Results tagged ‘ Tim Beckham ’

Baltimore Orioles: Tim Beckham error spoils comeback

I’m not going to lie; I feel somewhat badly for the Baltimore Orioles’ Tim Beckham. While Manny Machado only spent half a season as the Orioles’ shortstop, Beckham’s going to now be under the microscope for the rest of the season as the guy who took over for Machado. While Beckham’s natural position is short, there does have to be a bit of a learning curve after playing third base for the first half of the season. We saw that curve play out last night.

Dylan Bundy struggled the second time through the lineup last night, and eventually Toronto ended up getting out to a big lead. Bundy’s line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 3 K. And one issue that Oriole pitching has had all year is that they’ve been fairly good the first time through the order – and in some cases the second time. However the second or third time through the order opposing teams seem to figure them out. There were times where it almost looked as if Toronto hitters knew exactly what was coming – and where.

Toronto took a 1-0 lead on Diaz’s solo homer in the third. However Tim Beckham, learning curve at short and all, gave the O’s the lead in the fifth with a two-run homer. But that coincided with Toronto figuring Bundy out. In the bottom of the inning their back-to-back homers immediately gave them the lead back. A sac fly and an RBI-double later, and Toronto led 5-2. Two innings later they extended their lead to 7-2 on an RBI-triple and an RBI-single.

At 7-2 in the seventh inning, you figure that the competitive portion of the game was over. However we did see a lot of fight in these Birds, perhaps trying to prove that they can still be a force in games, even without Manny Machado. Detractors will look at it from the perspective that they got back into the game via the long ball. However the fact is that Oriole bats simply came alive. That hasn’t always happened this year.

Chris Davis smacked a two-run homer in the eighth, bringing the O’s to within 7-4. The Birds would head to the ninth down by three, and Toronto allowed a run to score on a wild pitch, cutting it to 7-5. The O’s then took Toronto’s fifth inning back-to-back homers and decided to match them, with Joseph and Schoop doing the same. Both were solo shots, but combined they tied the game. While this story doesn’t have the greatest of endings for Orioles fans, the Birds were nothing if not clutch when they needed to be at the plate last night.

Martin got aboard with a single in the tenth. I would submit however that it shouldn’t have been a single – it should have been an error. It looked to be a fairly routine play as he grounded to Beckham at short. It was only due to Beckham’s errant throw to first base that Martin reached safely. Whether that’s a hit or an error, it looked to be a fairly routine play. Again, there has to be a learning curve for Beckham, who was playing shortstop for the first time this year.

To his credit, Beckham said after the game that it was a play that needed to be made every time. He had more time than he though, which is why he rushed the throw. However that led to a walk, and Diaz then smacked a single through the infield which was also misplayed somewhat by Beckham, ending the game and giving Toronto an 8-7 walk off win.

It’s unfair to beat up on Tim Beckham too much, as again he hasn’t played shortstop this year. Furthermore he spent all of spring training preparing to be the team’s starting third baseman. So while that throw on the Martin single was a fairly routine play (apparently in the eye of everyone but the official scorer), those things are in fact going to happen in a scenario like this. Tough pill to swallow, especially given the comeback, however you have to be patient when someone moves postions mid-season.

The series continues this afternoon at Rogers Centre. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Marcus Stroman. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles drop nightcap

For the Baltimore Orioles’ sake it’s a good thing they won the first game of yesterday’s twin bill. New York seemed to be a team on a mission in game two. Although more often than not it seems that teams split doubleheaders, so perhaps the Birds were all but guaranteed a win yesterday.

Yefry Ramirez ended up getting knocked around a bit, and he took the loss. Ramirez’s line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K. Ramirez did show a bit of poise, as his change up was getting over for a strike. However New York was still able to get to him and touch him up for four runs. Ramirez of course came from New York’s system, and he addressed facing his former team after the game (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

It felt good to face them, even though I wanted to have a really good game so I could show them that they lost a really good player. But things didn’t work out my way. I think I wasn’t able to command my fastball at all. I missed some sliders, as well. The combination of that didn’t lead to good results today. I will take this as a learning opportunity and growing experience. Get feedback from the veteran guys and hopefully I can have better success in the next starts.

Before the Orioles had even recorded an out in the first inning New York already had a lead on Gregorius’ RBI-double. Gardner’s two-run homer in the fourth extended that lead to 3-0. Incidentally, the Orioles hit several balls deep and all around the outfield, including one very late that appeared to be a home run. Gardner chased them all down.

