I talk a lot about the Baltimore Orioles being a power-hitting club. The fact is however that it’s only worth mentioning if they’re firing on all cylinders. And at the moment, the Orioles aren’t. They won on Monday, however you’d be hard-pressed to argue that they did so due to power.
The good news for the Birds is that this seems to happen every year – and right around this time if anything. Everyone seemingly looks lost at the plate, and the power just gets zapped. And everyone always seems to talk about how the entire team goes into a funk at once and so forth. Again, it seems to happen each year in late May or early June.
However in the case of last night’s game, the fact that Chris Tillman wasn’t really on his game didn’t help. Tillman’s line: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 B, 1 K. Two of the first three batters of the game (Gardener and Holliday) homered. They say that solo home runs won’t hurt you; but several of them might. Hicks would add an RBI-single in the second, and in his next turn at the plate Holliday added another solo home run.
NY would knock Tillman from the game later in the third after Headley’s RBI-single, running the score to 5-0. But New York hitters were simply teeing off on Oriole pitching on this night. Gardener added a second solo homer as well in the fourth, and Judge added an RBI-single. Before the game was half over, the O’s trailed 8-0.
But the silver lining on this game for the Orioles was that towards the end they made New York work. And by that I mean their bullpen. The last thing any team wants to have to do is use multiple relievers in a game that they had well in hand. Mancini got the Orioles on the board in the last of the sixth with an RBI-single, and RBI-singles by Rickart and Hardy in the eigth ran the final to 8-3.
However as I said, New York had to blow through several relievers – four to be exact. That’s probably about three more than they would have liked to have used with an eight-run lead at one point. They also used several relievers in Monday’s game, so again that bodes well for the Birds going into the series finale.