Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Villar ’

Baltimore Orioles equal 2018

With tonight’s win, the Baltimore Orioles equaled their 2018 mark of 47 wins. They did it tonight behind a fine effort by John Means. He tamed one of the best lineups in baseball for all intents and purposes. Means’ line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K

Dwight Smith Jr’s RBI-double gave the O’s a 1-0 lead in the last of the second. And that lead held up until the sixth when Pollock smacked a two-run homer. Los Angeles is one of the best teams in baseball; you can’t totally shut them down.

However the Birds weren’t going to be stopped. Dwight Smith provides an additional RBI-single in the bottom of that second inning to tie the game at two. Right when it looked like we might end up in extra innings, Oriole bats came to life.

Jonathan Villar gave the Orioles the lead back in the seventh. He hit a no doubter into the stands, which opened up a 5-2 lead for the O’s. The record will also show forevermore that Villar hit the 6,106th home run of the 2019 big league season – a new major league record. Again, forevermore the record will show that said record was broken by an Oriole.

Pedro Severino would add a two-run shot in the eighth, and LA would add a run in the ninth. However when all was said and done, the Orioles had a 7-3 victory. Their 47th of the year.

As I said, that ties last year’s win total. My goal at the beginning of the season was for the Orioles to win more games than they did in 2018. So tonight they equaled that mark. Incidentally, they only reached 47 wins on the last day of the season last year.

The prevailing odds are that they’ll achieve my goal. Many people say that’s setting the bar too low. Maybe it is. But at the end of the day they’ll be able to say they did better year-over-year. And that’s an important sentiment to take into spring training next year.

The series with Los Angeles concludes tomorrow evening at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by LA’s Rich Hill (himself a former Oriole). Game time is set for approximately 7:15 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: These Birds are royal

It doesn’t begin to pay Kansas Coty back for the 2015 ALCS, but the Baltimore Orioles walloped Kansas City this evening to take two-of-three. The Birds got a decent start for the second in as many games, this evening out of Aaron Brooks. Brooks’ line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

For the first time in what feels like forever, the O’s put up some wayward – or caddywampus – numbers. I thought that perhaps this past Sunday in Boston was going to be a game like this, however Boston came back and beat the Orioles handily. But Kansas City aren’t the BoSox. And this wasn’t Fenway Park.

Jonathan Villar got the party started in the second inning with a two-rum homer. Stevie Wilkerson would add an RBI-double later in the inning, and the O’s led 3-0. They jumped out to a lead, and never looked back.

Kansas City did however make a slight motion to get back into the game. Merrifield smacked a solo homer in the third inning. However that would be as far as they’d get. While Kansas City takes it’s team name from a color, the true colors of this game and this series were orange and black.

The Orioles would net back-to-back homers in the last of the fifth, which in effect blew the game wide open. Anthony Santander smacked a two-run shot, and Renato Nunez a solo homer. The Orioles at that point led 5-1.

And they also put out a few add-on runs. Probably unnecessary with the way this game ebbed and flowed, but always nice to have. And in fact with how this season’s gone for the Orioles, you can never have enough runs. Hanser Alberto hit a three-run homer in the sixth, and the Birds went into win by the score of 8-1.

The add-on runs are a good sign. As is the fact that the Orioles continued the momentum gained from the previous game. In fact, Jonathan Villar hit the walk off homer last night, and picked right up where he left off this evening. He of course hit the first home run in this game. Again, these are all good signs.

The Orioles will now open up a four-game set with Tampa at Camden Yards. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Ryan Yarbrough. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Mental lapses cost you wins

John Means have the Baltimore Orioles five incredibly solid innings this evening against Kansas City. The issue of course was that he seemingly fell apart in an abrupt manner – before the O’s could get him out. While an error certainly helped things along in that sequence, Means tired quickly. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 earned), 2 BB, 4 K.

Again for five innings, Means looked good. And the O’s had a lead. DJ Stewart‘s RBI-double in the second inning gave them a 1-0 lead.

