Results tagged ‘ Hanser Alberto ’

Baltimore Orioles prompted to victory by Hanser Alberto’s squeeze

The Baltimore Orioles handed Asher Wojchiekowski the baseball this afternoon in the Motor City, and got exactly what they needed. They got a starter who put them in a position to win the game. And in the process they’re finding out more and more that Wojciechowski could be a keeper going into next year. Wojchiekowski’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Detroit took an early 1-0 lead on Wojchiekowski and the Birds, on an RBI-double by Mercer in the last of the first. However an inning later the O’s bounced back and tied it on DJ Stewart‘s RBI-single. Detroit briefly had the lead back on Greiner’s RBI-single in the last of the second. But the Orioles weren’t about to let this one get away from them after blowing two late leads and losing in walk off fashion in the twelfth last night.

They took control for good in the third. Hanser Alberto tied it with an RBI-single. The great thing about that was that it was a bunt RBI-single. The Orioles put on the squeeze play and Alberto bunted for a base hit. And…it worked!

And as I’ve been saying all year, sometimes things happen when you get traffic on the base paths. Because later in the inning with two runners on, Rio Ruiz stepped to the plate and smacked a three-run homer. That gave the Orioles the lead for good at 5-2.

Jonathan Villar‘s two-RBI single in the sixth rain the score to 7-2, however the game was interrupted by a 40 minute rain delay as some storms passed over Detroit. But the O’s didn’t let up once play resumed. In fact, they racked on an insurance run. Anthony Santander‘s RBI-single in the eighth ran the final to 8-2.

The Alberto squeeze play was the catalyst for the win. That’s a play on which the Orioles normally aren’t able to deliver. However it’s possible that the fundamentals that the coaching staff have been preaching all season are finally starting to kick in. While many fans will say that’s too little too late, it helps the O’s going into spring training next year. It’s a rebuild; the future is everything.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at Comerica Park. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Tyler Alexander. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

Baltimore Orioles’ Hanser Alberto intimidates Tampa, Birds win

It begins and ends with starting pitching for the Baltimore Orioles. This evening, that means it began and ended with John Means. After falling off just a bit after the all-star break, Means stepped up tonight and pitched himself and the Orioles to a quality start. Means’ line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K.

Means was on point throughout the entire outing. However the zero walks really stands out. In a year where the Orioles have seemingly allowed the entire world to homer or walk, Means didn’t issue any free passes. In a year where John Means has impressed from the beginning, he was outstanding tonight.

And for once, the Orioles got a quality start and the bats followed suit. They put two runners on base in the first inning, and Hanser Alberto scored on a wild pitch. Tampa of course employer an opener, however the Orioles chased him before the first inning was even over.

However the lone dim moment for the Orioles came in that first inning when they allowed Tampa to turn a double-play with the bases loaded and one out. You have to hold opponents accountable when they get into jams. Because in this case Tampa’s usually the type of team that says thank you very much when given opportunities. Luckily for the O’s, that didn’t happen tonight.

Tampa brought in Pruit to pitch after the opener, and he found himself similarly in trouble in the last of the third. The O’s had runners at the corners with nobody out, and Tampa employee a shift. Hanser Alberto was at third, and with nobody holding him on at third base he began creeping down the line. As he danced around between third base and home plate, he was obviously causing Pruit angst on the mound…

…and Pruit as a result would allow the runner at first to steal second, and an additional base runner at third. Still intimidated by Alberto, he eventually hung a fastball to Pedro Severino. And Severino find.’the disappoint, depositing a grand slam in the left field grandstand, and giving the Birds a 5-0 lead.

Don’t underestimate the role that Hanser Alberto played in that sequence. In case you don’t follow my twitter feed and aren’t aware of my stance on shifts, I’m not a fan. And that situation illustrates one of the many reasons why. Tampa gave Severino the entire left field line – because his spray charts show you don’t really have to guard that area against him.

But what the shift doesn’t foresee is having a runner on base who’s pushing the limits of coming down the line. Alberto was dancing around between third and home for several minutes, and Pruit was very wary of it. And T affected his concentration, causing him to hang that fastball to Severino.

To top it off, Alberto and Jonathan Villar would go back-to-back on solo homers one inning later. That ran the lead to 7-1. Tampa’s Brosseau would smack a solo shot of his own in the fifth, cutting the lead to 7-1. But that doesn’t overshadow Means’ superb outing, or Alberto’s antics. Granted Pedro Severino still had to hit that grand slam out of the park, but credit part of it to Hanser Alberto.

