Results tagged ‘ John Means ’

Baltimore Orioles: John Means a hard-luck loser

The Baltimore Orioles got another great start out of John Means last night against Texas. However the bats were quiet, making Means a hard-luck loser. It’s unfortunately part of being a starting pitcher sometimes in baseball. All Means can do is his job and handle the things he can control. He did that last night, it just didn’t work out. Means’ line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Means is going through a bit of a situation in his personal life, as his father was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. You may remember awhile back when he was placed on the family emergency list – he had traveled home to the Kansas City area to be with his Dad and his family. The Orioles then arrived in Kansas City, where Means turned in one of the best starts of his career in his hometown surrounded by his family. Needless to say, baseball’s a nice distraction for him right now.

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the last of the sixth, after playing to a 0-0 tie to that point. Renato Nunez pushed a run across on a sac fly-RBI. However one inning later Solak smacked a two-run homer for Texas, giving them a 2-1 lead. Forsythe’s ninth inning RBI-single in the ninth gave them an insurance run, and Texas beat the O’s 3-1 in game one of four.

Manager Brandon Hyde on Means’ outing (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

I didn’t think he was especially sharp in the first, but he really settled down and had a really good changeup going. He was just cruising into the seventh inning. He was throwing the ball really well and just left a changeup out over for the two-run homer. But that really wasn’t the story. He did a great job, but we just didn’t hit with runners in scoring position. We didn’t do a very good job with situational hitting tonight. We had our opportunities. He definitely deserved better, but we just didn’t get it done offensively tonight.

The O’s were 0-for-13 with RISP last night. While it begins and ends with starting pitching, that right there was the game. Had even one of those runners scored, the game unfolds differently.

The series continues tonight at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Brock Burke. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: John Means business in return to his hometown

John Means of the Baltimore Orioles got to watch a dream play out last night in Kansas City. Means’ hometown is about 30 minutes from there, and he grew up a huge Kansas City Royals fan. Athletes dream of playing in their hometown against their hometown team; not only did Means get to do it, but he pitched a gem in doing so. Means’ line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Means was welcomed home in a semi-inauspicious manner, as Kansas City took a 1-0 lead in the first on a solo home run by Soler. However Means had some help in this game; that help of course in the form of Oriole bats. Pedro Severino‘s RBI-single in the second tied the game at one. Kansas City never had the lead or even got close again.

Anthony Santander smacked a three-run homer in the third, and the O’s were off to the races. Severino would add another RBI-single later in the inning, and Richie Martin a sac fly-RBI. Kansas City’s other lone run came on an RBI-single by Cuthbert in the last of the fourth. Other than that, Means kept them off the board.

And for their part the Orioles couldn’t stay off the board. Hanser Alberto‘s two-RBI single in the fifth opened the game up wide. Jonathan Villar would later steal home in the seventh to give the O’s a 9-2 lead. When all was said and done and the smoke cleared, the Orioles had defeated Kansas City 14-2.

Oriole bats were huge in winning this game – that goes without saying. But you have to feel good for John Means, who was able to provide such a dominant performance in his hometown in front of his parents and other family and friends. Means on the outing (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports:

It almost felt like my debut. I had so many friends and family here. The first inning, a little butterflies, you know in my home ballpark. But it was a cool experience. I didn’t think I would ever make it here, to be honest with you. It was always my dream, but I was a realist as a kid; I’ll probably have to get another job. But it was really cool. The big crown in center field. I grew up (and) probably came to 200 games here in my lifetime. I’m definitely familiar with the park.

Means seems like he understands what a cool moment he was afforded last night. And in saying that I mean the opportunity to get to play in his hometown, albeit as a visitor. Not every athlete gets to do that. Not only was he afforded that opportunity, but he seized it and ran with it. Pitching a gem like that in what amounts to his home ballpark is probably something that neither he nor his parents will ever forget.

The series continues tonight at Kauffman Stadium. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the I’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Jorge Lopez. Game time is set for 7:15 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: What’s the goal for the second half?

The Baltimore Orioles and the rest of MLB remain on the all-star break – for today. With the exception of Texas and Houston, who play tonight. But I digress. The second half opens in earnest tomorrow.

I would still question why John Means didn’t get into the All-Star game Tuesday night. It’s not just Means who deserves an explanations to why he didn’t get into the game. Orioles’ fans deserve to know why not one of their players appeared in the game. Yes, they have the worst record in baseball. But Means deserved to be on the roster, and has better numbers than some of the guys who did pitch.

That aside, Tampa comes to town tomorrow to open the unofficial second half of the season. What should the Orioles’ goal be for that second half? It’s too simplistic to say win as many games as they can. That should go without saying. It what goals should they have?

I’ll throw out a few. First off, they need to figure out what they’re doing at the trade deadline at the end of the month. If one or more guys end up getting traded, then the organization needs to figure out who takes their place on the roster. Basically, which prospects will get to come up. If that happens, the organization needs to ensure that they get it right.

Another goal should be to button up defensive miscues. Over the course of the first half several miscues haunted the Orioles in games. In some instances these miscues did cost the Orioles games. In others they piled onto a score that ended up getting out of control. Either way, it needs to stop.

And I stand by what I said at the beginning of the season. The goal is to win more than 47 games (last year’s total). They’re currently at 27; if they can win more than 20 games for the remainder of the season, it’ll have been a success on some level.

Anything on top of that is gravy, folks. Enjoy the last day of the break!

