Tagged: Jonathan Schoop

Baltimore Orioles fall in Seattle

One Jonathan Schoop homer isn’t going to cut it for the Baltimore Orioles. Especially when your starter doesn’t even last five innings. Wade Miley was lifted early on in this game, even though it was far from out of control by any means. Miley’s line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K.

Miley wasn’t missing by much. And in fact he seemed to indicate after the game that he perhaps felt he was getting squeezed by the home plate umpire (quote courtesy of Greg Johns & Josh Horton, MLB.com):

I was barely missing with some fastballs and cutters in. I’m talking, like, inches in. Could have been strikes and kind of fell behind a little bit.

In fairness, Miley didn’t come out and say that he was getting squeezed. However that’s the implication there. If you feel that they could have been strikes, you’re indirectly saying that you were being squeezed.

Nevertheless, the Orioles had an early lead in this game. Schoop’s homer came in the first inning. For the second consecutive night the Orioles took a 1-0 leaed in the first off of a solo homer. In this particular case we just didn’t know that it would be the only run the Birds would muster.

Seattle tied the game at one in the last of the fourth on a Cruz RBI-single. One inning later they took the lead on an RBI-single by Segura, and later in that fifth inning Cano grounded into a force out which allowed a run to score as well. And that’s your ballgame.

The bright spot of course was Jonathan Schoop, who’s having a career year. It’s really amazing in terms of what this guy’s been able to do if you think about it. Because he’s doing it both on offense and defense.

Schoop seemingly has timing down pat, and in reality he has a clock in his head that keeps him on task. And that was how Buck Showalter described Schoop’s successes when asked after the gae (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports)

He’s good, he’s a good player. He’s just graduating. Two plays tonight give you a good idea. He had two great clock plays. The ball he backed up and took on the short hop to possibly turn the double play. The other one, we were a little slow with the exchange on the 6-4-3 and he didn’t throw the ball to first and went to third base. Those are the little things you see. You see him take a walk in an RBI situation because they’re not throwing good pitches to hit. Those are things that have allowed him to grow.

The Orioles will try to take the series in this afternoon’s finale in Seattle (also the end of the west coast swing). Ubaldo Jimenez will get the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Marco Gonzales. Game time is set for just after 3:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles hold on and defeat Texas

The Baltimore Orioles won a big game yesterday in Arlington, TX, and now head back home to open up a home stand. Wade Miley turned in a typical Wade Miley-type game, however this time it wasn’t several good innings and one bad one (which cost the Orioles the game). Miley’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K.

Miley may have somewhat set the tone, however it was Oriole bats that won this game for the Birds. Trey Mancini‘s RBI-single in the fourth got them on the board, which was followed immediately by an RBI-single by Chris Davis, and another by Welington Castillo. Tejada would later reach on a fielder’s choice which scored another run, and before you knew it the O’s led 4-0 in the fourth. Texas however would tack on two in the bottom of the inning, just reminding the Orioles that they were still there.

And the O’s hadn’t forgotten, incidentally.They knew that they had to keep scoring. And they did just that in the fifth. Jonathan Schoop smacked a two-run homer, followed later in the inning by a three-run shot by Castillo. That broke the game wide open as the O’s opened up a 9-2 lead. One inning later Schoop would deliver once again with an RBI-single to run the lead to 10-2.

But Texas wasn’t done quite yet, and they still felt they had a run in them. Odor smacked a solo shot in the last of the sixth, and Mazara followed with a two-run bomb in the eighth. Still no biggie, right? The O’s still held a six-run lead in later innings. Odor came back up in that eighth inning, and added a two-run shot of his own.

The Orioles’ bullpen labored through those final two innings, and in the end they had to go to Britton to record the final two outs with two on in the last of the ninth. You’d rather not have to do that, however that’s what the O’s had to do to win the game. And win the game they did, 10-6.

So while the finale wasn’t as easy as it was cracked up to be at first, the O’s did take two-of-three in Texas. And they did so against a team that’s struggling perhaps as much as the Orioles at times. However that’s momentum that they need to take home with them if they’re going to make a run at a playoff spot. At the end of the day, you’d like to be able to point back at this game or this series as a catalyst.

The O’s now return home to open up a three-game set with Kansas City. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Danny Duffy. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop doubles, scores in ASG

If there’s one thing that Baltimore Orioles fans should take away from the MLB all-star game, it’s that Jonathan Schoop played a major role in the outcome. The lone Orioles’ representative in the game didn’t start, but was a factor once he got in the game. Both offensively and defensively.

