Results tagged ‘ Baltimore Orioles ’

Baltimore Orioles victimizing themselves by giving up homers

Baltimore Orioles’ fans got their first dose of starting pitcher Dan Straily this evening. And I suspect that many of them came always wondering why the organization signed him. However keep in mind that he was thrust into this starting role this evening due to injuries, and only signed with the O’s last week. Straily’s line: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 0 K.

Straily pitched to contact – and it showed. Oakland hitters didn’t miss much. And much of what they didn’t miss ended up in the seats.

Ponder smacked a solo homer in the second inning, which was followed up by an RBI-double in the third by Chapman. Later in the inning Davis would single Chapman home, giving Oakland a 3-0 lead.

Those were the only two Oakland runs of the game which didn’t come off the long ball. Profar would smack a two-run home run in the fourth, and Chapman another two-run shot in the fifth. The runs seemed to come in two’s, in the form of two-run homers tonight for Oakland.

The Orioles did get a brief respite in a sense come the last of the fifth. The Birds’ first hit of the game came in the form of a Trey Mancini home run – of the solo variety. Later in the inning Rio Ruiz would hit a two-run homer of his own, cutting the Oakland lead to 7-2.

Chapman and Davis would however homer for the second time in the seventh inning. Chapman with a two-run shot, and Davis with a solo shot.

The Orioles cannot continue to give up the number of home runs they’re surrendering. People can talk all they want about how the Orioles aren’t “trying to win” this year and so forth. I don’t believe for one moment that the players and coaches are buying into that mentality. They’re trying to win every time they’re putting their uniforms on.

Which is why something has to be done about the homers. This Oriole offense can get guys on base and get them home. But if they’re already too far behind to have a few runs make a difference, there’s not much we can say or do. If you continually give up the long ball, especially with guys on base, that makes it all the more difficult to function as a team with the goal of winning games.

One bright spot for the Orioles was reliever Mike Wright, who pitched the eighth and ninth innings. He gave up one hit in that period, closing out the game for the O’s. Critics will point out that coming in with the team already trailing by seven certainly isn’t a high-yield situation. However the fact is that the guy looked good, and he probably saved the O’s from having to use an additional reliever in the ninth inning.

The series with Oakland (and the home stand) concludes tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Aaron Brooks. Game time is set for just after 12:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Using position players as pitchers could afford to cease

The Baltimore Orioles used infielder Hanser Alberto as a relief pitcher yesterday. It’s understandable why; the game was out of control, and manager Brandon Hyde wanted to save his bullpen. However whether or not that’s a good idea in general is another story.

Again, I understand the reasoning behind the move. In fact, Hyde indicated after the game that Alberto might have saved the team from having to make a roster move when asked if that was a possibility:

I definitely was thinking that during the game. But then Hanser picked us up, so it’s something we’re going to discuss after this.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

There’s something to be said for that. It’s also a trend that we’re seeing across the big leagues. Heck, Tampa sometimes uses their pitchers in the field and then swaps them onto the mound. And I’m submitting that perhaps some of these practices need to stop.

Nobody uses a position player as a pitcher in a close game. It’s generally done in the manner that Brandon Hyde did it yes

terday; an out-of-control game so as to save a reliever. But are we really doing a service to the game itself when pulling a stunt like that? Are we really giving people what they paid good money to see?

As bad as it was seeing the Oriole bullpen get lit up time after time yesterday, that beat seeing Alberto messing himself on the mound. And I say that in the sense that Alberto isn’t a pitcher. He doesn’t have the training and practice that pitchers usually have. Never mind the fact that someone could get hurt.

I just feel that there’s a better way to do things than using a position player. However it’s not something that I think should be against the rules. I would submit that the manner in which the Orioles used Chris Davis as a pitcher is a totally different story. If a team’s in extra innings and they’re out of pitchers, obviously someone has to come in. But I’d like to see managers stay away from that in a game such as a blowout.

So let’s put it this way; it should be legal. There should be no reason as per the rules of the game why a position player should be barred from pitching. But it’s something from which I wish managers would stay away unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Baltimore Orioles’ pitching knocked around in series finale

David Hess‘ outing for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon looked and felt vastly different than his previous outing. Hess, as you’ll remember, was lifted in the seventh inning on Tuesday evening while throwing a no-hitter. While I do feel that Hess was squeezed a bit from the beginning by the home plate umpire, this outing most certainly doesn’t compare. Hess’ line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 K.

