Results tagged ‘ Mychal Givens ’

Baltimore Orioles: Any trades involving the Birds?

With the MLB trade deadline this week, the question appears to be whether the Baltimore Orioles will make a move. Reliever Mychal Givens appears to be the biggest trade chip the Orioles currently have. According to numerous sources multiple teams have expressed interest.

The Orioles are willing to move Givens. Heck, I think with a few exceptions they’d move anyone. However they’re not going to give the guy away. So it really boils down to what kind of compensation they’re going to get in return.

One might ask why the Orioles would think they could get for a reliever. And I think that the answer to that is a decent return. While Givens may not net them what they got for relievers last year, keep in mind why a team would be looking to trade for Givens: for the postseason.

Bullpens have turned into an integral part of the game across the board. Heck, you can’t even finish a spring training game if you don’t have bullpen relievers. Much less in the regular season. But the bullpen is much more important in the post season, as starters and all pitchers are on a tighter leash.

Many managers will lift their starters in the third or fourth inning if they aren’t working out. Then it falls to the bullpen. Givens would also be a set up man on a contending team. And that’s tough to find.

So the O’s might well get a couple of prospects for a reliever like Givens. What they do with those prospects remains to be seen.

Baltimore Orioles: Hoodwinked Part II?

The Baltimore Orioles didn’t roll over for NY in this afternoon’s series finale. It looked like they might have at first, but they got their act together behind Dylan Bundy‘s effort, which put the Birds in a spot to win the game. Bundy’s line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

Richie Martin gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the second when he grounded into a force out allowing a run to score. NY would strike back on a solo homer by Frazier in the fifth. That tied the game at one, however one inning later New York would take a 3-1 lead on a two-RBI single by Urshela, which chased Bundy.

Romine’s seventh inning RBI-single and Voit’s eight inning homer put New York ahead 5-1. Things didn’t look so good for the O’s, however they got on the board again in the last of the eighth on an RBI-single by Trey Mancini. The O’s proceeded to put two more runners on base, bringing Renato Nunez to the plate…

…and Nunez didn’t disappoint. He smacked a three-run homer, tying the game up at five. This was exactly the type of spark for which the O’s had been looking for some time. It was late-game heroics, and perhaps a precursor to Orioles Magic, at it’s best. The O’s were in business…or where they?

Mychal Givens came in to pitch the ninth, and recorded two quick outs. Things appeared to be setting up nicely perhaps for a walk off Oriole win. Then NY pinch hit Torres, who had done so much damage to the Orioles already. The good news was that they kept him in the ballpark. The bad news was that he walked.

That walk set up a sequence that involved New York loading the bases, and Hicks walking in the go-ahead and eventual winning run. Givens all but came unglued in a sense with the game on the line. At least that’s how it looked on paper.

The 2-2 pitch to Torres was borderline at best. In saying that I mean that it appeared to be strike three. Givens was already walking back to the dugout, expecting ol’ blue to ring Torres up. I think even Torres thought it was strike three. But the only guy at Camden Yards who thought it was ball three was home plate umpire Jim Reynolds. There wasn’t one person at Oriole Park at Camden Yards who wasn’t shocked when Reynolds called ball three.

Obviously it’s easy to suggest that Givens has to have better control than that. But he also did everything except strike Torres out. In reality, he did strike him out in his mind. And that’s exactly the type of thing which can throw a pitcher for a loop in a game.

As I’ve said before, it’s unfair to blame one call made by one umpire on a loss. But that was fairly glaring to anyone who saw it. Generally pitchers try not to engage umpires when they leave the field, but when the inning finally ended Givens walked off the mound while giving a long, cold, and calculating stare to Reynolds. Almost a threatening stare. And one can’t really blame him.

The O’s now head back out on the road for a three-game series and road trip to Coors Field to take on Colorado. John Means gets the call for the Birds, and Colorado is yet to decide on it’s starter. Game time is set for just after 8:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Mychal Givens gives up walk off homer to Kansas City

The Baltimore Orioles and Mychal Givens were reminded last night that small ball isn’t just a way to play the game, it’s almost a way of life. And part of that way of life is that you literally don’t stop playing. Whereas in the AL East it seems that once a late death blow has been issued, all’s done. But small ball teams like Kansas City have a different world view.

Dylan Bundy came within two outs of a quality start last night. Bundy’s line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 8 K. Almost doesn’t cut it, however. The Orioles were though able to take an early lead on a sac fly-RBI by Andreoli. That was complimented two innings later by Tim Beckham‘s solo homer, and the Birds appeared to be setting themselves up for a nice win on a Saturday night in Kansas City.