Gardner’s always been a gamer and he’s always been consistent throughout his career. He doesn’t say much, but lets his playing speak for him, which is a great trait in baseball. It’s just frustrating from the Orioles’ perspective to see every hard-hit ball get chased down in spectacular form, but yet opponents reach base on softly hit bloopers. Is less really more?!

New York would extend their lead to 5-0 on Bird’s RBI-single in the fifth, and Romine would add a two-run homer in the eighth. By the time the smoke cleared and the game was over, New York put ten runs across on Oriole pitching. The Birds would get two back on an eighth inning two-run homer by Tim Beckham, his second home run of the season. (Keeping in mind of course that Beckham’s missed much of the first part of the year.)

Again, most doubleheaders end up being split. And that’s what happened yesterday in Baltimore. The Orioles following the game returned Jimmy Yacabonis to triple-A Norfolk. Yacabonis had been the Birds’ 26th man, as allowed by major league rules for doubleheaders.

The series with New York continues this evening at Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Masahiro Tanaka. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Tim Beckham’s mistake costs Birds the game

Even when things are actually going well for the Baltimore Orioles, all it takes it one mental lapse to send things into a tailspin. This time it was an ever-so-slight mental error by Tim Beckham at third base with the O’s and Anaheim tied at two. And that set off a sequence of events whereby Anaheim ran away with the game.

Many of these columns seem to run similarly – you can just change the names. In this case, it was Andrew Cashner turning in a quality start and having nothing to show for it. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K. Now I will say this; it seems that you can pencil almost any Orioles starter in for six innings each game, in what ends up being a quality start. You have to wonder if perhaps some pressure might be taken off the bullpen if starters pitched seven innings…?

The Orioles led this game most of the way. Manny Machado smacked an RBI-single in the first inning. However at that point it was Anaheim committing an error, and the Orioles taking advantage – for once. Jones advanced to third on an Upton error, and he later scored on a Valencia RBI-single.

However those were the only runs that the O’s could muster. And in the first inning at that. Overall, they went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position, and left seven on base. If even one of those seven came around to score, perhaps the game plays out differently.

Anaheim would put a run across in the fourth in a Simmons RBI-single. And on we played with the Orioles holding a one-run lead until Anaheim put some runners on base in the eighth. Going back to Beckham’s mistake, it’s important to note that the O’s had already surrendered the lead before that. Pujols’ RBI-single tied the game at two. But in theory…

…they actually pitched out of the jam – before they didn’t, that is. With one out and the bases loaded, Young grounded to Beckham at third. He stepped on the bag for the second out of the inning. Then he seemed to get confused, and he hesitated for just a second. Just one short second…before he threw across the diamond. However Young was ruled safe by a hair, allowing a run to score and giving Anaheim a 3-2 lead. They would later put three more across in the inning, taking home a 6-2 win.

It’s tough to say what happened in that moment, however Beckham was definitely confused. I don’t want to be too hard on him, because if you look back to when he joined the team last year he’s done more good than ill as an Oriole. Furthermore he’s not playing his regular position of shortstop – Manny Machado is. However without that small hesitation, Young’s out at first base, the inning’s over, and the game remains tied.

Up to that point, this was a good game for the Orioles for the most part. Yet that one slight mistake cost them the game. But I’ll take it a step further; this game was lost back in December when the Orioles decided to acquiesce to Manny Machado and allow him to play shortstop, moving Beckham to third.

The O’s will attempt to get one game out of three tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Deck McGuire of Anaheim. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Should there be concern about the offense?

The Baltimore Orioles were almost no-hit this evening – almostJonathan Schoop‘s single in the last of the eighth inning gave the Birds their first hit on the night. More on that aspect in a moment. Andrew Cashner made his Orioles’ debut, and while there should be no doubt he’ll win with the Orioles overall, he was tagged this evening. Cashner’s line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 earned), 2 BB, 5 K.

This game in a sense turned logic on it’s head. They say that solo home runs won’t hurt you. That’s sound baseball logic – yet I suppose that if you give up three, that can make a difference. Sano smacked a first inning solo shot, Castro added one in the third, and Kepler in the fourth. Sano would also add an RBI on a ground out in the third, and he’d net a run on a double-play ball in the fifth.

Cashner would be chased after five, and the Orioles’ bullpen was fairly solid Minnesota would only score on one more occasion, with Mauer smacking an RBI-single in the seventh. The Birds would make a run of it late off of a two-run homer by Tim Beckham, however it was too little too late. The Orioles put up their first loss of the season, dropping this one 6-2 to Minnesota.

