Results tagged ‘ Baltimore Orioles ’

Baltimore Orioles: John Means stays in the pen

The Baltimore Orioles had one all-star in John Means. And in last night’s All-Star game in Cleveland, he didn’t get into the game. The American League defeated the National League 4-3 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of this. Especially now that there’s nothing at stake in the game – as in it’s an exhibition again – I think that every player on the roster should somehow get into the game. That isn’t a rule, however it’s just how I see things.

As I’ve said before, I think that fans of all teams should have the right to watch the All-Star game and have a member of their team in the game. That means he should play in the game. But ultimately, Means didn’t play. However he was still an all-star. Nothing can take that away from him.

Baltimore Orioles’ John Means to represent Birdland in Cleveland

The Baltimore Orioles will be represented by pitcher John Means at tonight’s MLB All-Star game. Means was selected last week as the Orioles’ representative, and will be eligible to pitch in the game. He’ll be out in the bullpen, at least for the beginning.

There are some who decry the rule, however I support the idea that every team has to have a representative on the All-Star team. MLB and the NFL both have this rule, however the NBA and NHL do not. I’ve always believed that fans in every town should have the right to sit down and watch the All-Star game, and have a member of his or her home team on the roster.

Not only that, but each team should be represented in the game. It’s not enough to just have someone on the roster as a token representative. Managers and coaches should find a way to get that guy into the game as well. If that means using a starting pitcher as a match-up reliever, do it. If it means using someone merely as a pinch-runner late in the game, go for it. Fans want to see their players in the game. Find a way to get them in.

Again, there are plenty of folks who disagree with me. Many prefer how the NBA and NHL do things. If you like watching 13-12 hockey games and 180-170 basketball games, be my guest. Furthermore you have to give people a reason to tune in. Sure people want to see the stars, and for sure the stars are there. But the quickest way to get people not to tune in is to not have a member of their team in the game.

The good news is that the game is once again an exhibition. The era of the game deciding home field advantage in the World Series is over. So enjoy the game tonight, Birdland, and riot on John Means!

Baltimore Orioles: What was the first half highlight?

Today is the first full day of the all-star break for the Baltimore Orioles and the rest of Major League Baseball. Some players and coaches are off at the beach, some the mountains, and some of course are in Cleveland for the all-star game. But needless to say, everyone is dispersed for the next few days. The season resumes on Friday.

The Orioles of course struggled in the first half this year. Nothing that wasn’t expected of course, but it was a constant struggle. However that’s not to say that there weren’t a few bright spots. So…what was the highlight of the first half?

I’ll submit two. First off I’d throw out game two of the season, which was the team’s first victory of 2019. It was also manager Brandon Hyde‘s first win as a major league manager. And the team didn’t forget that, as they gave Hyde a “beer bath” in the Yankee Stadium clubhouse after the game.

That sounds like more of an individual achievement as opposed to a team moment. However the team went out and won the game that day – so in that sense it was a team moment or achievement. But either way it was a big highlight for a young team in the first half of the season.

The second highlight I’d submit the past nine games. In essence the final week-and-a-half or so. The Birds took two-of-three at home from Cleveland, one-of-three from Tampa, and two-of-three from Toronto. That’s 5-4 over that stretch.

That won’t win you any titles. However if you compare it to other stretches during the first half, it’s pretty darned good. Can we say that the 2019 Orioles made a move toward semi-respectability during that stretch? No. The answer to that will come in the second half. But needless to say, it was a nice stretch of games for the O’s.

Any other highlights I’m missing, O’s fans?

Baltimore Orioles drop first half finale in Toronto

The Baltimore Orioles were unable to complete the sweet in Toronto this afternoon after having won the first two games of the series. The Orioles started Asher Wojciechowski In hopes of seeing what they had in him going forward into the second half. Unfortunately for all involved, Wojchiekowski never really got it going. Wojchiekowski’s line: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

Wojchiekowski gave up a two-run homer in the first inning to Gurriel, which gave Toronto a 2-0 lead. Toronto also got an RBI-double from Jansen in the fourth, and another to Tellez in the sixth. Needless to say, it wasn’t the Orioles’ day from the outset.