However a base hit and a botched fielder’s choice and an error in the top of the sixth gave Kansas City runners at the corners. Before the O’s could get someone ready in the bullpen Merrifield’s RBI-single would tie the game at one. Later in the inning Dozier’s two-RBI single gave Kansas City a 3-1 lead.

I’ve said this before but teams are holding the Orioles in account for 100% of their mistakes. Now the Orioles are in some instances starting to do the same, but if you get into games which are decided by the team that commits the fewer errors and so forth, generally a rebuilding franchise is going to lose that.

However the Orioles don’t quit. That’s certainly to their benefit. Jonathan Villar‘s solo homer in the last of the sixth cut the lead back to one. However the Orioles managed to run themselves out of that inning, with two runners being well off the bases in the end trying to advance. With two outs. Kansas City had both runners in a run-down, only needing to nail one of them. And they did.

And again, they made the Orioles pay for that. They led off the seventh with back-to-back home runs. That broke the Orioles’ back in a sense. Again, the Birds managed to run themselves out of the previous inning. And Kansas City held them to account.

But turnaround can also be fair play. As I said, the O’s are starting to do that also. Stewart would smack a run-scoring single in the last of the seventh which scored a run due in part to an error. Rio Ruiz would smack a solo homer in the last of the ninth, but it was too little too late and the O’s fell 5-4.

Those mental lapses, whether they show up in the scorecard or not, cost the Orioles the game. Think back to that unearned run in the sixth. Think back to the O’s running themselves out of that inning. If things break differently this could be a win instead of a loss.

However that’s part of rebuilding. Lesson learned, in a sense. These games will happen, and as I’ve said many times the organization all but promised fans that at the beginning. It’s a painful process. You just have to hope that if the process is administered properly it culminates in the organization being in a good spot.

The series with Kansas City continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Brad Keller. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Ball always bounces for Boston at the Fens

I would say that Ty Blach‘s day for the Baltimore Orioles was slightly more good than bad. However he certainly had an interesting game, getting six runs and then giving them back. Blach’s line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

Some of the runs Blach surrendered behooved he and the Orioles in that they had a lead and they gave them outs. But they all add up. The O’s took an early 3-0 lead on Renato Nunez‘s three-run homer in the first inning. It looked like it might be a good day for the O’s at that point.

Trey Mancini‘s second inning two-RBI single extended the lead to 5-0. One inning later Hanser Alberto‘s RBI-double extended it to 6-0. But that’s a dangerous position in which to find oneself at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. It’s perhaps the quirkiest park in the majors, and those quirks usually play to the advantage of the home team.

Comebacks always start innocently enough. Boston better two runs in the last of the third on RBI-groundouts. And as I said, it somewhat behooved Ty Blach to surrender those runs. The Birds got outs out of the deal, and they were only one run at a time. Speaking for myself, as a coach I would take that 100% of the time. But in retrospect, Boston was piecemealing their comeback together.

The turning point of the game came in the fourth inning. Jonathan Villar was called out in an inning-ending play on the base paths when he contacted the Boston shortstop. The umpires ruled that he had impeded the fielder’s ability to field the ball.

My point would be what is he supposed to do, run around the guy? Either that or allow the fielder to make the play and then potentially tag him out? It’s a judgement call, but one that went in Boston’s favor. And as I said, the game all but changed on that moment, especially seeing that the bottom of that fourth inning brought a solo homer by Travis (cutting the Orioles’ lead to 6-3).

The last of the sixth was the nadir of the game. Vazquez’s RBI-double cut the lead to 6-4, and left runners at second and third. Moreland then sent a pop into shallow center field. And…the ball fell in the “Bermuda triangle.” This allowed both runners to score, tying the game at six. The ball always bounces Boston’s way at Fenway Park.