However we also need to be fair to Hess. New York starter German refused to allow the Orioles to do anything offensively. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before it was broken up. He pitched an outstanding game. The Orioles were unable to provide an answer for what he was throwing.

New York got on the board in the second inning on solo homers by Torres and Frazier. Before his big homer last night, Frazier’s last major leaguer homer cam in 2017. Hit hit two this series.

Sanchez would smack a two-run home run in the third, doubling New York’s lead. Frazier would come back up again in the sixth, and added insult to injury. As if his homer wasn’t enough, he provided an RBI-single in the sixth. When the smoke cleared in the sixth and seventh innings; New York held a 9-0 lead.

While the Orioles couldn’t put anything scores against German, they did chase him in the seventh inning. And that allowed them to at least put a few runners on. And just like that, they were able to load the bases in the last of the seventh. If nothing else, this game tells you that good pitching will generally win out, regardless of how good or bad the hitting is.

Jonathan Villar was able to score from third (with the bases loaded in the last of the seventh) on a pass ball to get the Birds on the board. Trey Mancini would score on a subsequent wild pitch. So while in a big time losing effort today, the O’s put two runs across without a hit to drive the runs in.

Later in that seventh inning Hanser Alberto‘s RBI-single would cut the lead to 9-3. But apparently New York wasn’t done yet. Sanchez smacked a two-run homer in the eighth, to run things to 11-3. It wasn’t just Sanchez’s third homer of the game, it was his third two-run homer of the game.

Frazier decided to add a two-run shot of his own in the ninth inning, which prompted the Orioles to use Hanser Alberto as a pitcher. Not ideal under any circumstances. After Alberto hit the first batter, Romine followed up with yet another two-run homer.

I wouldn’t have used Alberto as a pitcher. In fairness to Brandon Hyde, it didn’t affect the outcome of the game. But would a real reliever have surrendered another homer in that situation? We don.’the know. But losing 15-3 only hurts the team’s confidence: again however, it’s only one of 162.

New York smacked seven homers in this game. All but one of their runs came off the long ball. So on one hand you could argue that the O’s forced NY to become one dimensional and use the long ball exclusively to beat them. The bad news is that NY did just that.

For a young rebuilding team, games like this are going to happen. So are series’ like this. You never want to get swept, but getting swept at home by a division rival is really no fun. But keep in mind that if the Orioles’ top brass does it’s job in the coming years during the rebuild, one day the numbers in this series might be flipped.

The Orioles open up a four-game series with Oakland tomorrow night. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Marco Estrada. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Did Miguel Castro respect NY too much?

Baltimore Orioles’ reliever Miguel Castro gave up a go-ahead three-run homer in tonight’s game against New York. It was the eventual game-winner, hit by Frazier. Scouting reports say that Frazier hits fastballs better than sliders. So Castro feeds Frazier a two-strike slider with two outs and two on, which ended up in the seats.

Dylan Bundy got the start for the Orioles, and while he ended up being ineffective his pitch count was once again an issue. New York hacks and hacks, fouling pitch after pitch off – and raising their opponents’ pitch count. Needless to say, Bundy will be happy his next start won’t come against New York. Bundy’a line: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K.

The teams traded solo homers in the first inning; Judge for New York and Trey Mancini for the Birds. Judge would also smack a two-run shot in the third, and New York took a 3-1 lead. For what it’s worth, both of Judge’s homers came on two-strike counts. So did the aforementioned homer by Frazier.

Renato Nunez‘s fifth inning RBI-single brought the Birds to within 3-2. Two innings later the O’s sent Chris Davis up as a pinch hitter with a runner on third. Davis didn’t get a base hit, however he did get an RBI on a sharp dribbler up the line which was bobbled by the first baseman. That allowed a run to score, tying the game at three. Later in the inning Rio Ruiz would rack on a sac fly-RBI, giving the Birds a 4-3 lead.

Which brings us back to the aforementioned Frazier homer in the eighth. Castro seemed to feel that if he threw a fastball to Frazier the ball would end up traveling a long way. However New York is the type of team that can sense fear. And sure enough, the O’s basically told NY that they didn’t want to throw them a fastball with the game on the line. That was anticipated, and it cost the Orioles.

