Results tagged ‘ Renato Nunez ’

Baltimore Orioles show that unwritten codes are alive and well

John Means had his struggles this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles’ series finale in Detroit. Call it a so-so start, in the wrap-around game of a four-game set. Means’ line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

Means gave up a two-run homer to Mercer in the first. And in reality, Detroit never really looked back. Reyes would double in two runs in the fifth, giving Detroit a 4-0 lead.

Trey Mancini would smack his 33rd homer of the season in the top of the sixth, which cut the Detroit lead to 4-1. A half inning later in the last of the sixth Lugo would tack on a sac fly-RBI, and Austin Hays‘ RBI-single in the seventh cut the lead to 5-2. The O’s would load the bases in the ninth, however Mancini would strike out to end the game, sending the O’s down to defeat by the score of 5-2.

They split this wrap-around series with Detroit, two games a piece. Therefore Detroit still has a worse record than the Orioles, which is fine by them. Make no mistake that while some fans think it’s funny or fashionable to want to finish dead last to get the top pick in the draft, the players and coaches take issue with that attitude. You want to win as many games as you can.

This game did have a brief controversial moment towards the end. Renato Nunez was hit by a pitch on the hand in the eighth inning. Nunez would eventually exit the game, and x-rays were negative. However he didn’t appear happy about the HBP.

In the last of that eighth inning the Orioles’ Ryan Eades hit Detroit’s leadoff hitter. Both benches were warned. As it turned out, there was no further conflict in the game.

Was that a purpose pitch? Needless to say, it looked suspicious. But if it was keep in mind that it was a matter of Eades thinking that Nunez shouldn’t have been hit, and taking up for his teammate. We can argue until we’re blue in the face that the game’s unwritten rules are good or bad. But the fact is that they exist – like it or not.

People often take about players needing to just scrap these unwritten codes. I have no issue with them – the game polices itself. However there’s only one way to totally get people to stop hitting opposition players intentionally: make ANY HBP an automatic ejection. And I can guarantee you the players association would never allow that, as the fact is that sometimes players get hit. Sometimes pitches innocently have pitches get away from them. That happens, and guys would end up getting tossed for it.

So unless you’re willing to take draconian measures like that (which would never fly), baseball’s unwritten codes are here to stay. They’re part of the fabric and the present of the game – like it or not.

The Orioles now head home to open their final home stand of the season against Toronto at Camden Yards. The O’s haven’t yet named a starter, while Trent Thornton will start for Toronto. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles barbecued late in Kansas City

Aaron Brooks was unable to regain the form he showed on Tuesday night in Washington for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon in Kansas City. I would argue that he was lifted too early. However he did have his struggles, and the Orioles are trying to win games. Yes, you naysayers read that correctly – the Orioles are trying to win games. Brooks’ line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 3 K.

Things began well for the Orioles, as they began the game immediately by putting guys on base. They took a 1-0 first inning lead on Renato Nunez‘s sac fly-RBI. However Kansas City got on base-happy as well, and took a 3-1 lead with a two-RBI double and an RBI-single in the last of the first.

But the good news is that the O’s continued getting guys on base. They tied the game at three in the third on Trey Mancini‘s two-RBI single. While the Birds dropped the finale, they remained competitive.

And in fact, the Orioles also came back and took the lead. Pedro Severino pushed a run across in the sixth on a swinging bunt with a runner on third. Kansas City tried to get the out at the plate, however Villar slid in safely. And the Birds had the lead.

However two RBI-singles in the seventh and eighth inning respectively gave Kansas City the lead back. Merrifield added a solo homer, and the O’s fell 6-4. This was the first series rubber match Kansas City had won since June of 2018.

The Orioles now head to Tampa, however the series has been altered due to the uncertainty surrounding Hurricane Dorian. Tomorrow’s game will go on as scheduled. However the teams will play a single-admission doubleheader on Tuesday, starting at 3 PM. Game two will begin approximately 30 minutes after game one is completed.

That leaves Wednesday as an off day for the Orioles. It doesn’t appear that Hurricane Dorian is going to significantly affect the greater Tampa area, however you have to make snap decisions sometimes when it comes to storms and situations like this. I’m somewhat of a weather enthusiast, but you don’t have to be interested in weather to know that this is a very serious storm, and any precautions which can be taken must be.

The aforementioned series in Tampa begins tomorrow at Tropicana Field. Asher Wojciechowski gets the call for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Ryan Yarbrough. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Birds fall in the desert

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Aaron Brooks was unable to play off of the momentum the O’s had from the day before last night in Arizona. It begins and ends with starting pitching, and Brooks seemed on the ropes from the beginning. Brooks’ line: 3.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R (5 earned), 1 BB, 1 K.

Arizona got at it early and often. Escobar’s RBI-triple in the first inning gave them a 1-0 lead. That was followed up by an RBI-single by Walker (a former Oriole). Ahmed would add an RBI-single of his own.

And before the crowd had even settled in the desert, the O’s were in a 3-0 hole. However they were able to push a run across in the second. Richie Martin smacked an RBI-single, cutting the lead to 3-1. However the Orioles were unable to rally past that one run at that point.

