Wade Miley turned in perhaps the best start of the season by any Baltimore Orioles’ pitcher in their 2-1 win over Cincinnati.
If you would have told me that the Baltimore Orioles would take two-of-three in Cincinnati this week and the two games they won were going to be pitcher’s duels, I’m not sure I would have believed you. Yet if it was possible to one-up what Jimenez did on Wednesday, Wade Miley did it last night. Miley’s line: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K.
Let that sink in for just a moment; eleven strikeouts! This was by far the best outing Miley’s had as an Oriole. The only downside was that he didn’t get credit for the win. However the fact is that he did more than just put his team in a spot to win. When you pitch eight innings (longer than any other Oriole pitcher this year) and give up two hits, you got the win – whether the box score says so or not.
After the game Miley said that he did what all starters try to do, in going deep into a game – and it worked (quote courtesy of Brittany Ghiroli, mlb.com):
All our starting pitchers try to go out and get as deep into a ballgame as we can. We were able to get some early outs and get deeper into the ballgame.
Miley got ahead of hitters early, and didn’t let them off the hook for the most part. That’s always a recipie for a deep outing and a quality start. Again, the only downside was that the O’s couldn’t get Miley the win.
The Birds took a 1-0 lead in the second on a Jonathan Schoop solo home run, however two innings later in the fourth Cincinnati’s Votto followed suit. Two solo homers (one on each side), and a 1-1 tie. And on they played after nine innings.
Incidentally, the Orioles had two runners thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple last night. The first one (involving Manny Machado) was fairly close, although in my view he should have stayed at second base. The second one (involving J.J. Hardy) had the runner out by a country mile. You live and learn I suppose.
However Hardy made up for it in the tenth inning. With a runner at second base, he worked the count and sent a liner into center field for a base hit. That brought Trumbo into score, and the O’s held a 2-1 lead – which turned into a 2-1victory.
Both this game and Wednesday’s game would have been losses in the past for this team. That shows that it really does begin and end with starting pitching. However in the past the Orioles haven’t faired well when they were in situations where they had to play small ball. This time around they did what they had to do to win the games, and that’s a good sign.
The O’s now head home after a long nine-game road swing to open up a three-game set with Boston. Dylan Bundy heads to the mound for the Orioles tonight, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Drew Pomeranz. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.