Later in that sixth inning Toronto would get an RBI-single from Hernandez to extend their lead to 6-0. The Orioles would net a token run in the seventh on Chance Sisco‘s solo homer, leading the final score to 6-1. Certainly the O’s hoped to finish off the first half in a more positive manner, however they went 5-4 in the last three series’. As many struggles as this team had in the first half, that’s impressive.

There are some who will say that the Orioles losing today shows no organizational tenacity. In essence, they were happy taking two-of-three. This of course as opposed to sweeping the series.

First off, again keep in mind that this season was never about winning now. Sure if by some miracle that had happened the Orioles would have taken it. But the organization did a good job of preparing the fanbase for what this season was going to be.

Secondly, taking two-of-three in most series’ will put you in playoff position. Now that isn’t going to happen this year, but in general if you win two-of-three you’re going to be doing fine. Players and coaches will always say they wish they could have swept the series, but privately they’ll take the series win.

The team will now disperse for the annual “midsummer vacation.” John Means of course will be off to Cleveland for the All-Star game. Everyone else will go wherever they’re going. As for me…The Delmarva Shore beckons for a few days!

Baltimore Orioles back in the series WIN COLUMN!

The Baltimore Orioles got a quality start from a starting pitcher for the second time in as many games in Toronto. This time it was Andrew Cashner, who turned in a superb effort in his final outing before the all-star break. Cashner’s line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K.

Renato Nunez got the Orioles on the board in the fourth inning with a two-run homer. The ironic thing is that of late (even during the Showalter era), Rogers Centre has been a house of horrors for the Orioles. No matter what happened, it seemed that Toronto would hammer them there, but there were times where the O’s has trouble mustering even one hit. The first two games of this series stand in stark contrast to that tradition.

That fourth inning was the key time period for the Birds. Later in the inning they got an RBI-single and double from Anthony Santander and Keon Broxton respectively. Richie Martin would also ground into a fielder’s choice-RBI. When the smoke cleared, the O’s held a 5-0 lead.

Toronto would get one back in the bottom of the fourth on a solo homer by Biggio. However while they didn’t need it, they added runs on. And that’s also something we saw earlier this week in Tampa (while as opposed to today in that case they actually needed the add-on runs). In the past we’ve seen the Orioles cling to one or two-run leads, only to see the opposition strike late and win the game. That hasn’t been happening – for this week, at least.

Stevie Wilkerson and Anthony Santander would drive in a runs with RBI-singles in the sixth and eighth respectively. Wilkerson would also add on an additional solo homer in the ninth, to give the Orioles an 8-1 victory. And with that, the Orioles have won their second series out of three. While winning multiple series’ are baby steps, that’s where you have to start.

Winning the final series of the first half will hopefully give the O’s some confidence moving forward. They hit the deck immediately in the second half next weekend when Tampa comes to town. Not only that, but they have a doubleheader on Saturday due to an earlier rainout. Again, this series victory and the fact that the team seems to be playing better will hopefully give them some confidence.

The O’s will go for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon as they close the first half at Rogers Center. Asher Wojeckowski gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Trent Thornton. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis’ bat leads the Birds to victory

Dylan Bundy pitched a quality start, and Chris Davis‘ bat led the Baltimore Orioles to victory. No folks, it’s not 2013 or 2014. It’s 2019; and behind two superior performances on the part of Bundy and Davis, the O’s took game one of three in Toronto. Bundy’s line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

Bundy commanded the strike zone all night. And that was the key to keeping Toronto off the board for the most part. However for once, the O’s were able to put together a quality start/good pitching performance and decent enough offense to win a game.

It was Davis who got the scoring going in the second inning. In his first at-bat of the game, Davis smoked a homer over the fence, giving the Birds a 1-0 lead. A lead that they would never surrender.

Later in the inning Jonathan Villlar‘s RBI-single would extend the lead to 2-0. And when you have a pitcher like Bundy tonight, one who’s on his game, that’a all you really need. This game was very much old school baseball in a sense. One team puts some runs on the board, and then it comes down to pitching.

