The Baltimore Orioles left the game outcome to chance last night, as Chance Sisco’s three-run homer in the eighth won it for the Birds.
If the Baltimore Orioles were counting wins and losses at this stage, they sure would be lucky that they inserted minor league catcher Chance Sisco into the lineup late in last night’s game. But that’s only if they were counting wins and losses. And as we know, at this stage they aren’t.
Starter Chris Lee struggled in his two innings of work, and at times almost came off as if he was overthrowing. Lee’s line: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K. Now in fairness Lee only gave up two runs. However his pitch count was in the fifties after two innings; that’s not where he needs to be. However after the game Showalter expressed that he felt Lee would get to where he needs to be. It’s unclear if that means the Orioles intend to break camp with Lee on the roster or not, however it was somewhat of a vote of confidence after a lackluster outing.
Tampa put those two runs up on Lee in the first inning off of two RBI-singles. However the O’s rebounded an inning later with a Kim RBI-single to cut the lead to 2-1. Chris Johnson came up with one on in the last of the fourth and smacked a two-run homer to put the Orioles in the lead.
However in typical Tampa fashion, one inning later Rasmus smacked a two-run shot of his own that gave Tampa the lead back at 4-3. I say typical Tampa fashion because their attitude has always been anything you can do, I can do better. Tampa’s a very loose team, and while the intensity of win now seems to affect everyone else, it’s never really bothered them. Such is life at times.
The Birds were able to tie the game at four on a Davis RBI-groundout in the last of the fifth. As the game wore on, regular players started rotating out in the seventh and eighth innings. You know that you’re getting later and later in the spring when everyday players are stickin around that long in these games!
However I suppose it was a pre-determined fact that the game itself would be decided by reserves. That’s normally the case in these spring games. So with two on in the last of the eighth, Chance Sisco came up to bat. And he sent a deep shot towards left field, which you knew was gone if it only stayed fair…it drifted towards the foul line as it headed towards the wall, giving the impression that it was going foul. But then it smacked clean into the foul pole, giving Sisco a three-run homer and the Orioles an eventual 7-4 victory.
At the end of the day, wins and losses don’t matter. But it’s always nice to win if you’re the Orioles, especially when the “catcher of the future” is the guy who turned in the winning runs. Going back to the pitching for just a moment, while Lee had some shaky moments, both Zach Britton and Tyler Wilson got into the middle innings of this game. And both looked incredibly solid. That’s a good sign.
The Orioles weren’t the only ones making news last night; Team USA blanked Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic final game, 8-0. Anyone who wasn’t already familiar with Adam Jones‘ body of work as a big league player, knows who he is now. And now as a world champion, Jones is headed back to Orioles’ camp in Sarasota.
Today is the second of two off days for the Orioles in camp. So with no game this afternoon and this evening, there’s not much left to say other than enjoy the Sweet 16 games tonight!