As I’ve said many times, Minnesota’s a small ball team. Teams like that rely on scoring runs by a drip-drip-drip type of methodology. They’re perfectly happy with one run here, and one run there. Obviously they hit the ball out of the ballpark three times – all solo shots. While a solo home run generally isn’t going to hurt you, eventually they add up.

Minnesota also had an answer for everything the Orioles did defensively – again, throwing logic on it’s side. If the numbers said that a guy wasn’t a pull hitter, the Birds would play the guy straight away in the outfield. Sure enough, he’d smack the ball down the line and into the corner. It’s frustrating to have happen, but it’s part of the game.

As I said, the O’s didn’t get their first hit until the last of the eighth. As we know in baseball, sometimes you just have to tip your cap. Minnesota’s pitching was great tonight – and it was great on Thursday. But this is the second game in which Oriole bats struggled. Is this something to worry about?

The short answer is that it isn’t – not yet. Certainly many fans are going to point out last September, and how the O’s went from being one game out of the final playoff spot to winning only four games the entire month. But are we really to believe that those are the real Orioles, and that what the likes of Jones, Davis, Machado, etc. have done prior to then actually makes no difference?

However the fact is that through the first game of 2018, Oriole bats have been tamed. They’ve run into some buzz saw pitching, and had some bad luck at the plate, but they’ve had their struggles. It’s something to watch, however again I would say that the guys on this team are too talented to not produce eventually. Perhaps that day is tomorrow.

And in fact, the series concludes tomorrow at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman makes his season debut for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles win a donnybrook of a spring game

I suppose that Gabriel Ynoa was the one member of the Baltimore Orioles who kind of took it on the chin this afternoon. Some of these spring training outings can be interesting affairs, especially when the opponent is the Boston Red Sox, and they bring some of their regular players on the trip – a rarity at this stage of spring training. Ynoa’s line: 2.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

Ynoa retired the first two hitters of the game, and then the struggles began. And this is something I’ve noticed since last year for the Orioles. It’s almost as if they let up just a bit when they get two outs in an inning. The same is true when they get to two strikes in an at-bat – suddenly the opponent has always been able to find a way. And that’s continued into this spring.

In Ynoa’s case, it was a double and a walk that led to two runs in the top of the first inning. Boston picked up right where they left off in the second, plating four additional runs – including two homers. Going back to what I said above, Ynoa said after his outing that it was just a case of him leaving the ball too high in the strike zone (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

I was leaving the ball up in the zone. That was the main issue with me. The ball was just up in the zone.

One would have thought however that those first two innings would have cast a pall over the O’s. However that was not to be. Adam Jones doubled a runner home in the last of the third, and Trey Mancini plated a runner as well on a fielder’s choice. Mark Trumbo‘s fielder’s choice-RBI then cut the lead in half at 6-3.

One inning later, the pressure from the Birds continued. Tim Beckham‘s RBI-single got them to within two, and Manny Machado would tie the score with a two-RBI double later in the inning. The Birds would later take the lead on an RBI-double by Jones, leaving it at 7-6 after four innings.

And as I’ve said in the past folks, these games will happen in the spring. On one hand Ynoa wasn’t that sharp today, which from his perspective is concerning because he’s in a spot where he thinks he has a chance to be a starting pitcher on the Orioles. But you can’t put caddywampus-like comeback numbers up like that unless you’re down big early in a game. The Orioles were…and the Orioles did!

Boston would yield two more runs, however the Birds kept the pressure on. Beckham would smack a two-run homer in the fifth, and Pedro Alvarez would do the same in the sixth. The Orioles would also get Brad Brach into a game for the first time this spring, and he yielded one hit.

The Orioles got good news before the game on first baseman Chris Davis, who had an MRI on his forearm yesterday. There appears to be no structural damage to anything, and he’s expected to miss another few days. That’s good news – for now. It’s something to keep an eye on as the spring progresses, and certainly once the regular season begins.

The Orioles are off tomorrow for the first and only time this spring. So there’s no pitching match-up for me to set up! Incidentally going back to Davis’ aforementioned injury, the Birds are on the road for the first two days coming out of the off day, so the next time Orioles fans potentially would have seen him in a game would have been this coming Thursday when Toronto comes to Ed Smith Stadium.