Arizona would tack on two runs in the third, and former Oriole Adam Jones added an RBI-is game in the fourth. It was strange seeing Jones line up against the Orioles, but that’s the situation in which we find ourselves. Obviously it’s not a situation that’s uncommon across sports, but it still looked and felt strange.

But one thing that the new Orioles seemed ready to show Jones and company was that they still had a few power sources at their disposal. Hanser Alberto and Renato Nunez each added fifth inning solo home runs. However unfortunately for the Birds, the Arizona bullpen kept them off the board for the rest of the way. It begins and ends with starting pitching. But the bullpen is important. That goes without saying.

Again, this game shows you the importance of said starting pitching. This isn’t to say that Brooks has no future with the Orioles. However it didn’t work out well last night. And obviously that set the tone for the game.

The series continues tonight at Chase Field. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Arizona’s Merrill Kelly. Game time is set for just after 9:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: What does Tampa do that the O’s can’t match?

Last night wasn’t exactly the start to the second half that the Baltimore Orioles wanted. Starter Dylan Bundy got lit up from the beginning. Bundy’s line: 1.0 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 0 BB, 1 K.

Bundy surrendered a solo homer to Pham (second hitter of the game), and Tampa never looked back. And they piled on the Orioles big time. To the tune of 16 runs.

Renato Nunez smacked a solo homer in the fourth, and an RBI-double in the ninth. However even the fourth inning home runners in essence garbage time. At the end of the day, the Birds fell 16-5 in the second half opened.

There’s something I just wrote above however which shows one of the differences between Tampa and the Orioles. I mentioned that even Nunez’s homer in the fourth inning (which cut the Tampa lead to 10-2) came in garbage time. I say that as a matter of fact, given how the game was ebbing and flowing. When you cut the deficit to eight runs in only the fourth inning the game is in effect over. Sure it’s fashionable to say that you can come back and so forth, but situations where that happens are the exception to the rule.

But that isn’t how Tampa looks at it. They look at every pitch as an opportunity to score another run. If anything, they go into overdrive in situations like this – whether they’re up or down big. They seemingly have a chip on their shoulder wanting to prove to the world that they aren’t like other teams. When other teams go into autopilot, Tampa’s still out there fighting the good fight.

And when I say autopilot, I’m not necessarily talking about games in a blowout situation. When most teams smack base hits, the hitter drops the bat and almost casually runs to first base, knowing that he isn’t going to be thrown out. Basically he’s guaranteed the base. The Orioles do it, as do all teams. Why risk injury on the base paths when as so said you’re all but guaranteed the bag?

That isn’t how Tampa does things. Their hitters sprint out of the batter’s box with reckless abandon. Many times, that type of fervor leads to a the runner taking a second base. Sometimes the pressure of the speed itself causes an error in the outfield, or sometimes the sheer speed of the runners gets them to second.

That sounds like a small thing. And it also sounds like a conviction of how the Orioles do things. Well, it is a small thing. But Tampa, dating back to when they were bad and the Orioles were good, is a small wonder type of team. There’s no detail to small in a game. And a small thing turns into big things. Someone hustling out of the box and getting to second (on what would have been a run-of-the-mill base hit) puts them in scoring position. That means another base hit (with another runner hustling out of the box and potentially getting into scoring position) scores that runner.

And it’s not a conviction of the Orioles – per se. all teams simply take the bases they’re all but guaranteed. Admittedly, Tampa runners sometimes look ridiculous sprinting around the bases when in fact they know they aren’t going to be thrown out. But end of the day, they don’t care. They only care about one thing: winning.

The teams of course will play a day/night doubleheader at the yard today. Both teams will be able to bring up a 26th man on the roster for game two. And in fact, Tampa’s fervor last night will adversely affect the Orioles today, as their now tired bullpen will have to work two games. As I said yesterday, fans will need two separate tickets for both the afternoon game and the nightcap.

So the series will continue this afternoon before this evening at Camden Yards. Aaron Brooks gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Brendan McKay. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Renato Nunez homers in Birds’ loss

Last night the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco combined for 14 runs in an Oriole victory. However someone told the Birds that the trend was supposed to continue this afternoon, as San Francisco jumped on the Orioles and starter David Hess early on. Hess’ line: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 4 K.

Walks plagued Hess this afternoon. He walked two in the first inning, which led to Belt’s two-RBI single. And low and behold, that RBI-single came with two outs. Opponents’ propensity to get to Oriole pitching with two outs is uncanny. But them’s the breaks.

Hess would also surrender a solo homer to Posey in the third, which ran the lead to 3-0. The Orioles looked like they may have been making a run in the fourth when Renato Nunez smacked a solo homer of his own. But at the end it was a mirage…

…San Francisco came right back. The fifth inning was the back-breaker for the Birds this afternoon. Panic smacked an RBI-single, Belt a two-RBI double, and Longoria added a sac fly-RBI. Austin Wynns would add an RBI-single in the Orioles’ column in the last of the fifth, but that was too little too late. San Francisco added on an insurance run at the end just for good measure.