In fairness to Castro, he had nothing to do with the Orioles going 1-for-14 with RISP. The Orioles has their chances to get, pad, and preserve a lead. They just couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities that they had. It’s tough to win when you can’t get guys in, and that includes leading off two innings with doubles and having the runners die at second.

The O’s will try to salvage one game tomorrow against New York at Camden Yards. David Hess gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Domingo German. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles sign RHP Dan Straily

The Baltimore Orioles resume their season and their series with New York this evening after the “traditional” post-Opening Day off day. And they do so with a slightly different roster than what we’ve seen to this point. Late yesterday the Birds signed RHP Dan Straily to a major league deal.

Straily, 32, was released by Miami last week following spring training. He has a 4.23 ERA over seven big league seasons. Last year he went 5-6 with Miami, pitching to an ERA of 4.12. Infielder Drew Jackson was DFA’d to make room on the roster for Straily.

This isn’t an earth-shattering signing on the Orioles’ part. Straily won’t make any big headlines. However he will add a veteran presence to the rotation, which will help other pitchers along. Incidentally, his salary is also being paid by the Miami Marlins. So the O’s have that going for them.

What this does to the rotation remains to be seen. However many might look at the likes of Cobb, Cashner, and now Straily and wonder why the Orioles are shaping themselves such a veteran rotation for a young team. Keep in mind that if Cobb and/or Cashner do their jobs properly, they could both be dealt at the deadline this summer. If that happens, the Birds still have a veteran in the rotation.

The current series with New York will continue this evening from Camden Yards as the O’s try to get even. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s J.A. Happ. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: What to do about Chris Davis?

Today is the annual off day after the Baltimore Orioles’ home opener. It used to be on a Tuesday back when Opening Day was on a Monday. But I digress. There’s no game today, and the weather reflects that.

In reading my twitter feed during and after yesterday’s game, there’s a lot of angst over Chris Davis. Davis went 0-for-3 in yesterday’s game, and was lifted for a pinch hitter late in the game. A pinch hitter who ended up getting a base hit. For the season, Davis is 0-for-17 with a walk and an RBI (the walk came with the bases loaded).

0-for-17 is tough to fathom in terms of starting the season. Especially when Davis is coming off of a season such as last year. Now anytime I talk about Davis I always throw in the fact that he’s still a good defensive first baseman. And make no mistake that’s an important part of any player’s game. Even in a losing effort, his glove saved a couple of runs at various points in Wednesday’s game at Toronto.

Again, make absolutely no mistake that defense is a massive part of the puzzle in baseball. It’s similar to basketball in that you can be playing terribly on offense, but still playing spectacular defense on the other side of the court. Believe me, I do that all the time myself in my own pickup basketball games! (Let’s be frank; I don’t play spectacular defense, but my D is better than my shooting average!)

That aside, Davis is a liability at the plate. The amount for which the Orioles are on the hook according to his contract is an even bigger liability. I’ve said this before and probably will do so again; if the Orioles were to cut Davis (designate him for assignment), they would still have to pay him the entirety of his contract. Even if someone else picked him up.

In essence, Davis could get DFA’d off the roster, be claimed by another team, and still be on the Orioles’ payroll. MLB contracts are guaranteed; this as opposed to NFL contracts where a player can be cut and owed nothing. So…is it not a poor look for the Orioles to be paying a guy to potentially be playing against them?

But it’s also a poor look for someone to be struggling the way that he is at the plate. The Orioles find themselves in a true Catch-22, given all of this. And again, don’t discount Davis in the field. If he’s no longer in the lineup, you do lose a decent glove in the field.

I’m not sure what the answer is. Maybe a trip to the Injured List might be in play at some point – if Davis’ hamstrings or lateral muscles were to become sore of something along those lines. Mind you, being on the Injured List comes with the potential for a rehab assignment, which can last up to a month. Davis would get at-bats in the minors, allowing him to potentially get some sort of groove back.

Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. Whether anything happens or not remains to be seen. Fact is it’s still early. But something needs to happen.

Baltimore Orioles: Was Mike Wright the wrong guy?

Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles dawned brightly at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. People wanted to call this the “home opener,” but please folks…it’s fair to call it Opening Day! Pickles and Sliders across the street were open for business at 6 AM, and a festive holiday mood set in across Baltimore.

