Jayson Aquino came up from the minors yesterday to make a spot start in place of Tillman (who was on paternity leave) for the Baltimore Orioles. If you’re judging him based on the result of the game, he was an apt failure. If you’re judging him on his stat line, he was so-so. However savvy fans will judge him based on how he pitched, and he pitched pretty well. Aquino’s line: 5.1 IP, 5 H 4 R (3 earned), 0 BB, 7 K.
Aquino threw strikes, and while a few pitches were hung in the zone, that’s going to happen here and there. Milwaukee got on the board in the second inning when Broxton reached on a fielding error by Machado to take a 1-0 lead. That would be the unearned run given up by Aquino…
…however that’s not to say that the other runs were totally within his realm of control either. Santana’s RBI-single in the fourth was deflected by the shortstop Tejada and trickled into left field. Had Tejada come up with that, odds are it would have been a base hit because of the angle of the play. But it would have saved a run.
Later in that fourth inning Broxton smacked a two-run homer, attesting for the final two Milwaukee runs. Aquino and the Orioles’ bullpen held them down the rest of the way. The real story of the loss was that Oriole bats still couldn’t muster anything of note. And that’s something that I know is frustrating a lot of fans to death – the offense is supposed to be one of the strengths of this team.
But it’s fair to point out that this offense is in fact designed to function…when it’s functioning. There are some major pieces that are on the DL right now. The Orioles are missing the likes of Hardy, Flaherty, and Davis. (On the defensive side they just got Britton back last night.) The good news is that the Birds do in fact have depth. But when your depth is suddenly all on the field at the same time, that makes it tough to compete.
Also keep in mind that the players who are not on the DL have also had their nics and cuts. Jones has seemingly been nursing an injury for two months, and at one point he had to miss four or five games. Machado had to miss a few games with an injury as well. So this is a team that truly hasn’t had the opportunity to fire on all cylinders for some time.
Incidentally, the O’s let their opponent off the hook again last night. They had the bases juiced in the second inning with nobody out – and couldn’t score. It’s moments like those which are key in games. Not only do you come away with nothing, but it gives the opponent a bit of an inflated ego in that they got away with something. But that aside, the O’s aren’t being let off the hook for their mistakes in games. In fact, their mistakes are being magnified. So they need to start holding their opponents accountable, otherwise they can’t return to their winning ways.
The O’s will try to move on from being swept in Milwaukee as they open up a four-game set in Minnesota tonight at Target Field. Dylan Bundy will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.