Bundy did start to tire however in the seventh. Drury’s solo homer in the last of the seventh cut the Orioles’ lead to 2-1. However the Birds lifted Bundy immediately, in hopes that the Orioles’ bullpen could hold the lead. They would do just that – but they had some help.

The O’s put two runners on base in the ninth, and they were hunted into scoring position by Anthony Santander. That brought Davis back to the plate, who smacked a two-RBI single. THAT folks, is how baseball was meant to work. In this case, it preserved the win for the Birds. The O’s would send Toronto down 1-2-3 in the last of the ninth, and they ultimately won the game.

Who’s to say that the last of the ninth would have gone as smoothly and as anti-climatically as it did without those insurance runs? Ultimately the O’s once again reversed the script of how things have gone most of this season. Whereas other teams have often tacked on against them, this time around they did it to an opponent.

The series continues tomorrow at Rogers Centre. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Clayton Richard. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Idle on the Fourth of July

As the rest of the league settles in for a healthy slate of afternoon games, the Baltimore Orioles are idle. It’s the first time in my lifetime that I remember them being off on the Fourth of July. But they aren’t the only team who isn’t playing today. There are others.

I suppose that since this year it falls on a Thursday it shouldn’t totally come as a surprise that some teams are idle. However the Orioles are currently in Canada where they’ll open a three-game series tomorrow night at Toronto. Incidentally, Toronto got the luxury of playing a home game today – on the Fourth of July, in Canada. How does that work out?!

However the day off hopefully gives the Orioles, and Orioles fans, the opportunity to reflect on why we celebrate today as a holiday. It’s not just a day off to watch baseball, eat hot dogs, and watch fireworks. It means something.

Americans are some of the folks who fought back against tyranny. The likes of the colonists said no, not on our watch to tyranny. And every generation of Americans since then has reaffirmed that premise. We stand for our country, and against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Well over 200 years after 1776, here we are celebrating yet another Fourth of July. This experiment called America is still going strong. It’s still kind of a thing. And baseball’s just another personification of that, as it.’a our national pastime. May that always be the case.

Baltimore Orioles turn tables on Tampa and create a donnybrook win

John Means showed the world why he was the Baltimore Orioles’ All-Star representative this evening. Means pitched the Birds to a quality start, and quite frankly should have been the winner. Means’ line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 earned), 0 BB, 5 K.

Tampa took a 1-0 lead as they netted a run in the third on a Rio Ruiz error. If you’re an Orioles fan you had to be thinking here we go. However the O’s came back and immediately got the lead. None other than Rio Ruiz smacked a fourth inning three-run homer, and the Birds led 3-1.

But the bottom of the fourth brought Tampa a bit closer on a Brosseau home run. Two innings later they tied the game at three on Garcia’s RBI-single. That’s generally how Tampa does the Orioles; they sit back and look for the smallest glint of daylight whereby they can get a run across, and they go for it.

And it usually works. As an example, after Means had exited and Mychal Givens had entered the game in the eighth, Diaz hit what could have been a fielder’s choice-RBI on a swinging bunt (with a runner on third). Generally that would net a run for Tampa – especially against the Orioles. But Givens was able to tag the runner out from third, preserving the tie. That was one indication that perhaps the tides were turning.

Pedro Severino came up in a similar situation in the top of the ninth. (For the record, the runner was in scoring position due to a Rio Ruiz sac bunt. Ruiz was a huge player in tonight’s game.) However on his swinging bunt (to short) the runner was able to slide in under the tag. Things don’t normally work out that way for the Orioles against Tampa. But there they were, leading 4-3.

Jonathan Villar would extend that lead to 5-3 on an RBI-triple that made it all the way to the wall. Again, usually it’s a Tampa hit just making it under the fielder’s mitt and going all the way to the wall. But tonight it was an Oriole who did it against Tampa.

Trey Mancini would later hit you into what would have been an fielder’s choice and an out. However another run was able to score on an errant throw home, giving the O’s a 6-3 lead. But they weren’t done.

Renato Nunez would come to bat with two runners on, and smack a three-run homer, giving the O’s a 9-3 lead. Now Tampa would come to bat in the last of the ninth and put three runs across, and bring the tying run to the plate. But the O’s escaped with a 9-6 victory. And it happened in a fairly savage manner as well.