Baltimore Orioles fall to Boston in extra innings

At first it appeared that the Baltimore Orioles might cruise to victory over Boston last night. Dylan Bundy was seemingly pitching well, and the Birds were scoring runs. However the second and third time through the order, Boston apparently started figuring Bundy out. Bundy’s line: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

Boston starter Fister never really got going, allowing the O’s to build a lead. He set the tone for his outing when he walked Tim Beckham to lead off the game. Beckham would later score on a fielder’s choice, giving the Birds a 1-0 lead. One inning later they loaded the bases, and Austin Hays dazzled the home fans with his first two-RBI double in the major leagues. Machado would add a sac fly-RBI, as would Castillo one inning later, and the O’s led 5-0.

Boston however began to slowly chip away in the fourth. Betts smacked an RBI-single, cutting the lead to 5-1. Adam Jones however would give the Birds their five-run lead back with an RBI-single in the last of the fourth. The key moment of the game however was back in the third when the O’s loaded the bases again. All they were able to muster was one run on Castillo’s sac fly-RBI. When you load the bases you need to get more than one run. The Orioles didn’t in that instance.

However Boston did when they loaded the bases in the fifth. When the smoke cleared in that fifth inning, Boston led the Orioles 7-6. As I said, they started to figure Bundy out. They also got a lot more patient, and all but forced Bundy to throw the ball over the plate. And when I say over the plate, I mean directly over the plate. No late movement, no strategically placed curve balls, only fastballs or change ups that came squarely over home plate. And it cost the Orioles dearly.

But the Orioles only trailed for a short period. Pedro Alvarez smacked a solo homer in the last of the fifth, tying the game back up at seven. Tim Beckham later added an RBI-double, and the O’s had the lead back at 8-7. And that lead held up for two innings. Bogaerts’ solo homer in the seventh tied the game back up at eight. And to extra innings we went.

Unfortunately for the Orioles however, they couldn’t record outs in the 11th inning. They issued two walks (one of which was intentional) and loaded the bases. Benintendi’s two-RBI single gave Boston a 10-8 lead, which turned into a 10-8 victory.

None of that happens if not for that fifth inning. While the Orioles built their lead over a few innings, Boston got it all back and then some seemingly in one fatal swoop. They always say to stay out of the big inning, and that was something that the Orioles were unable to do.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Drew Pomeranz. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Pesky Seattle outlasts the Birds

You have to wonder sometimes if the Baltimore Orioles aren’t overly used to AL East play. In baseball’s toughest division, you seemingly beat one another’s brains out. However once the coup de grace occurrs in a game, it’s done. Teams don’t have that pesky nature and don’t want to go away. And that’s haunted the O’s for the better part of the year.

Ubaldo Jimenez was effective for a few innings, but he struggled after going through the order once. Jimenez’s line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K. The Orioles gifted Jimenez with the lead – twice. But he couldn’t hold it…due to the fact that Seattle just didn’t want to go away.

Tim Beckham started the game with what’s become a familiar pattern for the Birds: a solo home run. It’s really amazing how he’s come to the Orioles and made such an immediate and strong impact. It’s tough to argue at this point that he wasn’t a great acquisition by Dan Duquette.

Seattle would tie the game at one in the last of the third on an RBI-double by Heredia, and later in the inning they took a 3-1 lead on Alonso’s two-run homer. But the Birds weren’t out of it. Rickard scored from third on a wild pitch in the fifth, and Gentry would later add an RBI-triple to tie the game. Up comes Beckham again, and his RBI-single gave the Orioles the lead back at 4-3.

And in many cases, that right there might be the coup de grace in an AL East game. The O’s had both the momentum and the lead back. But Seattle’s not an AL East team, and they’re scrappy by nature. Jimenez immediately put runners on base in the last of the fifth, and Seattle tied it on Cano’s RBI-single. They would then get back-to-back RBI-singles to take a 6-4 lead. Add on a solo homer by Martin an inning later, and the O’s trailed 7-4.

However the O’s did make it very interesting in the top of the ninth. Manny Machado tacked on a sac fly-RBI, and via two walks and a hit batsman, Seattle loaded the bases. Trumbo was then hit by a pitch, and suddenly it was a one-run game at 7-6. However Davis struck out to end the game, and the O’s fell by that 7-6 score.

The Orioles finished the road trip at 4-6, which although is a losing mark – you have admit that this was a really tough road trip. No off days until now, when they’re back home. And the west coast swing is always the worst trip of the season given the longevity and distance. However the tables will turn now, as the O’s will host those same teams at Camden Yards as they come east – after an off day today.

Baltimore Orioles: Tim Beckham was the right guy at the right time

Some Baltimore Orioles fans complained when the Birds acquired Tim Beckham. Admittedly I wondered what the strategy was, although the fact is that he came cheaply. But he’s done nothing but get on base and hit historic home runs since being with the Orioles. He went 4-for-5 again last night against Oakland, in a game that got out of control quickly.