I did have a question about the tying run, however. The runner nic’d catcher Chance Sisco as he went by, making it tough for him to field the incoming ball and have a shot at tagging the runner out. Earlier in the game Villar had been called out on the base paths for contacting a fielder. Apparently that rule isn’t universally applied. Sisco would later leave the game after taking a ball to the groin. Again, the ball bounces Boston’s way at Fenway Park.

Bogaerts would smack a two-RBI single later in the inning to give Boston a lead, and they never looked back. Trey Mancini would smack a sac fly-RBI in n the ninth, but the Birds ended up falling 13-7 in Boston. They went 0-for-7 on the road trip.

Many of the tack on runs Boston scores came on singles which were either just slow enough, or against the shift. Oriole pitchers put out several good pitches which justifiably should have gotten them out of the at-bat. But Boston hitters managed to find the holes. Far too often the Orioles are using the shift and opposing teams are either finding a hole, or hitting the ball right where a fielder otherwise would have been had there been no shift on.

And there’s no science to that. It just happens. And it happens a lot to the Orioles. Ultimately it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t, regarding a shift. The ball just bounced the other way a lot today – and the bounces always go Boston’s way at Fenway Park.

The O’s now head home to open a three-game set with Kansas City. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Jorge Lopez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Can’t compete with lightning in a bottle

The Baltimore Orioles had to endure an hour and fifteen minute rain delay before getting last night’s game against New York going. That means that starter Asher Wojchiekowski was sitting on ice during that time as the team waited out the rain delay. Wojciechowski’s line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 5 K.

Wojciechowski wasn’t horrible by any means. In fact, my personal opinion is that he pitched better than his numbers indicate. The Birds as a whole are catching New York at the wrong time. In winning last night, they’ve won six straight games.

To that point, they also seem to know that they’ve caught lightning in a bottle. No matter who they’ve brought up from the minors or plugged into their lineup to replace injured players, it seems that they’ve all magically worked out.

New York smacked back-to-back homers in the third, between Tacuhman and LeMahieu. Gregorious would add an additional homer later in the inning, and New York led 3-0. As if Tauchman (who to be honest I’ve never even heard of until he came to town with New York this week) hasn’t caused the Orioles enough trouble, he robbed the Birds of a homer later in the game. Flat out robbed them by climbing the wall. Again, lightning in a bottle.

However the O’s battled back. Jonathan Villar‘s RBI-triple in the last of the third cut the lead to 3-1. Villar would later score on Trey Mancini‘s RBI-groundout. However in the first two games of this series the Birds have gotten to within one before NY stopped the rally on numerous occasions. And then NY would pile on again – in this case, Romine smacked a two-RBI double in the fourth to give them a two-run lead once again.

But the O’s came back again. Anthony Santander‘s two-run homer in the fifth brought the O’s back to within one. But again, New York wasn’t in the mood to let them get over the hump. They would go onto tally four more runs, and their bullpen closed the door on the Orioles. The Birds ended up falling 9-4.

The silver lining is that the O’s are hanging with New York – for awhile. You can clearly see their yearn to win based on how often they come back. But again, NY is playing on a totally different level. The injuries they’ve had this year could have been considered catastrophic based on who they lost and who they’ve had to plug in. However what they’re doing is somewhat of a freak of nature. As I said, lightning in a bottle.

The series concludes tonight at Camden Yards. John Means comes off the IL to make the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s James Paxton. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: When common sense fails

The Baltimore Orioles got a decent start so to speak out of Gabriel Ynoa this evening. The numbers don’t indicate that, but Ynoa was also the victim of some hard luck. Ynoa’s line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 earned), 2 BB, 1 K.

The O’s started the season with six of their first nine games against New York. At the time, New York had their share of the injuries – as they do now. I suggested that the Orioles were lucky to be seeing their AL East rival while they had some injury problems.

What I couldn’t have known is that no matter who New York plugged into their lineup was going to succeed. Guys would be coming up from the minors and smacking home runs at will. It’s one thing to have a next man up philosophy and have guys play well. But whomever put on the pinstripes ended up being flat out dominant. Much to the chagrin of nearly every other team.