The series continues tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the call for the O’s, and Tampa is yet to name a starter. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: One bad inning equals a bad outing

Ty Blach learned a valuable lesson in his start last night for the Baltimore Orioles. One bad inning against an opportunist team such as Tampa (who’s in contention as it is) will do you in. In Blach’s case, it’ll also get you sent out to the minors after the game. But I digress. Blach’s line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 2 K.

Blach threw 15 pitches in the first inning. And 47 in the second. That obviously did him in. Now personally I feel that only three of those seven runs should have been earned, and I’ll get to that in a moment. But the end result is still the same.

Kiermaier got Tampa going in that second inning with an RBI-double against the shift. I’m sometimes asked why I sometimes point out that a hit or RBI comes against the shift. My personal view is that these shifts are being played too often in baseball. So when I see a play where a guy gets a hit to a spot where a player would have been had they not been shifted, I take notice.

That Kiermaier hit would have been right to the third baseman had the defense been straightaway. Now it was also very softly hit so it still might have been a hit. But would a run have scored? Debatable, I suppose.

Zunino’s two-RBI single later in the inning gave Tampa a 3-0 lead. Later in the inning Pham hit what I thought was a routine grounder to Hanser Alberto at second base. Alberto dropped the ball, and everyone was safe. That brought Meadows to the plate with the bases loaded, and his grand slam gave Tampa a 7-0 lead.

we may be arguing semantics just a bit. However I would argue that the four runs from the grand slam should be unearned. Again, my personal view was that the grounder to Alberto was fairly routine. I suppose it may have been semi-slowly hit (or something along those lines), which is why a hit was credited to Pham.

But if that’s ruled a routine play, given that there were two outs any runs coming after that play would be considered unearned. Tampa could have scored five more runs in the inning, and they would have been unearned. Idea being that the inning would have been over if not for the error. At the end of the day it really only affects the pitcher’s ERA. However I thought those runs should have been unearned.

Jonathan Villar‘s solo homer in the eighth inning would get the O’s on the board. However this game shows the importance of starting pitching. Blach had one bad inning. And in reality it did the Orioles in. Those seven runs in the second were the only runs Tampa scored. That one inning literally cost the Orioles the game.

The series with Tampa continues this evening at Camden Yards. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Jose Alvarado. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall to Washington

Asher Wojciechowski probably pitched a better game than the numbers indicate for the Baltimore Orioles last night. In total, he probably put the O’s in a spot to win the game. And that’s all you can ask of a starter. Wojciechowski’s line: 5.1 IP, 6 ah, 3 R, 0 BB, 7 K.

Wojciechowski gave up a solo homer to Adams in the second inning, however the O’s immediately tied the game back up. Hanser Alberto smacked a solo homer in the last of the second, which tied things up at one. However the Orioles never got any closer than that. Washington took the lead back in the third on an RBI-double by Rendon.

Wojciechowski gave up a solo homer to Soto in the sixth. Later in the inning the Orioles also balked in a fourth run, giving Washington a 4-2 lead. And as the game wore on, Washington added on. They never really stopped scoring, taking game one of this truncates two-game set by the score of 8-1.

The real issue in this game wasn’t the starter (Wojchiekowski). It was the bullpen and the offense. Far too often the Orioles’ bullpen has allowed teams to add on run after run in the later innings. We saw it over the weekend against Tampa, and we saw it last night.

Now that might in fact be irrelevant if you can’t score runs, which the Orioles were unable to do last night (save for the Alberto homer early in the game). However your pitching as to put you in a spot to be able to do that. If the opponent is consistently adding on runs at will, there isn’t much the offense is going to be able to do.

Having said that, this is all part of the rebuilding process. You have to go through stretches like this, and hope that you come out better for it on the other end. Teams such as Houston and the Chicago Cubs certainly did. And if you look at the Orioles’ front office and coaching staff, you see several pieces from both of those organizations.

The series with Washington concludes tonight at Camden Yards. Aaron Brooks gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Erick Fedde. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Hanser Alberto keeps Birds from the wrong side of history

The Baltimore Orioles almost made history this afternoon against Tampa at Camden Yards. But not the right type of history. They were almost on it’s wrong side, as Tampa took a combined perfect game into the ninth inning. There have been combined no-hitters (including one in Oriole history), but never a combined perfect game.