A lot of folks like to bring up the fact that David Hess has struggled since he was lifted while throwing a no-hitter in Toronto. That of course was in the first week of the season. Let it go said that it’s impossible for that to have had any affect mechanically on Hess. Hyde did the right thing for Hess and his career by pulling him. It was hard to see, but it was the right thing.

Many well-intentioned fans say that there’s a psychological aspect to it as well – in other words, it’s more than just mechanical. That might be semi-true. However if Hess was that bothered by that in a psychological manner, he doesn’t have the gumption to pitch at the big league level. In other words, he was never going to make it anyways. Point here being: that had no effect on Hess’ performance as time’s gone on.

The series and the home stand concludes tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Gabriel Ynoa gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by San Francisco’s Jeff Samardzija. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles capitalize on Detroit’s mistakes, win series opener

The Baltimore Orioles have had their share of games this year where they’ve had no room for error. In the sense that the opponent has gotten fat on Oriole mistakes. With Gabriel Ynoa getting the start out of the bullpen this afternoon on Memorial Day against Detroit, this was a game where the O’s couldn’t afford many mistakes. Ynoa’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

With a runner on base in the last of the first, Renato Nunez sent a deep fly ball towards left. The ball appeared to be hooking foul; it faded, but somehow straightened out just a bit in the end. It ended up taking a header into the foul pole, making it a two-run homer, and giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead.

Detroit would get on the board in the second on an RBI-single by Greiner, who took second on the throw. However Nunez came back up in the third, once again with runners on base. Nunez grounder to short, but a run ended up scoring on an errant throw by the Detroit infield. That gave the Orioles a 3-1 lead. That would be extended to 4-1 later in the inning on Pedro Severino‘s sac fly-RBI.

Detroit would put an additional run on the board, as would the Orioles. But the Birds also put up an insurance run in the last of the seventh on a solo homer by Jonathan Villar. And it was probably a good thing thing that they did, as the Orioles’ pen put the tying run in scoring position in the ninth. But they were able to close it out, defeating Detroit 5-3.

Two of those runs were unearned for the Orioles. So for once it was the O’s taking advantage of another team’s mistakes. And as was the case in reverse on Sunday, the O’s committed two errors and lost by one. So these errors do add up. But again for once, it was the Orioles taking advantage of the mistakes made by an opponent.

Ynoa pitches a dominant four innings, as did Dan Straily out of the bullpen. Straily of course was demoted to the bullpen last week, and for at least one game it worked. Straily said after the game that he felt no pressure coming into the game, and he was able to bridge the gap between Ynoa and the back end of the ‘pen.

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

Today we the people of the United States join together and remember our war dead. There’s no amount of gratitude that could ever repay our fallen soldiers for putting their lives down for our freedom so that we can do things such as watch baseball. However we keep them always in our hearts and minds. May they Rest In Peace knowing that a grateful nation and people remember them today and always.

Baltimore Orioles: Winning is tough when you leave a team on base

The Baltimore Orioles fell just short against Minnesota today in game one of a doubleheader. Dan Straily got the start, and did exactly what you want a starter to do: put the team in a position to win. Straily’s line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K.

Rosario had a big day for Minnesota; astute readers won’t be surprised by that, as he had a few big games against the O’s during spring training as well. However he smacked a solo homer in the second, which was followed by a solo homer by Astudillo. Minnesota went back-to-back, and took a 2-0 lead.

However the Orioles battled back, which was good to see. They went back-to-back themselves in the third with Dwight Smith Jr, and Renato Nunez smacking homers. Smith’s was a two-run shot, and the O’s led 3-2. But Rosario struck again, smacking a solo homer in the fifth tying things back up at three.

Minnesota would put three more runs on the board in the sixth, on Buxton’s two-RBI double, and Cruz’s RBI-single. But even still, the Birds weren’t going to be held down. Pedro Severino‘s solo homer in the bottom of the inning brought the O’s back to within two at 6-4. Backing up for just a moment however, Rosario wasn’t kidding around in having a good game. Chris Davis flat out hit an apparent opposite-field home run to left to lead off the sixth – and Rosario brought it back, saving a run.

The O’s would put runners back on again in the eighth, and Trey Mancini‘s RBI-double got them to within 6-5. However they also stranded two runners in scoring position to end the inning. And that’s a microcosm of the entire game.

The O’s stranded left ten men on base over the course of the entire game. That has to improve if this team is going to win consistently. This was a one-run win for Minnesota; if even one of those ten men had been able to score, all things being the same (which is always a tough sell) it’s a totally different ballgame.

Obviously, the would-be homer that Chris Davis has robbed from him factors big also. However Rosario wasn’t letting anyone steal the limelight from him in this game. But the Orioles as a team need to work on their situational hitting, as every runner on base could in theory become a run. And when you lose a one-run game and realize you left ten men on base, it gives you a sickening feeling.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards with game two of this traditional twin-bill. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Martin Perez. Game time is set for 8 PM this evening, which is about 10 minutes from the time this is being written!

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