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 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: John Means business in return

John Means came off the IL to make the start last night for the Baltimore Orioles against Cleveland. And he couldn’t have picked a better game to return, as he was on the ball himself, and Oriole bats produced a donnybrook of a win. Means himself didn’t go too deep into the game because the O’s wanted to be cautious after his IL stint, but he looked good while he was in – and the bullpen followed suit. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K.

It’s been a long time since the Orioles have won a game running away like that. Chance Sisco‘s two-run homer in the first inning set the tone. Later in the inning Hanser Alberto‘s two-RBI double actually doubled the Orioles’ lead to 4-0. And they were off!

The good news was that the O’s kept the pressure on. Dwight Smith Jr. added a sac fly-RBI in the second. Sisco added another RBI-single, and Anthony Santander‘s homer broke the game wide open. The Orioles held an 8-0 lead after two innings once the smoke cleared.

As I said, John Means and the bullpen kept Cleveland in check. And that’s been tough to do thus far this season. Sometimes playing with such a big lead is tough because you end up letting tour guard down. If anything that might be natural. However the Orioles were nose to the brine stone throughout the entire game. They weren’t losing their focus on this night.

And for good measure, they added a few runs on late. The seventh brought a Rio Ruiz RBI-single, and the eight two separate two-RBI doubles. One by Chance Sisco, and the other from Anthony Santander. For one game, it seemed that everyone participated.

Orioles fans would have liked to have seen games like this earlier and more often this year. However for once, the skies opened up and let us see just what this crop of players are capable of doing. It’s a trend that Orioles fans certainly hope continues into today’s game.

The series with Cleveland continues today at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Zach Plesac. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Figure out how to keep it in the park

The Baltimore Orioles open a three-game set against Cleveland this evening. It’s been going on all season long, however of late we’ve seen more and more balls flying out of the park. Unfortunately the majority of them are off of Oriole pitchers.

I’m a rational thinker, so naturally I want to understand why. I suspect that to some degree Oriole pitchers are somewhat predictable. They throw fastballs in fastball counts, and off speed pitches in counts which call for that. However as Buck Showalter said on numerous occasions, there’s no such thing as a fastball count anymore.

But this goes beyond that. Opposing teams are adept at anticipating what Oriole pitchers are going to throw. But they’re also able to anticipate where and when pitchers are going to miss in a fairly adroit manner. If the game situation calls for a slider, they’re fairly confident that the Orioles will dish out a slider. But the scouting report on that specific pitcher indicates that he often misses low on his sliders. So hitters are thinking low, and are ready for the pitch.

And thus far it’s been the opposing team scouting which has been spot on. And it’s killing the Orioles – the home runs, that is. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what they need to do to keep more balls in the park. That’s well above my pay grade. But what I can say is that they need to either try to keep the ball in the park, or figure out how to score more runs. Preferably both, for their sake.

The series with Cleveland opens tonight at Camden Yards. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Six-game home stand opens tonight

After a day off yesterday the Baltimore Orioles open a six-game home stand this evening as they welcome in Toronto. One thing I do find curious is the fact that the O’s had a day off yesterday following their flight home from Houston. Following this home stand they won’t get a day off between series’ and they’ll go from Baltimore to Oakland on Sunday night.

The home stand ends on Sunday afternoon with the series finale against Boston, after which the O’s will get on their team charter and head to Oakland. They’ll be on the west coast for seven games – three in Oakland and four in Seattle. With no days off, even one for traveling.

The Orioles will however get a day off following that road swing before starting another home stand with the San Diego Padres. Making a major league schedule for every team in the league is no easy task. But that’s something that the league needs to take into account – days off when you’re going cross-country, that is.

The series with Toronto begins tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. John Means gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Trent Thornton. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall on walk off homer

John Means started for the Baltimore Orioles at Coors Field last night, and turned in his normal great effort. He didn’t last as long in the game as he has in previous starts, but Coors Field can do that to a pitcher who’s. It used to pitching there. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

The O’s trailed early in the game as Arenado smacked a solo homer in the last of the first. But they got back on track quickly. Newly acquired center fielder Keon Broxton got the O’s on the board in the second. In fact, he gave them the lead. He smacked a two-run homer and the Birds led 2-1.

Normally players don’t come to the Orioles and immediately pay dividends like that. In fact, usually it’s the opposite. The fact that Broxton came in and immediately made an impact is a good sign for the O’s.

Later in that second inning Pedro Severino smacked an RBI-double which extended the Orioles’ lead to 3-1. One inning later Dwight Smith Jr’s solo homer made it 4-1. These home runs are good signs for the O’s for sure. However one does have to take into account that this game was played in Coors Field in Denver. Camden Yards is a hitters park which surrenders a lot of homers. Coors Field is even more so. With the air in Denver being so thin, the ball can really sail.

Jonathan Villar‘s fourth inning RBI-double ran the lead to 5-1. However in a park like Coors Field, no lead is truly safe. Colorado started to fight back. They netted two runs off of an RBI-single and an RBI-double in the last of the fourth. While the O’s also produced an additional home run (from Núñez) in the seventh, it wouldn’t be enough.

Colorado would tie the game at six in the last of the seventh with two home runs. The game looked destined for extra innings. However as we know, the home team hits last. Story’s homer in the last of the ninth walked Colorado off winners, and the Orioles fell 7-6.

The series continues this evening at Coors Field. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Colorado’s Kyle Freeland. Game time is set for just after 9 PM.

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