Schoop entered the game as a substitute at second base in the alst of the fourth, and immediately made an impact. A runner tried to tag up and go to second base on a long fly ball out, and Boston’s Betts relayed the ballinto Schoop and second to nail the runner. One might question why the runner tried to advance, however runs were tough to coe by last night.

Schoop hit third in the top of the fifth, and with two outs and two strikes on him he pulled a tight grounder over the bag at third for a double. A few moments later Schoop scored the first run of the game on an RBI-single by Minnesota’s Sano. The National League would tie the game up on a solo homer by St. Louis’ Molina in the sixth, and the game went to extra innings. Seattle’s Cano smacked a solo homer of his own in the top of the tenth, which propelled the American League to victory.

For the first time in years, the all-star game truly was an exhibition. It no longer decides home field advantage in the World Series. And I’ll be honest; at first I thought it was a good idea because it gave a little bit of emphasis to the game. However as time went on players and coaches started taking it a bit more seriously than they should have given the stakes and what winning and losing could mean.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that baseball shouldn’t be taken seriously, and that games should be treated as little league affairs just designed for them to have fun per se. It’s a serious business and each game matters. But the all-star game was always supposed to be just an exhibition for the fans, and a fun atmosphere for the players. So perhaps it’s a good thing that it’s back to truly being that way.

The other thing that stood out to me about this year’s contest was that it was a pitcher’s duel. In the past we’ve seen all-star games with final scores such as 10-8 or 14-11. However this was a game that seemed to truly showcase the pitching talent in the league. But of course at the end of the day, it was power that decided the game.

This was the first all-star game for Schoop, who looked very comfortable out there both in the field and at the plate. And while he wasn’t voted in by the fans, his selection was well-deserved. I’m also a proponent of having every team represented on the rosters. I disagree with how the NBA does their all-star selections; it ends up that only four or five teams in each conference get representation.

I also believe that every player on the roster should get into the game somehow. Preferably in an at-bat or to pitch an inning. But even if the guy only pitches to one batter, or comes in as a pinch-runner, I think every player should see the field. Every fan in my opinion has the right to sit down and watch the all-star game knowing that a member of his home team is on the roster and participates in the game. That’s part of how the game grows itself.

MLB will remain in pause-mode for the next two days before the season resumes on Friday. For the Orioles, that rest is well-needed given the grueling nature of the first half. For what it’s worth, this was the American League’s fifth consecutive all-star game win.

Baltimore Orioles snap losing streak with Jonathan Schoop at short

A lot of Baltimore Orioles fans had to wonder what was going on when they noticed Jonathan Schoop playing shortstop yesterday afternoon. Admittedly, I raised an eyebrow at the move also. However when you’ve lost five straight games and things are turning south, you might as well shake up the lineup here and there. That’s what the Orioles did – and if the result is any indication, it worked.

I wouldn’t expect to see Schoop at short often, however it should put the Orioles at ease knowing that he can play there. What also should put the Orioles at ease was Wade Miley‘s outing in yesterday’s game. Miley’s line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K. Obviously the O’s would prefer Miley to go deeper into games, however this start is about par for the course for him. The difference is that he only gave up one run.

The O’s trailed in this game before they took a lead, on the heels of Sano’s solo homer in the last of the third. But one inning later it was the shortstop, Schoop, who put the O’s in the lead for good. His two-run home run gave the Birds a 2-1 lead. And the best news for Oriole bats? They added on.

Manny Machado continued his hot streak with an RBI-double in the sixth. He would later score on an error that allowed Trumbo to reach. For once it seemed the opponent was making a few mistakes in the game, and the O’s were holding them accountable.

And ironically, it was the end of the sixth inning which may have decided the game. Miley gave way to O’Day, who promptly hit a batter to load the bases with two outs. You have to believe that Minnesota had to just know that this was the part of the story where they stand up and seize control of the game from the Orioles, never to look back. So when O’Day, who wasn’t at his best yesterday, powered a fastball past Escobar to end the inning, you could almost see the shock on the faces of the Minnesota players.

Trumbo would smack a solo home run in the eighth to offer the Orioles even more of a cushion, and the Birds cruised to a 5-1 victory. That of course snapped a five-game losing streak, and for the Orioles’ sake perhaps restored some semblance of normalcy to the clubhouse. Inicidentally, the fact that Trumbo has started to heat up just a bit in the last week bodes well for the Orioles as they head into the second half. They just have to hope that it continues.