Usually it’s Tampa who gets every little bounce, or finds small manners by which to score runs. But tonight that was accomplished by the Orioles. Still however, there was a moment in the end where you almost expected Tampa to walk the Orioles off. The Birds were able to record the final out before things got any closer, however where Tampa would even get the confidence to think they could come from six down in the ninth to win is beyond me. However end of the day, it was the O’s who were victorious on this night at the Trop.

Baltimore Orioles: Nothing good happens after a walk

The Baltimore Orioles called up pitcher Tom Eshelman from the minor leagues this evening to make tonight’s start against Tampa. Eshelman was drafted by Houston while current Orioles’ GM Mike Elias was the Asst. GM there – and migrated into the Orioles’ system. While not perfect, his big league debut will go down as a fairly positive one. Eshelman’s line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K.

Eshelman only went five innings, but left the game in a spot to be the winner. Eshelman gave up two RBI-singles in the first inning. But he was able to limit the damage otherwise, and left the game with the Orioles in a spot to win. And that’s what you want out of a starters is Eshelman the next Palmer or Cuellar? Tough to say right now. But he looked like a keeper for tonight.

Hanser Alberto would get the Orioles on the board in the fourth with an RBI-single. That cut the Tampa lead to 2-1. Two innings later in the top of the sixth Renato Nunez and Rio Ruiz would add RBI-singles, and the O’s held the lead at 3-2. But it wasn’t meant to be.

Tampa led off the last of the sixth with a walk. And following a hit, Kiermaier cleared the baes with a three-run homer. One inning later in the seventh, Choi’s RBI-single extended the Tampa lead to 6-3. That also came on the heels of a walk

Walks kill you. And they seem to happen more often than that as a precursor to runs being scored. They immediately put a pitcher on notice that he’s having control problems. Future hitters see that, and are looser as games progress.

End of the day, nothing good ever happens after a walk. This much we know, and we understand. It’s preventing the walks which are above my pay grade. But as has been the case for all opponents, Tampa took advantage of the opportunities that were presented to them.

The series continues tomorrow night at Tropicana Field. The Oriokes has yet to announce a starter, but whomever they choose will be opposed by Charlie Morton. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall in finale with Cleveland

The Baltimore Orioles were unable to complete the sweep of Cleveland this afternoon, falling 2-0. This despite a very good outing by starter Gabriel Ynoa, who ended up being a hard-luck loser. Ynoa’s line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Ynoa ended up the loser in effect by default. He more than pitched well enough to win the game today. And that’s what you want out of your starter. As I’ve said many times, you want him to put you in a spot to win the game. Ynoa did that today.

Ynoa surrendered an RBI-single to Santana in the third, giving Cleveland a 1-0 lead. Santana would extend the Cleveland lead to 2-0 with an RBI-single in the seventh. And as they say, that folks was the ballgame.

The Birds did mount a rally in the last of the ninth. They loaded the bases, putting the tying run on base. However Cleveland was able to record the final out, taking the game 2-0.

Cleveland starter Bieber dominated the Orioles, just as he did last month when the teams met. Brandon Hyde said after the game that the O’s just ran into a hot pitcher. However for the first time since April, the O’s won a series. And they did so by scoring 26 runs over the three games, surrendering only two.

It was announced after the game that John Means will be representing the Orioles on the American League all-star roster. It’s an honor well-deserved for Means, who’s shown a lot of promise as a young stud pitcher for the Orioles. What’s unclear is how it’s possible that Trey Mancini was left off the roster. Not only that, but he wasn’t even named as an alternate.

Make no mistake, Mancini’s exclusion is an atrocity. There’s no justifiable reason that Mancini shouldn’t be on the roster. And to be honest, it would be nice to hear why he wasn’t put on the roster. Needless to say, the Orioles will still have a representative, however Mancini was well-deserving of a slot.

The Orioles now head to Tropicana Field where they’ll open a three-game series with Tampa. The Orioles have not announced a starter, but whomever he is will be opposed by Tampa’s Ryne Stanek. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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