Baltimore Orioles: Caleb Joseph breaks RBI-less streak in loss

The silver lining for the Baltimore Orioles in yesterday’s 12-4 loss in New York was that catcher Caleb Joseph finally got an RBI. Two to be exact, by virtue of a two-run homer. Joseph of course went all of last season and up to yesterday without driving in a run.

But that’s about all that went right for the O’s yesterday, as the onslaught of New York bats continued from Friday night. In all seriousness, I have to wonder if someone, perhaps an infielder, isn’t accidentally tipping pitches. Because on Friday night it was like suddenly someone turned on a switch and suddenly New York seemed to know what was coming. That continued yesterday.

Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning, which taxed the bullpen as well. Jimenez’s line: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 7 R (6 earned), 3 BB, 4 K. It boils down to fastball command or Jimenez, and yesterday he didn’t have it. To his credit, he was the first to admit that after the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

I think I have to find my fastball command. I have to stay ahead most of the time. That’s what’s hurting me the most. I’m falling behind in the count and every time I come back, I get hurt.

That right there almost answers my point about someone tipping pitches. When you get yourself into counts where it’s obvious you have to throw a strike, it’s no mystery what’s coming next. So getting ahead in the count is important, because it allows a pitcher to pitch from a position of strength.

The onslaught started early when Gardner sent a solo homer over the wall in the last of the first. One inning later it was 2-0 on Romine’s sac fly-RBI, however Gardner would homer again later in the inning – this one of the three-run variety. Romine would also add a two-RBI single in the last of the fourth, and before the Orioles could blink they trailed 7-0.

The O’s would get two runs in the sixth, of the unearned variety. (When things are starting to go south you take runs however you can get them.) Machado scored on a throwing error, and Trumbo on a wild pitch later in the inning. The ironic part was that Caleb Joseph was at bat for that second run. At the time, he still hadn’t smacked in a run since 2015. So it had to add insult to injury to know that the Birds were able to score during his at-bat, but by virtue of the fact that it was an unearned run he doesn’t get an RBI.

Romine would add a two-run homer in the last of the sixth, Gregorious an RBI-double and Judge a two-run homer in the seventh. It should also be kept in mind that New York is a young team, which is why they’re so dangerous for the time being. In essence, they’re where the Orioles were circa 2011 – they have a great nucleus that should be together for awhile.

The difference is that New York is winning now, which isn’t necessarily supposed to happen. Whereas the 2011 Orioles were dangerous for the future, this NY team is dangerous in the future and in the here and now. On the flip side, as I said – they’re young. At some point they could just as easily remember that as they could forget it. The Orioles and the rest of the division are certainly hoping that they suddenly remember that they’re young and not expected to do anything this year.

The O’s did have a productive ninth inning however, and not just limited to Caleb Joseph. His two-run homer was the highlight however for sure, as he turned in his first runs batted in since 2015. But the Orioles worked the count well in the ninth inning, forcing New York to get a couple of additional relievers up in the bullpen. That’s something that could play into today’s game, as I suspect they weren’t anticipating on having to do that.

After the game the Birds optioned relievers Aquino and Nuno to triple-A Norfolk, more so to get some fresh arms in the ‘pen than anything else. It’s unclear who the corresponding moves will involve at this point. All we know for now is that they were sent out.

The O’s will try to salvage one game in this series as it concludes this afternoon. Wade Miley will be on the mound for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Jordan Montgomery. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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