New York took a 1-0 lead on a second inning homer by Romine. However Trey Mancini‘s RBI-single in the third tied the game at one. However one inning later the O’s has two runners on, one of which (in the form of Jace Peterson) was at third. The O’s attempted a double-steal, and Peterson was called out at home plate.

However the Orioles challenged the call. In my personal view it wasn’t even close – replays clearly seemed to show that Peterson slid across home plate well before the tag was put on. However the call was upheld on review, ending the inning.

That was a key turning point in the game. It definitely put the Orioles a bit off-center for a spell. Trey Mancini was so angry that he had to be restrained from going on the field and saying something he would regret. In seeing the replay, it seems to be common sense that the runner was safe. Peterson clearly beat the tag. But the Orioles would argue that common sense failed them this evening.

As I said and as I tweeted during the game, that was a major turning point. Or perhaps a launching point. Because New York took full advantage of the opportunity they were given, and took the lead in the fifth. By the end of the sixth, they had extended it to 6-1.

In full, New York smacked five home runs in this game. That’s something that’s plagued Orioles’ pitching all year. But all five of those homers came from the bottom of the order. And the majority of them came on the bats of guys who in essence are fill-in’s. It’s one thing to fill in admirably for a regular player. These guys are flat out playing like world beaters.

However the Orioles battle back. Jace Peterson smacked a two-run homer in the sixth – and this time the league office allowed the run he represented to cross home plate (if you can believe that). Chris Davis would add a sac fly-RBI later in the inning, which was followed by a two-run homer by Jonathan Villar which tied the game at six.

The Orioles has battled back against the pinstripes and tied the game. Brandon Hyde correctly saw that a lefty hitter in Ford would lead the seventh off for New York. So he correctly brought in southpaw Paul Fry to face Ford. Again, common sense. And good sound baseball rationale.

But common sense once again bit the Orioles. Ford would homer against Fry, as would Tauchman. Those homers gave New York a 9-6 lead, which turned into a 9-6 victory.

Again, that foul call at the plate set the tone for the rest of the game. While the Orioles came back, they were off-center for the remainder of the evening. And while you have to admire some of these guys from New York who are tearing it up when they have no business doing so, from the opponent’s perspective it.’a frustrating to see. Regardless of what the Orioles did, New York was ready for them.

If you’re inclined to suggest that the play at the plate could and should have been overcame, you’re right to say that. However keep in mind that the Orioles would have left 2-1 had that call been reversed as it should have been. Not to mention that the inning would have continued. You just never know what would have happened. For the record, Jonathan Villar managed to hit for the cycle tonight, becoming the fifth Oriole in history to do so.

The series continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the Birds, and New York is yet to announce a starter. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

UPDATE: Brandon Hyde said after the game that he felt the non-overturned call at home plate was “pathetic.”

Baltimore Orioles can’t complete sweep, settle for series win

The Baltimore Orioles will have to settle for simply taking the series in Anaheim this weekend. The Birds took three-of-four, including of course their epic 16 inning win on Thursday night in the series opener. Dylan Bundy wasn’t exactly “on” per se, but he did put the Orioles in a spot to win the game. And that’s all you can ask of a starting pitcher. Bundy’s line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

The O’s actually fell behind early in this one, following Thaiss’ second inning two-run homer. However they soon came to within one at 2-1 when Jonathan Villar smacked an RBI-double in the third. Incidentally, Anaheim starter Pena appeared to leave the game in the second when a blister popped on his throwing hand. However he got some quick treatment on it, and stayed in the game. Anaheim was direly in need of a long outing, so kudos to him.

Villar would later tie the game at two in the fifth inning with an RBI-single. But it was Trey Mancini who got the O’s thinking that they could complete the sweep later in the inning. His two-RBI single gave the Orioles the lead at 4-2.

With how the Orioles had pitched in this series, one might have thought that was a safe lead. But sometimes you just don’t have it on certain days. Bundy surrendered a two-run homer to Pinole in the last of the sixth, tying the game.

