Wade Miley giving up four runs in Toronto last night is what will probably stand out for most Baltimore Orioles fans. And perhaps rightfully so, as it all begins and ends with starting pitching. Miley’s line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 earned), 4 BB, 5 K.
However when you can’t put any runs on the board at all, you literally have no shot at winning. Let me say it again; if you can’t score, you can’t win. It’s as simple as that. Miley could have given up four runs, one run, or twenty…and he still would have lost last night. It wouldn’t have mattered.
Now in fairness, Toronto’s Stroman was dealing last night and then some. The Orioles appeared lucky to even get on base. And it was pretty fortunate for them that they started the game with a base hit to be honest. Because the way that Stroman was pitching last night had he strung together a few no-hit innings the Birds might have been pressing and scrambling at the end of the game so as not to get no-hit.
Toronto led the game off with a Bautista solo home run in the last of the first inning which gave them a 1-0 lead. Smoak added a solo shot of his own in the fourth, which ran the score to 2-0. But the game was put out of reach on a strange play later in that fourth inning. Bautista reached with the bases loaded on a fielder’s choice to Janish at short with two outs…
…however there was no guarantee that a run was going to score. All the O’s needed to do was record a force out. Janish’s flip to second was wayward, which allowed a run to score and Bautista to reach. Schoop’s throw to first was then bobbled by Mancini, allowing a second run to score.
Toronto took advantage of the Orioles’ mistake there, which unfortunately came as a result of rushing the play. Janish made a great play and had one shot at getting the out. But then in trying to save another run, Schoop and Mancini mangled the second part of the play and the run scored anyways.
After the game Janish credited Toronto’s Pillar (the base runner) for hustling to second base, which caused the rush on his and Schoop’s part (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):
Obviously, the ball was smoked. My read on the play was as hard as the ball was hit, we had a force at second. You have to give credit to (Kevin) Pillar. Obviously, we’re not holding him on there and he has the ability to get a significant lead. And he beat the ball to the bag. It was a bang-bang play, kind of a split-second decision. I guess, in retrospect, it would have been good to pump fake to second maybe and go to first. But that is happening so fast, it’s a tough play. You have to give him a little bit of credit for beating that ball to the bag. Most guys are not going to do that.