walker. This game had valiant effort written all over it for the Orioles. However the team wasn’t going to stand for that – not on this night. With Jones already on base in the last of that seventh inning, Machado came back up to bat. And he sent a shot deep into the Baltimore night towards right center…

…it appeared to kareem off the grandstand and remained in play. However the O’s asked for a review, and the call was reversed into a two-run homer. And we found ourselves tied one again, this time at five. New York threatened in the top of the ninth, however the Birds picked up a key out when Caleb Joseph threw out a runner trying to steal second. The call on the field was out, and in my view the runner was out. But there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove that the call was wrong, and it was upheld.

And Caleb Joseph led off the last of the ninth – and was able to get on base by getting hit. Call it the plunk heard ’round the world if you will A Jones double and an intentional walk to Machado later, and the Orioles had the bases loaded. And Jonathan Schoop was striding to the plate.

And Schoop didn’t disappoint. He sent a screaming grounder into right field for a base hit, scoring Joseph from third. And winning the game for the Birds at 6-5. It was the Orioles’ first walk off win since Opening Day.

For perhaps the first time in 2018, we saw the Fighting Showalters that we’ve come to know over time. It seems that so often this year things such as the Bird homer or Walker sac fly would befall the Orioles, and things would snowball from there. Not this time. The O’s stuck in there and fought back. And having the last at-bat helps also!

The Orioles will complete the series with New York tomorrow at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Sonny Gray. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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