Dylan Bundy pitched the Orioles to a quality start, but he also had a massive lead well before he even took the field. Bundy’s line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 10 K. Bundy was the benefactor of a seven-run first inning. Yes you read that correctly – the O’s put up seven runs in the first inning last night.

And it started with Beckham getting on base and setting the table in a sense. The O’s then used RBI-doubles by Machado and Jones to take a 2-0 lead. Mancini and Davis would add RBI-singles to run the score to 4-0, and Castillo would play a run on a ground out. The Birds sent 11 men to the plate in that first inning, capped off by Tim Beckham’s RBI-double in his second at-bat of the inning (and the game).

But the O’s were only getting warmed up. Bundy would surrender a two-run homer in the last of the first and a solo shot in the second, so for awhile it looked like multiple innings like that might be necessary. Jones added a two-RBI single in the fourth, but Oakland would also tack on two more runs an inning later. As if 9-5 wasn’t enough, the end of the game still loomed.

The Orioles put three runs across in the top of the ninth – you know, just in case Oakland had any ideas about coming back. They got RBI-singles from Davis and Beckham, and an RBI-double from Machado. And as I stated above, the final score was thus 12-5.

It can’t be stressed enough however the effect that Tim Beckham is having on the Orioles. He wasn’t just 4-for-5 last night – he’s having that type of game everyday for the most part. This also means that when Hardy returns at some point this month Buck Showalter‘s going to have a decision to make. He’s said that shortstop was Hardy’s job – but…is it really at this point?

One way or the other, Beckham’s been a shot in the arm for a team that direly needed it. Many of Dan Duquette’s moves have been scrutinized time and time again ad hoc by fans. Whatever you may think about his other moves, this seems to be one he’s gotten right. Beckham’s a guy that the Orioles will need to focus on keeping long term, as he could be the shortstop and lead off man of the future.

The Orioles will attempt to take the series with Oakland in this afternoon’s series finale. Jeremy Hellickson will be on the mound for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Kendall Graveman. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Tim Beckham’s Mr. 10,000!

It’s hard to have a better introduction to a team (and a city) than Tim Beckham‘s had for the Baltimore Orioles this week. The Birds traded for him on Tuesday, and since arriving in town he’s gotten on base multiple times and smacked three home runs. One of those was the 2500th Oriole home run in the history of Camden Yards. And his homer last night was the epic 10,000th in franchise history.

The Orioles got a typical start out of Wade Miley last night. Miley’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K. Miley’s starts aren’t pretty, and he has to lead the century in getting into full counts. But on this night he got out of most of them. He gave up a two-run homer to Upton in the first inning – and that was it.

The Birds got on the board in the last of the third on a Schoop RBI-double to cut the lead in half at 2-1. Two innings later they tied it when Adam Jones smacked the 9,998th homer in franchise history to tie the game at two. It was also Jones’ 20th of the season, marking 7 straight years with 20 home runs or more for Jones.

The Birds took the lead in the last of the seventh on a solo homer by Welington Castillo, which put the franchise at 9,999 homers for their entire history. More importantly however, the O’s held the lead. And with their bullpen, that was a huge thing – especially seeing that this was a big swing game for the O’s.

And one inning later Beckham came to the plate, and exhaulted the Orioles into the history books with the franchise’s 10,000th home run. It’s a small feat for sure, but it sure meant something to the nearly 34K in attendance. Beckham was pushed by the fans and his teammates to take a curtain call, which was well deserved after that one homer as well as the week he’s had.

Rickard would add an RBI-double later in the inning to cap off the Orioles’ 5-2 victory. Some people might wonder if it wouldn’t have been more fitting for the Adam Jones’ of the world to have hit that historic homer. And while that’s a valid point, keep in mind that Baltimore’s a tough old blue collar town that’s been the home to many hard-working journeymen over the years. So perhaps it’s fitting for a guy like Tim Beckham to own that honor…

…the guy literally just showed up here – on Tuesday! He works hard, he hustles, and he does whatever he has to do to get on base. That’s kind of symbolic of the city of Baltimore itself. Some will say that 10,000 homers in franchise history just means your team’s been around awhile – since 1954, in this case. But it’s also a pretty cool moment for fans to think back on all of the great players over the years who have homered for this franchise – and that should bring a smile to people’s faces.

The O’s will attempt to split the series this afternoon. Ubaldo Jimenez will be on the mound for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.

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