The Birds will try to earn a split with Minnesota in this afternoon’s series finale at Target Field. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: The tough got going

The Baltimore Orioles’ series in Tampa got off to an inauspicious beginning with a ten-run loss on Friday night. But it was the Birds who got the last laugh, with a come-from-behind victory yesterday in the finale to end up taking two-of-three. As the title indicates, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Chris Tillman posted yet another early exit yesterday afternoon, Tillman’s line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R (4 earned), 2 BB, 5 K. One thing I found interesting is that Tillman seemed to be doing okay against this Tampa lineup, and then in the second time through the order they started to square some pitches up against him. And that’s when Showalter made the change. Almost at the first sign of trouble.

The O’s struck first in the top of the second on Janish’s two-RBI single. Tampa would get a run back in the bottom of that second inning on a Featherton RBI-single, but the O’s still held the lead at 2-1. They extended that to 3-1 in the fourth on a Caleb Joseph solo homer.

Featherton would come back up in the last of the fourth, and drive in a run with a sac fly-RBI. However it was the last of the fifth that did Tillman in. Longoria smacked a three-run homer on a hanging changeup, and suddenly Tampa had a 5-3 lead.

A week ago that would have been a fatal blast against the O’s. Oriole bats would have gotten so nervous that they would have consistently swung through pitches trying to make things happen. However this time around they came across as a bit more relaxed.

And sure enough, one inning later in the sixth, Trey Manicini smacked a solo homer to bring the O’s to within 5-4. As the game wound down however, the Orioles needed one run to tie it. And they got that one run in the form of another solo homer, this one off the bat of Jonathan Schoop in the eighth. That was the key play of the game, and it put the O’s in a spot to win.

Following a lead off single, a sac bunt, and an intentional walk, Joey Rickart made Tampa pay with a ground rule RBI-double to give the Orioles a 6-5 lead. Tampa would then proceed to intentionally walk Machado, which loaded the bases for Jonathan Schoop once again. And Schoop, as he’s done numerous times in this series already, was hit by a pitch – which drove in another run to give the O’s a 7-5 lead. (Incidentally that HBP withstood a Tampa instant replay challenge.)

The O’s would add an additional run on a Jones sac fly-RBI, and ended up with an 8-5 victory. I found Tampa’s two IBB’s in the ninth inning to be very interesting. They were uncharacteristic of a home team in a close game like that. Road teams will often issiue intentional walks in the ninth inning because presumably the runner at first base wouldn’t mean anything. But to see a home team do it (and twice at that) was strange…

…but keep in mind that this is Tampa. They don’t do anything that’s “by the book” per se. Ironically most of their against the grain moves tend to work – and for a conventional team like the Orioles, that’s maddening. But for once it didn’t work, and the Birds took advantage.

Here’s something you don’t hear often anymore: the Orioles will have an off day today. Yes, you read that correctly. For the first time since June 5th, the Birds are off. No makeup game, no nothing. They’ll begin a series in Toronto tomorrow night.

Baltimore Orioles letting opponents off the hook

Part of the Baltimore Orioles’ problem is that they’re letting their opponents off the hook too often. Yet, they aren’t getting that same courtesy in return. And why in reality should they expect to get it? This is supposed to be the real world, right?

Wade Miley gave the Birds his typical outing, filled with pitches that were fouled off, and a few bloop hits. Miley’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 K. That type of outing has been Miley’s trademark thus far in 2017, and while he’s had his good moments most of these five-inning stints are struggles. Not all of that is necessarily his fault or within his realm of control (such as these epic nine-pitch at-bats where opposing hitters foul off pitch after pitch), but it’s still been a struggle.

The Birds took an early 1-0 lead when Seth Smith worked his magic yet again and led the game off with a solo home run. However Cleveland almost immediately struck back, with an RBI-triple by Jackson in the second. Gomes followed with a softly hit RBI-single the opposite way to right field, giving Cleveland a 2-1 lead.

And right there, you almost see the story of this series for the Orioles. First off Gomes’ RBI-single was very softly hit, while the Oriole outfield was playing back. Secondly it was the opposite way. Cleveland seemed to have this uncanny ability to hit it where they ain’t, no matter how the Orioles played.

