The Baltimore Orioles may have lost first baseman Chris Davis last night in yet another loss – 10-7 at the hands of lowly Chicago. Make no mistake about the fact that while they’re struggling, the Orioles are a good team. They have too much talent to be playing the way that they are. And they will snap out of it; they just might have to do it without Davis for awhile.
Wade Miley struggled yet again, becoming only the latest Oriole starter to make an early exit. Miley’s line: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 0 K. Chicago was able to take a 2-0 lead on the last of the second on a two-run homer by Smith, and an inning later it was 3-0 after Abreu’s RBI-single. Add in an RBI-double and another RBI-single, and the Birds trailed 6-0 after three.
However the good news for the future is that the O’s put up a fight at the plate. They did score seven runs in this game, which indicates some life in their bats. They just need to compliment that with decent or even passable pitching. Smith’s RBI-double in the fourth cut the lead to 6-1, which was followed by an RBI-single by Jones.
However Chicago quickly put two more runs on the board, and a third in the last of the seventh on a Davidson homer. Just to show how badly the Orioles are struggling right now, one of the aforementioned runs came as a result of Smith flat out whiffing on a line drive hit to him in right field. He was in line to catch the ball, and the lights obstructed his vision and he missed it – runner ended up at third base.
But again, the O’s tried to get back into the game. Kim’s RBI-single in the eighth cut the lead to 10-3. Mancini then smacked a three-run homer later in the inning which brought the Birds to within 10-6. An RBI-single by Schoop in the ninth brought it to 10-7, but the O’s couldn’t complete the comeback any further than that.
Again, this team will snap out of their funk. Right now people are marveling at how a team like New York can be doing what they’re doing and so forth. ALL teams go through periods like this over the course of 162 games. At some point the Orioles might find themselves clicking on all cylinders and New York might struggle. That’s how the season ebbs and flows, and it’s part of the game. Even though they fell, the Birds put seven runs on the board, which indicates that perhaps the offense is coming around.
Before the game even ended the Orioles announced that Chris Davis had a strained oblique. He’s getting an MRI today, however don’t be surprised if he lands on the DL. It’s never a good time to have injuries, however they all seem to be hitting this team at once. But again, that’s part of the game.
The Baltimore Orioles went onto victory last night (or should I say eary this morning) squarely on the bat of Chris Davis. However this game in Detroit entered what I call the twilight zone, which is my term for games which go past twelve innings. And don’t tell me that the theme music from the show isn’t reverberating in your head now that you’ve read this!
Wade Miley put the Orioles in a spot to win last night, but Detroit had already started it’s comeback prior to his departure. Miley’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 3 K. Part of the recent issues with the bullpen are that starters aren’t going deep into games. Miley ends up throwing a lot of pitches (partially due to guys fouling balls off), which makes for exists after five innings. And that affects the bullpen.
Miley allowed a run on a fielder’s choice in the first, but the O’s tied it in the third on a solo homer by J.J. Hardy. Then Oriole bats exploded. Manny Machado‘s RBI-double later in the inning gave the O’s a 2-1 lead, which went up to 3-1 after another RBI-double by Chris Davis. Tack on an RBI-single by Castillo, and the Birds held a 5-1 lead.
That lead actually grew by two more runs after an infield RBI-single by Mancini, and Hardy grounding into a force out which scored a run. So when the smoke cleared after the top of the third, the O’s led 7-1. Comfortable lead, right? Well sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other guy too, because they can also score runs. Martinez’s two-run homer in the bottom of the inning cut the lead to 7-3, which was followed by a solo homer by J.D. Martinez. Again, when the smoke cleared the O’s led 7-4.
And that’s how Miley left things. But the Oriole ‘pen showed it’s wear once again. Mychal Givens loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh, and the Orioles went to Brad Brach. The first hitter he saw was J.D. Martinez, who promptly gave Detroit the lead with a grand slam. And just like that, the Orioles trailed.
One positive about the Oriole bullpen in this game was Darren O’Day, who pitched for the first time in a week. He sent Detroit down 1-2-3 in the eighth, and looked crisp in doing so. The Birds were unable to muster much of a rally after that grand slam. It appeared that it would go down as another gut-wrenching loss in which they had pulled defeat from the jaws of victory. But this game was destined to enter the twilight zone…wild things were about to happen!
The Orioles couldn’t muster a rally – until two outs in the ninth inning. When you’re down by one all it takes is one swing of the bat. And the Orioles got that one swing from Mark Trumbo, who’s solo homer with two down saved the Orioles from a loss for the moment. It tied the game and sent it to extras.