Luckily for the home team, starter Alex Cobb was ready to go from the beginning. This was Opening Day for Cobb as well, given that he began the season on the Injured List. He was probably on a shorter leash than he otherwise would have been as a result, but he put the O’s in a position to win. That’s all you can ask of a starter. Cobb’s line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

Jonathan Villar led the game off in the home half of the first with a solo homer over the scoreboard in right field. That began a flurry in the first inning for the Birds. They ended up loading the bases, and while no bases-clearing knock took place, the O’s did clear the bases.

Trey Mancini scored on a balk by NY starter Paxton, who then proceeded to uncork a wild pitch scoring another run. Okay, maybe they didn’t totally clear the bases. But the Orioles held a 3-0 lead after one. However that was trimmed to 3-1 in the third after Torres’ solo homer. The O’s would run the lead back to three runs on an RBI-single in the last of the fifth by Renato Nunez.

However New York decided to show up in this game, albeit late. Sanchez smacked a solo homer in the sixth. New York proceeded to put two more runners on base, bringing Torres back to the plate. And unfortunately for the Orioles on their Opening Day, Torres decided he was going to have a day. He smacked his second homer of the game, this one of the three-run variety. Tack on a ninth inning three-run homer by Voit, and New York would go onto win by that 8-4 margin.

Cobb was lifted in favor of Mike Wright following the Sanchez homer, a move that was criticized by many fans on Twitter. Keep in mind first off that Cobb came off the Injured List to make this start. Brandon Hyde certainly wanted to be careful with him in that sense. Furthermore many starters are on shortish leashes in their maiden starts in a season.

Could Cobb have gone on in the game? Probably. (Recording an additional two outs would have qualified him for a quality start.) However odds are Hyde pulled him for precautionary reasons.

Now, should Wright have been the guy to come into the game in that situation? I’ll let you debate that amongst yourselves. However it.’a worth keeping in mind that Brandon Hyde is managing in his seventh big league game. Furthermore Wright got a fairly dramatic save in his last outing (the first save of his career). Some days pitchers are on, and some days they aren’t. And it’s Mary impossible to predict when they’re going to be on or off. Especially relievers. Games like these happen – all you can do is hope that the next game yields better results.

Baltimore Orioles fall in Toronto finale

The Baltimore Orioles utilized Nate Karns this afternoon as an “opener” once again. In the final game of the season’s opening road trip, the Birds were going for the sweep in Toronto, with Karns only starting in name only. Karns’ line: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 earned), 0 BB, 4 K.

Karns gave up a run-scoring single to Hernandez in the first inning, in a sequence that included an E5. You can’t give teams extra outs at this level, because they’ll take advantage. After Karns had given way to Jimmy Yacabonis however, Gruchuk added a solo homer in the third inning to give Toronto a 2-0 lead.

Prior to the game the Orioles DFA’d reliever Pedro Araujo, and called up Matt Wotherspoon from the minors. (Araujo will now be offered back to the Chicago Cubs, as he still had Rule 5 status.) Wotherspoon had his opportunity to make his big league debut at Rogers Centre today, however it didn’t go quite according to plan…

…Wotherspoon allowed a homer and an RBI-double in the eighth. In effect, that put the game semi-out of reach for the Orioles. However they did get a late three-run homer from Trey Mancini in the ninth. But the Birds ended up falling on this day, 5-3. (Incidentally the Orioles are expected to send Wotherspoon back down, as they’ll need to make another roster move before tomorrow’s game.)

While Chris Davis isn’t putting out the offensive stats that the Orioles wasn’t right now, he’s always been a solid defensive first baseman. He saved numerous runs today with his glove work at first base. The Orioles would like to see more out of him at the plate for sure, however one way or the other he’s contributing.

It’s always a bit of a downer to lose the final game of a series, even after winning the first two. You’d almost rather lose the first or second game and then win the third – it almost feels like you lost the series. But the fact is that the Orioles didn’t lose this series. They head home now with a 4-2 record, having taken two-of-three in two division series’ on the road.

It’s still very early in a season which still looks to be a tough one for these Orioles. But the fact is that NOBODY saw a 4-2 record coming after six games. Heck, there were people who expected them to be 0-6 going into the home opener. That’s not the case. Even in a losing effort today, they still made a run in the ninth. This could still be a mirage; but this team could also be just a bit better than anyone thought.