And the sad thing is that the Orioles didn’t pitch poorly per se in this series finale against Tampa. Tom Eschelman was called up from the minors to make the start, and with a couple of exceptions he kept a lineup that scored 29 runs against the Orioles over three games at bay. Eschelman’s line: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 7 K.

Tampa would take a 1-0 lead in the second on a sac fly-RBI by Wendell. Eschelman would also surrender a solo homer to Meadows in the third, and a two-run homer to Brosseau in the sixth.

But the main story of the game was the almost perfect game. Ryne Stanek served as Tampa’s opener, and pitched two perfect innings. He then exited, and Ryan Yarbrough took over. And he almost went the distance. I find it interesting that there had never been a combined perfect game. It needless to say, the final innings and outs were packed full of drama.

Luckily for the Orioles, the drama surrounding the perfect game ended early in the last of the ninth. Hanser Alberto stroked a base hit on the first pitch of the inning, breaking up the perfecto. Perhaps the most unlikely part of the entire thing was that Alberto got his base hit against the shift. Go figure!

But it didn’t end there. The Orioles attempted to rally. Anthony Santander‘s RBI-single cut the lead to 4-1. The Birds would end up with the tying run at the plate – this in a game where they almost got perfecto’d. But Mancini struck out, and the game ended in a 4-1 Tampa victory.

It’s also important to note; the Orioles easily could have thrown down a bunt to attempt to break up the perfect game. However that works against one of the biggest unwritten codes in baseball. Nobody tried to bunt, nobody tried to lean into a pitch, and nobody attempted to do anything on the shady side. While many fans will skoff at this and say that it’s unimportant in a losing effort, it speaks to the Orioles’ sense of honor. So there’s that.

Baltimore Orioles: Two outs away from a win

The Baltimore Orioles were in line to win today. It was the ninth inning and they had the lead against Boston. But ultimately, despite a decent outing from John Means, the Birds ended up back in the loss column – for varying circumstances, some of which were out of their control. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K.

Hanser Alberto‘s RBI-single in the last of the third gave the O’s the lead at 1-0. Boston however would smack back-to-back RBI-doubles in the fourth, giving them a 2-1 lead. But the O’s would tie it at two in the bottom of the inning on Keon Broxton‘s bunt-RBI single…

…or did they? After the play the umpires huddled up, and came to the decision that Broxton had run out of the baseline, a decision that ultimately led to the ejection of manager Brandon Hyde. Here’s the thing; Broxton did run out of the baselines; that part isn’t disputable according to the replay. However the issue is that’s a call that needs to be made on the spot. It’s poor form for umpires to huddle up like that and talk one another into making a judgement call (that should have been made on the spot).

Hyde said after the game that he wasn’t happy with how it was handled. Negating the hit took a run off the board for the O’s. But Hyde’s point was just what I said above; make the call. Don’t sit back and think about it and then make it.

With the Birds still trailing 2-1 in the last of the eighth, Jonathan Villar drew a walk. He then proceeded to steal second and third base, and scored to tie the game at two on a wild pitch.ater in the inning Hanser Alberto’s RBI-single gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead.

The Birds got to within two outs of the win. But then Boston’s Hernandez picked that moment to hit his first homer of the season – off of Mychal Givens. That tied the game in three, and sent it to extra innings. Boston would put up no less than five runs in the tenth, to take an 8-3 lead.

And it’s a shame that Oriole pitching let it get to that point, because Oriole bats did everything they could in the last of the tenth to bring them back. They were able to put three runs on the board and get to within 8-6. But it was too little too late.

The strike zone was incredibly small this afternoon. Boston pitchers pitched to the strike zone. Oriole pitchers pitched to where they assumed pitches should be called strikes. And they got no leeway whatsoever. That combined with the out of the lines play in the fourth inning had the Orioles’ dugout seething at the umpiring crew.

Did the umpires factor into the final score? Well, unequivocally they didn’t give up the homers and the runs in the tenth inning. But could the game have gone differently? You never know.

Brandon Hyde was happy that the team battled back. He seemed very impressed with that. But still, it’s tough to get to within two outs of a win and blow it. But you have to dust yourself off and move onto the next game.

The O’s now hear out west to open up a three-game series with Oakland at the Oakland Coliseum. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Mike Fiers. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

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.

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