When a team is winning or losing by a big margin, there’s often an urge to in essence waste at-bats in the name of getting the game over with. Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles doesn’t really believe in that. More poignantly, he doesn’t believe in giving up. And that attitude pretty much sets the trend for this Orioles team.
Kevin Gausman got beaten around last night in the series opener in Cincinnatti, although the fact is that their offense also had a very on night. Gausman’s line: 2.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 3 BB, 2 K. While all of those runs were earned, several of them came off of Oriole miscues in the field.
If you’re Gausman, you can’t fret too much about a start like this. It wasn’t good for sure, however all pitchers have a few clunkers over the course of a season. This doesn’t indicate that Gausman isn’t ready for showtime, or that what good we’ve seen of him this year wasn’t real. He had a bad start, something that will happen to even the best pitchers in the game.
Cincinnati put two runs across in the first inning, one of which came as a result of a bobbled ball in the infield by Jonathan Schoop on what could have been an inning-ending double-play. As I said above, that still goes as an earned run against Gausman, but only because you don’t assume a double-play. If the double-play was assumed, that would have been an error on Schoop. However he actually did redeem himself in the second inning on an RBI-single that cut the lead in half.
But that’s as close as the Orioles got. Duvall smacked a grand slam in the last of the second, which burst the game wide open at 6-1. Later in the inning Barnhart hit an RBI-double which made it 7-1, however Cincinnati got greedy. They sent the runner from first base, however Adam Jones relayed a throw to Jonathan Schoop at second, who threw the runner out at home plate to end the inning. And for the record folks, it wasn’t even close.
One inning later Votto smacked a two-run home run, opening up a 9-1 lead for Cincinnati. But it was Jones’ at-bat in the fifth which impressed me. Again, at 9-1 a lot of players on both sides are in essence playing out a string in a game. Not Adam Jones. He worked the count, and sent a two-run homer over the wall to narrow the lead to 9-3, which was the eventual final.
The score is irrelevant in a sense. However Jones recognizes that you always leave your best out on the field. And the sad part is that his effort isn’t really the norm. We actually call it out and praise it when we see it. Let’s put it this way; when people are paying to come to the game and sit in the stands, you should never just lollygag and give up at-bats. Jones personified that last night, and I tip my cap to his approach.
The Orioles also had to remove Seth Smith in the sixth inning after he appeared to re-injure his right hamstring. Smith was held out of much of spring training dealing with this injury, and now it’s apparently bitten him again in the regular season. It’s unclear when or if the O’s will place him on the DL, however I suspect that they will. With two more games under NL rules, you always want to have a pinch-hitter/runner available at will.
Joey Rickard is apparently not ready to come off the DL yet with his sprained middle finger. It’s unclear how close Rickard is to being able to return; it could always be possible that they make hi a corresponding move for Smith if he goes to the DL. He might only be able to pinch run for a couple of days, but it’s possible.
The series in Cincinnati continues this evening at the Great American Ball park. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Cincinnati’s Amir Garrett. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.