The Orioles will now return home for their home opener tomorrow at Camden Yards against New York. Alex Cobb, gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s James Paxton. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Andrew Cashner outduels Toronto

Andrew Cashner atoned for his Opening Day outing very well this evening at Rogers Centre in Toronto for the Baltimore Orioles. Cashner dominated a Toronto lineup which is as young and inexperienced as that of the Orioles, yet appears to have more issues in figuring out who they are or will be. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K.

Cashner was masterful. He didn’t surrender a hit until the last of the fourth inning. That was the first hit off of an Orioles’ starter since Sunday afternoon in the Bronx. For a team that didn’t know what it’s starting rotation was going to look like two weeks ago, that’s pretty impressive.

This game was a pitcher’s duel for most of the evening. Toronto’s starter Stroman matched Cashner almost pitch-for-pitch. However as can be the case in many instances, one team caught the opposing pitcher right as he was running out of gas. Best time to score runs against a pitcher who’s on his game, as Stroman was!

Stroman started to run out of gas in the sixth inning. Unfortunately for Toronto, they couldn’t get him out quick enough. Or more realistically they couldn’t get the bullpen ready in time. And that was to the Orioles’ benefit tonight.

The O’s got on the board in the top of the sixth on Jonathan Villar‘s RBI-triple. And it was a tight grounder all the way down the right field line and into the corner. Rogers Centre has been a house of horrors for the Birds over the years. But for once it was the Orioles who took advantage of the dimensions and the turf at the ballpark in the great white north, yielding them a run.

Later in that sixth inning Trey Mancini would plate Villar with an RBI-single, giving the Birds a 2-0 lead. And that would end up being the insurance run in a sense. The O’s threatened in the ninth but were unable to put an additional run across. Toronto would smack a solo homer in the last of the ninth, but that was the only threat they posed. And it was an inconsequential threat at the end of the day.

MASN’s Gary Thorne asked manager Brandon Hyde how the O’s are grinding games out after the game. His response was defense. When you’re playing good defense you’re limiting your opponents’ opportunities to put runs on the board. That in essence makes your opponent’s success contingent on the long ball. Which as we know is what the Orioles were last year. That aside, if you can keep guys off base by racking up outs, your odds of winning games goes up exponentially.

The series at Rogers Centre concludes tomorrow afternoon. Nate Karns gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Matt Shoemaker. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: David Hess’ Monday Funday

David Hess is the first Baltimore Orioles’ pitcher to record a quality start in 2019. If you’re keeping track at home, that is. And Hess put on quite a performance at that. Hess’ line: 6.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K.

Hess was also the beneficiary of the Birds scoring runs early and often. Jonathan Villar smacked a two-run home run early in the first inning. That not only set the tone for the rest of the inning, but also for the game.

Later in that first inning Chris Davis would come up, and with the bases loaded at that. Davis worked the count full, refusing to swing at a would-be called strike three. And eventually Davis would draw a walk, scoring the Birds’s fourth run of the game. Rio Ruiz would later score on a pass ball, and Trey Mancini added a sac fly-RBI in the second to give the O’s a 5-0 lead.

During Spring Training Chris Davis swung at a lot of pitches out of the strike zone, and looked at several called third strikes on the black. Following that was frustrating for a lot of fans, and I’m sure for Davis himself. However that’s why they play those spring games – to get the players ready for the regular season.

Here now we had Davis with a situation where he could have broken the game wide open early. However he wasn’t about to go after bad pitches just to wish on a prayer in a sense. He worked the count, probably with some of those spring at-bats in his mind. While technically he didn’t break the game open per se, he netted the Orioles a run. Which probably wouldn’t have been the case had he pushed too hard.

The story of the game of course was manager Brandon Hyde removing Hess in the seventh inning. With a no-hitter going. Hyde said after the game that Hess was on a pitch count since he had to pitch on Thursday in NY. So the move was all about Hess’ long-term health and that of the team.

Was it a curious move by Hyde? Yes. However he gave a legitimate reason as to why he lifted Hess. Maybe you as a fan accept that explanation, maybe you don’t. But quite simply, it is what it is.

Mancini would smack a solo homer in that seventh inning as well. However Toronto would get a two-run homer in the last of the seventh following Hess’ departure. They would also put two across in the last of the ninth to make it interesting, but it was too little too late. With the win, the Birds snapped a ten-game losing streak in Toronto.

The series at Rogers Centre in Toronto continues tomorrow evening. Andrew Cashner gets the call for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Marcus Stroman. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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