The Orioles would eventually fall on a walk off homer by Thaiss in the last of the ninth. Look at it as you wish, but this was an incredibly successful series for the Orioles. Perhaps the best series of the season. They took three-of-four from a team on the west coast, and the one game they dropped wasn’t lost until the last of the ninth inning. On a walk off home run.

This Oriole team grew up this weekend in Anaheim. They’ve been trending well since the beginning of the month, but I really believe that at some point (perhaps next year or the year after) we’ll look back at this series as when they started taking a step forward in the rebuilding process. While they lost today, there’s nary any negative which can be spun out of this series from the Orioles’ standpoint.

The Birds now head off to their last stop on the west coast swing, a two-game set with San Diego at Petco Park. The O’s are yet to announce a starter, and Sam Diego will throw Chris Paddack. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Are teams being ghosted by instant replay?

The home run ball haunted the Baltimore Orioles once again this afternoon. The Birds, led by starter Dylan Bundy, surrendered five home runs to San Diego. Now in fairness Bundy didn’t give them all up, but the tone was set early. Bundy’s line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 4 K.

Renato Nunez actually gave the O’s a 1-0 lead with an RBI-double in the first inning. Part of the problem is that when the Orioles score early and get on the board, it’s only one run. They can’t be satisfied with that; they need to play for the big inning.

True to form, Garcia’s two-run homer in the second gave San Diego the lead at 2-1. Hinder would add an RBI-groundout later in the inning, and the Birds trailed 3-1. One inning later, Reyes hit his first of two homers on the day, and San Diego led 4-1.

But the O’s did mount a rally. Jonathan Villar smacked a fourth inning two-run homer. However the next two innings brought three more San Diego runs off of the long ball. Pedro Severino would add a solo homer, and the O’s would also score on a bases loaded walk. But when the smoke cleared, the O’s fell 10-5.

Based on something that happened at the tail end of the game however, I think that the league needs to take a look at instant replay and how it’s utilized. In the top of the eighth with San Diego well in front, Tatis grounded out to short on what appeared to be a fairly routine play. However San Diego thought he was safe, a fact that instant replay seemed to back up. The only issue was that San Diego was out of replay challenges.

However as we’ve seen numerous times, the San Diego bench all but goaded the umpires into ordering an umpire review. They ruled Tatis safe, and he proceeded to attempt a steal of second. He was thrown out.

However again, the San Diego bench complained to the point to where the umpiring crew ordered a review. The call was overturned, and Tatis was awarded second base. He would score on an RBI-double. So San Diego in effect scored a run on what should have been a routine ground out to short.

Ow that one run made no difference in the final result. None whatsoever. However it could have given a different game situation. In fact, one could reasonably ask why a team is begging for a replay review when they’re up big in a game like that. But that aside, is it fair that teams are basically getting an unlimited number of challenges?

We’ve seen Toronto and Boston both do this shamelessly over the years. In some cases teams even do it before they’ve spent their instant replay challenge. The mentality being if we can goad the umpire into reviewing the play on his own accord, we can save that challenge. However obviously if the umpire wanted to review the play on his own, he would have done so immediately.

This is a loophole through which teams are getting extra challenges and taking advantage. The rule should be changed to either not allow umpire reviews at all, or to provide for manager ejections if the umpires are in essence begged to review plays “on their own accord.” Otherwise things could end up being that the manager with the best politicking skills wins the game. And that’s not how it’s supposed to be.

Baltimore Orioles: Redemption for Jonathan Villar, Birds snap loss streak

With this afternoon’s victory in Seattle, the Baltimore Orioles snapped a ten-game losing streak. With the win, the Orioles won their 22nd game of the season, this one behind starter Andrew Cashner. And for once, the O’s got a quality start out of a pitcher, and they won. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Ironically today it was Seattle who took the early lead and couldn’t hold it. Vogelbach’s RBI-double in the first gave them a 1-0 lead. However the O’s threatened immediately following that in the top of the second. They put runners on first and second with one down. However Jonathan Villar got picked off of second, followed by a strikeout to end the inning.

