Baltimore Orioles: Are there issues unseen?

As has been the case with a couple of other starters of late, Kevin Gausman put the Baltimore Orioles in a spot to win last night. And I say that contrary to what the final numbers may say. Gausman’s line: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 7 K. That isn’t to say that he was perfect or couldn’t have been better – because that isn’t the case. But all you can ask of a starter is that he gives the team a chance to win, and Gausman did that.

Gausman ran into some trouble in the third when he loaded the bases and Fowler walked in a run. Piscotty then added a sac fly-RBI, and the O’s trailed 2-0. However Gausman did a good job of minimizing the damage to only two runs. And in fact, Machado’s sac fly-RBI in the last of the third brought the O’s to within 2-1.

However one of the few mistakes that Gausman made was hanging a slider to DeJong in the fourth, which went for a two-run homer. DeJong would also add an RBI-single in the sixth after Gausman left the game, however the run was charged to him. When I say that he put the O’s in a spot to win the game, I mean that when he left the score was 4-1 – well within striking distance. It didn’t get blown open until afterwards.

Gausman wasn’t lifted due to ineffectiveness. If anything he was fairly on his game last night. He had multiple at-bats where St. Louis hitters fouled off pitch after pitch. When all was said and done, he had thrown 116 pitches.

Carpenter would smack a two-run homer later in that sixth inning off of Gabriel Ynoa to run the score to 7-1. Ynoa had just been called up to replace the just-DL’d Wright. And he wasn’t a bad bet in that situation because he had never given up a big league home run. That obviously changed very quickly.

A solo homer by Fowler gave St. Louis an 8-1 lead, which in the eighth grew to 10-1 on a two-run home run by Phan. Gyorko also smacked a solo shot in the ninth, as did Trey Mancini of the Orioles. This left the final as an 11-2 loss for the Orioles.

There’s some disconnect on this Orioles team right now, and it’s tough to pinpoint from where it’s coming. There are multiple reports out there regarding the at-times rocky relationship between Showalter and Duquette – is it possible that tension spills onto the field? I would say no. Both men are at heart professionals; they wouldn’t allow something like that to affect the players.

The Orioles’ clubhouse is famously close, and in the past that has really carried them. Has that somehow changed? I would severely doubt it, however you never know. Furthermore even guys who are just called up are making unforced errors. Ynoa struck out the first two hitters in the seventh, only to allow a base runner on an error committed by he himself. It’s doubtful that even a player just called up would be making errors on the field because of a rift in the clubhouse.

What you do have is a team that recognizes it’s struggling, and that’s pushing way to hard to win. It’s understandable, however often times you have to battle yourself to snap out of a streak like this. And this is true in real life as well as in sports sometimes.

The series continues late this afternoon at Camden Yards. Wade Miley gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright. Game time is set for just after 4 PM this afternoon.

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