The Birds loaded the bases however in the last of the second. With nobody out, it looked like they were poised to pounce on Cleveland. However…the O’s let them off the hook (in a sense). Seth Smith sent a tapper back to the pitcher, who threw home for a force out. The catcher then threw to first base to complete a 1-2-3 double-play – keep in mind also how rare of a double-play that combination is. Yet the O’s manage to ground into one.

However the O’s re-loaded the bases, and for once it was an Oriole (Jonathan Schoop) who had an epic at-bat, He drew a walk, which forced in a run and tied the game. But that’s all the Orioles were able to get off of that sequence. They had the bases loaded twice in the inning (including once with nobody out), and they mustered one run.

But at that point it appeared that things were smoothing out for the Birds, Miley recorded two quick outs in the third inning, and was all but heading back into the dugout. And that could potentially be part of the problem. Sometimes you wonder if the O’s aren’t letting up just a little with two outs or even with two strikes. Because two walks and a single later, the bases were loaded.

That brought Jackson back to the plate, and once again he placed the ball perfectly – into the hole. His two-RBI single gave the Tribe a 4-2 lead. Gonzalez would smack a solo homer in the sixth, and Encarnacion an RBI-single in the ninth. The O’s would get a run back on Machado’s RBI-double in the last of the ninth, but it was too little too late. The Birds fell to Cleveland, 6-3.

To me the bases loaded situations early in the game show part of what’s been going on with this Baltimore Orioles team of late. Granted the O’s did net a run. And it was a big one at that, because it tied the game. But when you have the bases loaded and nobody out in an inning, you kind of have your opponent on the ropes a bit. By grounding into a double-play which doesn’t even allow a run to score, and then only scoring one run, you’re letting the other guy off the hook.

Instead, Cleveland held the Orioles accountable for loading the bases. And again, part of this is due to the fact that the O’s are probably swinging for the fences a bit too much. Now I’m on record as saying that I do believe that power is how the game should be played and won these days, but teams are using the Orioles’ aggression against them. The good news is that the run the O’s scored with the bases loaded came on a good at-bat by Schoop in which he worked the count and drew a hard-earned walk.

The Orioles now open a six-game road swing as they head to Tampa for three games. Ubaldo Jimenez will get the start for the Orioles this evening at the Trop, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Chris Archer. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: You can’t keep good bats down!

The script appeared to be the same for the Baltimore Orioles yesterday. Wade Miley gave up an unearned run off of a Jonathan Schoop error early in the game, which all but should have assured a St. Louis victory. Nary a few moments later, it was 9-1. Yes folks, 9-1…in favor of the O’s! Miley’s line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R (5 earned) 4 BB, 8 K.

Schoop booted a ball in the first inning which allowed Carpenter to score from third. But that was as close as St. Louis got. Jones and Trumbo smacked back-to-back homers in the last of the first, putting the Orioles ahead for good.

J.J. Hardy smacked a two-RBI double to center in the last of the second, which was followed by a two-run homer by Manny Machado. Add an addtional two-RBI double by Mancini and an RBI-single by Schoop, and suddenly the tables had turned and the rout was on!

However St. Louis didn’t necessarily go quietly into the night. At 9-1 it was fairly clear that the game was over for all intents and purposes. But suddenly it was 9-3 after DeJong’s two-run homer. Yet the O’s weren’t about to cease piling it on. Machado scored on a wild pitch in the last of the fourth, and Schoop (who more than made up for his error) launched a two-run home run which ran the score to 12-3.

St. Louis would net home runs by Molina and Fowler to reach a final tally of seven, but even then the Birds didn’t stop. Schoop launched a second homer (a solo shot) in the last of the seventh, and Hardy added on an RBI-single. One inning later Mancini scored on a pass ball, running the final to 15-7.

These are the types of games that teams have sometimes when they’re breaking out of bad stretches. The Orioles’ offense was well-balanced yesterday afternoon in terms of scoring off the long ball and in other manners. Detractors will point to the fact that they gave up seven runs, and it’s a fair point. But the goal is to win games, and the Orioles did that yesterday.

The key obviously was the second inning, when they put up the nine runs. That effectively ended the competitive part of the game, which was Showalter’s view as well in as many words (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

It’s a good pitcher, good pitching staff, and just grouped together a lot of good at-bats. I think they know in the American League and in the major leagues period, you never know how much is going to be enough. You better make hay while you can.

The O’s will have a chance at taking the series with St. Louis this afternoon at Camden Yards on Father’s Day. Ubaldo Jimenez returns to the rotation and gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by St. Louis’ Lance Lynn. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.