And it wasn’t even close – Villar getting picked off, that is. You could have driven a Mack Truck through the space between Villar and the bag. Those are the types of mental errors that we’ve seen a lot from the Orioles of late. And it’s costed the games.

However for once, neither the team nor the player allowed that mistake to define them in this game. Villar came up to bat next in the fourth inning, and smacked a three-run homer which gave the O’s a 3-1 lead. Sometimes tough stretches can be more mental than anything else. But Villar was able to dust himself off after his mistake and make a big (positive) difference for the O’s in this game.

The score remained at 3-1 until the sixth when the Orioles extended it to 5-1 with a two-run homer by Anthony Santander. Seattle would close to within 5-2 with a run in the bottom of that sixth inning off of an error, but again the Orioles didn’t allow that to let the wheels come off. In fact, they further extended their lead in the seventh with a sac fly-RBI by Pedro Severino.

And in fact, the Birds were able to put up a couple of insurance runs. They loaded the bases in the eighth, and Hanser Alberto‘s two-RBI single extended the lead to 8-2. Santana would smack a solo homer in the last of the eighth and Smith an RBI-single in the ninth, but that was too little too late for Seattle.

The big story is that the O’s snapped a ten-game losing streak. However as I said, there were a couple of moments when this could have gone another way. The Villar error, and even the run-scoring error (by Hanser Alberto) in the sixth. Not to mention your run-of-the-mill runners on base throughout the game. The O’s overcame that to win this game. And in Jonathan VillarMs case, he overcame a pretty bad mistake on the bases to play a big role.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at T-Mobile Park as the O’s try to go for a series split. Gabriel Ynoa gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Yusmeiro Kikuchi. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

Baltimore Orioles’ aggressiveness used against them

The Baltimore Orioles got a halfway decent start out of Dylan Bundy this afternoon. He was done in after only five innings due to a high pitch count, which cam as a result of some extended at-bats. In saying that I mean guys fouling off multiple pitches. Bundy’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R (2 earned), 2 BB, 8 K.

This game was a pitcher’s duel at first, as it was scoreless through five innings. However in the top of the sixth Bogaerts smacked an RBI-double, and Holt an RBI-single, to give Boston a 2-0 lead. Holt would later score on an E6, and the Birds trailed 3-0.

The O’s would come back however in the bottom of that inning. Renato Nunez smacked an RBI-double, and Jonathan Villar added a sac fly-RBI. However that’s as close as the O’s were able to get. Martinez would add a solo homer in the seventh, and Boston would also add three runs in the top of the ninth to take the game 7-2.

The worst part about playing Boston is that as good as they are, they’re also smart. They know that the Orioles are scrapping, and doing everything in their power to win games. That can often lead to pushing too hard. Boston knows that.

They know that the Orioles are going to play shifts on their players. They had also seen earlier in the game and on tape that sometimes Jonathan Villar sometimes leaves his spot at second slightly early when the ball’s in play. So Boston puts on a hit-and-run, and hits the ball right where Villar would have been.

Coincidentally, this other example also involves Jonathan Villar – not to beat up too much on him. Late in the game Boston had him at a 1-2 count. Normally that’s a count in which a pitcher’s going to bury a pitch in the dirt hoping that the hitter will chase. Instead of the slider in the dirt or something along those lines, Villar got a high fastball.

Now to his credit, Villar didn’t bite. However that’s a pitcher and a pitching staff who knows that they’re playing a team that’s pushing. And the Orioles can’t allow teams to see that, as it can and will be used against them.

Part of why Boston was able to tack on three late runs was because they put pressure on the Orioles. The Orioles already had enough self-inflicted pressure on them. And they eventually folded.

The series concludes tomorrow at Camden Yards. John Means gets the call for the Birds, and Boston is yet to announce a starter. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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