But again, part of the small ball mentality is that you just don’t quit. Kansas City got a solo homer by Phillips in the fourth, and an RBI-double from Goodwin and an RBI-single from Herrera in the sixth. Before you knew it, the O’s trailed 3-2 and Bundy had been chased from the game.

But Trey Mancini got the Orioles right back on track in the top of the eighth. His solo home run tied the game at three, and it was followed up later in the inning by Beckham’s RBI-double to give the O’s a 4-3 lead. However again, in the AL East that right there would have probably ended the game. Unfortunately for the Birds, they weren’t playing a division game.

Mychal Givens promptly walked the lead off guy – not what you want to do with a one-run lead in the last of the ninth. Merrifield promptly deposited a Givens pitch into the stands, giving Kansas City an improbably 5-4 victory in walk off fashion. To his credit following the game, Givens didn’t beat around the bush when it came to his outing (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

Walked the leadoff guy and made a bad 0-2 pitch. Today, especially with how our team’s been playing. We’ve been playing really good, battling circumstances with what’s been going on this year. Today, I failed the team as far as [I] didn’t close out the game. They worked their butts off getting back in the game. Just have to do a better job. A bad 0-2 pitch. I was trying to just locate it down and away. The ball got away from me, and got into his bat path.

This is a Kansas City team that’s been a thorn in the Orioles side no matter the circumstances. When the teams met in the ALCS their exuberance and never say die attitude dipped and dunked the Orioles to death with bloops and broken bat singles. Now the same is true with both teams struggling – the exuberance part, at least.

The O’s will try to salvage one game this afternoon at Kaufman Stadium. David Hess gets the call for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Jorge Lopez. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Did Showalter outthink himself with Mychal Givens?

I tweeted last night that Baltimore Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter had pushed all the right buttons with reliever Mychal Givens the previous two games. Givens of course was brought in to pitch in a tight spot on Monday night, and got out of it. He was then brought in last night to complete the seventh inning after starter Kevin Gausman allowed a base runner. But did my observation end up being famous last words?

Gausman pitched a great game last night, and was well deserving of being the winner. Gausman’s line: 6.1 IP, 9 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K. For once it was an opponent racking up double-digit strikeouts against the O’s. The only real struggle that Gausman had was the sixth inning when he had two runners in scoring position with nobody out. But he buckled down and struck out the next three batters, leaving those runners on base.

Gausman was getting his fastball over for strikes. That included his two-seamer, which was deadly and induced swing-and-misses. His off-speed breaking pitches were just as deadly, and almost always induced a weak flail at the ball from a Chicago hitter. It was a dominant performance, which as I said was well deserving of a victory.

And for most of the game it appeared that Gausman was going to get that victory. The Orioles got an RBI-double from Trumbo, and an RBI-groundout from Peterson in the second inning. They led 2-0 most of the way. They also had an opportunity to extend that lead in the fifth, however Chance Sisco was doubled off of second in a base running mistake. Those are the types of things you have to put up with from young players, but they hurt you when they happen at the big league level.

And as I said, Buck Showalter seemed to press just the right buttons with the bullpen when he brought Mychal Givens in to complete the seventh inning. He then proceeded to bring Givens back out for the eighth, which raised my eyebrows a bit. While you want to use as few relievers as possible, why not go to a set up type guy in that spot?

When Givens came back out for the eighth Palka hit what appeared to be a solo homer. The Orioles only wish they had been that lucky. The ball didn’t carry, and instead headed for the right field corner. Mark Trumbo made a valiant attempt at the ball, but it slipped out of his glove (keep in mind that Trumbo was playing shaded to center, so he had a lot of ground to cover to get that ball). Castillo followed with a bloop RBI-single (which was softly hit and barely made it past a fielder’s glove) that cut the Orioles’ lead to 2-1.

Chicago would put together two more RBI-singles in the inning, taking a 3-2 lead – which ended up being the final. Make no mistake about the fact that a loss like that is frustrating. Chicago wore the Orioles down in the end with their tenacity and their refusal to go away. They also faced pitchers in Givens and Richard Bleier who were tired. As I said, I thought that Givens shouldn’t have come out for the eighth.

The question at hand is whether Buck outthought himself a bit there. My point would be that it’s unfair for someone like me to be overly critical of a career baseball guy as accomplished as he is. Does that mean I would have started the eighth inning with a new pitcher had it been my decision? Yes. But Showalter had his reasons when asked why he kept Givens in and used Bleier as opposed to bringing someone else in, as he explained after the game (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

Compared to who? We don’t have Darren (O’Day), we don’t have Zach (Britton). Those are our best options right now and they’ve done a good job for us.

The series continues tonight in Chicago. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Dylan Covey. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.

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