So with the Birds having new life, onward we played. And as I said above, it was Chris Davis who was the big hero. But in true hero fashion, he had to do it twice. He led off the top of the twelfth with a solo home run, which gave the O’s a 9-8 lead. The O’s would tack on two more runs in the inning as Hardy would ground into a force out that scored a run, and Jones would add an RBI-single.
The Davis homer alone felt like the fatal blow, but the O’s were feeling pretty good about themselves after a three-run twelfth. The issue was that Detroit wasn’t about to go quietly. Would you believe that they came back to tie it in the last of the twelfth?! Three RBI-singles will do that to you, and we played on…into the twilight zone.
But luckily we didn’t have to play deep into the twilight zone, but we were certainly there. And what better way to get out of the twilight zone than with another home run by Chris Davis? This one, in the top of the thirteenth and of the two-run variety, was the fatal blow. Thus it propelled the Birds to a 13-11 victory in the motor city.
Whatever rest the bullpen might have gotten with an off day Monday was probably spent last night. Showalter indicated after the game that more roster moves are coming today, and I would bet that the bullpen will figure into that somehow. The Orioles were a heartbeat away from having to send a starter in last night, which is liable to happen when you play games in the twilight zone.
But at the end of the day (or perhaps more poignantly at the beginning of the day since the game ended well after midnight), a win’s a win. And especially when you’ve lost a few games straight, you take wins however you can get them. Despite the recent bullpen struggles, we saw the resiliency of this Orioles team in this game.
The series continues tonight at Comerica Park in Detroit. Ubaldo Jimenez (who was almost spent last night) heads to the mound, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Michael Fulmer. Game time is set for just after 7 PM. And that’s all for now…on the twilight zone.
Many of the Baltimore Orioles’ power hitters have had semi-tough starts to the season, including Chris Davis. However zeroing in on him for a moment, perhaps all he needed was some home cooking – as it felt like the O’s hadn’t been home for years and years when they got there yesterday. There really is no place like home!
Wade Miley made the start, but lasted only two outs into the game in what perhaps was one of the strangest sequences I’ve ever seen befall a starting pitcher. Miley was hit by consecutive comebackers, and was knocked out of the game. Miley’s line: .2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. He was later diagnosed with a left wrist contusion – which in essence is a bruise. Miley and the Orioles should consider themselves lucky; it could have been a lot worse.
So the Orioles summoned Gabriel Ynoa from the bullpen to reliever Miley, and he gave them quite an outing in a winning effort. Ynoa’s line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Ynoa did exactly what the Orioles wanted him to do, and for that he’ll probably be sent back down before tonight’s game. After going so long in relief, he won’t be available for awhile; furthermore he also experienced cramping in his hamstring…because of course he did.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the last of the first when School got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. That’s one way to get ahead I suppose! Two innings later Davis broke out of whatever funk in which he’s been with a solo home run which gave the O’s a 2-0 lead. Perhaps the best part of that home run from the Orioles’ perspective was that it went to left center – as opposed to right center. Davis is a power hitter who actually does a very good job of going the opposite way.
For the most part, this game was won on pitching. Ynoa and his fellow bullpen mates seemingly shut Chicago down. They netted a run on an RBI-groundout in the eighth, but the Orioles came right back in the bottom of the inning and regained their two-run margin on Joey Rickard‘s RBI-double. Later in the inning Hardy reached on an error which allowed Trumbo to score, and Chicago would ground into a double-play in the ninth which netted the final result at 4-2 in favor of the Birds.
After the game it was revealed that Zach Britton wasn’t available last night, as he’s once again experiencing left forearm discomfort. This is obviously a very serious matter for the Orioles, who don’t want to lose Britton for another extended period but who also need to do justice by their player.
It could be a wait-and-see situation, or possibly a return trip to the DL. Britton had an MRI yesterday, and the team will evaluate the results to decide how best to proceed. But it’s something that’s of concern to the O’s right now, and will continue to be until Britton’s 100%.
So if you’re keeping track at home, it’s worth paying attention to Miley given that he was hit with two comebackers. Odds are Ynoa will be sent down today despite his outstanding effort in last night’s game, and Britton could once again be on the shelf in the near future. For the record, if Britton were healthy I suspect the Orioles would consider keeping Ynoa on the roster (and for all I know they still might – surprises happen). But it’s bad enough having one reliever who can’t go, but two is a tough sell.