It’s rare when the Baltimore Orioles can’t keep up with home runs. But it happened last night. As I said, it’s rare – not unprecedented. Kevin Gausman didn’t have his “good stuff,” although when it gets hot and humid the ball does of course fly out of Camden Yards. Gausman’s line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 3 K.
The damage began in the first inning right off the bat. Guasman surrendered a solo shot to Trout, and the Orioles trailed 1-0. Now the one thing you can say about Gausman last night is that at the very least he only gave up solo shots and two-run homers. They say however that solo home runs aren’t going to hurt you per se. That’s true – so long as you don’t give up several of them.
In fairness to Gausman, the Orioles couldn’t muster much as the plate. Anaheim’s Ramirez really shut them down. Their one run came in the last of the first when Tim Beckham scored on a wild pitch. Yes, folks…Beckham was on base again. It’s really amazing the impact this guy has made since coming to the O’s, and thus far he’s looking like a great acquisition.
It also shows how good things can happen when you get guys on base. I’m a firm believer in winning games primarily with power which is what Anaheim of course did. So in a sense, singles don’t mean as much in the moment. But when guys get on base you just never know what’s going to happen. A wild pitch or a pass ball can get him into scoring position, or in this case score him from third.
One inning later however, Anaheim had the lead back for good on a solo homer by Valbuena. Trout would smack a second home run in the third (another solo shot), as would Valbuena in the fourth – this one of the two-run variety. And that’s your ballgame. While the home run parade got to Gausman, the Orioles couldn’t put any further runs across to make a game of it.
So while Gausman was off, it’s tough to point at him and say that allowing all of those homers lost the game for the team. Every win and every loss is always a team effort – and that’s true in every sport. The bats needed to step it up last night, and they couldn’t do it. But of course one of the great things about baseball is that the next day brings another chance to win a game.
The O’s will try to take the series in this afternoon’s finale at Camden Yards. Chris Tillman will come out of the bullpen and make the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Anaheim’s Parker Birdwell (formerly of the Orioles’ organization). Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.