Manny Machado demonstrated one of the reasons why the Baltimore Orioles need to sign him to a long-term deal last night. And by any means necessary at that. The Birds can’t allow Machado to walk; not for what he does in the field, and not for what he can do at the plate. Machado is a prime time player, and he demonstrated that in grand fashion last night.
Home run was the word of the day at the yard last night. Jeremy Hellickson dug the O’s into an early hole, however the fact is that the ball flew out of Oriole Park all night on both sides. Hellickson’s line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Hellickson was throwing strikes – if anything, he was getting too much of the plate. Before having played an inning-and-a-half, Anaheim had hit three home runs and the O’s trailed 5-0.
Mark Trumbo‘s solo homer in the last of the second got the Orioles on the board and cut the Anaheim lead to 5-1. One inning later Caleb Joseph added a solo shot, followed by a two-run homer by Machado. Suddenly the O’s were right in the thick of the game, trailing only 5-4.
But Anaheim’s a team that has it’s share of weapons, one of which is a guy named Trout. He smacked a two-run homer in the fifth to give his team a 7-4 lead over the Orioles. That could have been the coup de grace in a sense. But maybe the O’s learned from playing games out on the west coast against pesky teams. It’s not really over until it’s over.
Machado would foreshadow his eventual heroics in the last of the fifth with his second home run of the game, this one a solo shot. That cut the Anaheim lead to 7-5, but the O’s still had work to do. The Orioles’ pen held things where they were through until the last of the ninth. And as we know, the home team bats last.
The Birds had the bases loaded after two hits and a walk with one gone. And that brought Machado to the plate, trailing 7-5. When a guy comes up in that situation who’s already smacked two homers, it’s in the backs of people’s minds that he might smack a third. But…does the law of averages not say that odds are it won’t happen? Orioles fans would have settled for a single, which probably would have tied the game. But instead…
…they were in fact treated to Machado’s third home run of the game – this one a grand slam. And a walk off grand slam at that! Both the Birds and the fans went home happy last night, with the Orioles winning in shocking comeback fashion, by the score of 9-7.
After the game Machado said all of the right things in that he was trying to take what the defense would give him. However it had to be in the back of his mind that he could end the game (in grand fashion) – and he did (quote courtesy of Brittany Ghiroli, mlb.com):
You try to get one [run in] at least. That’s my mentality going up there, which is at least, ‘Get one guy in with less than two outs,’ with a guy like that. Just put the ball up in the air. I’ve been fortunate to have a little more power and get a little stronger as the years go on and those fly balls keep going a little bit.
At the end of the day, that’s a great win for the Orioles. And a great moment for Manny Machado. Again, the Orioles need to see him and this situation for what they are. Through any means necessary, Machado needs to be an Oriole in the long term.
Unlike in the finale in Oakland, the Baltimore Oriole’ offense showed up in the opener in Seattle last night. They also got a quality start out of Kevin Gausman, who’s really been coming into his own of late. Gausman’s line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K.
Tim Beckham set the trend for the game when he smacked the first pitch out of the ballpark in the top of the first. However in the wake of that it appeared that the Birds were in for a dog fight. Seattle would score on an RBI-double in the last of the first to tie the game. They also had runners at second and third with nobody out. Yet Gausman pitched out of it, and the game remained tied.
And the Birds took the lead back immediately for good. Chris Davis’ RBI-double in the second gave them a 2-1 lead. Davis would later score on a fielder’s choice, and the O’s led 3-1.
However the big damage wasn’t done until later in that inning. Manny Machado smacked a grand slam, which broke the game wide open and gave the Birds a 7-1 lead. As I said, Oriole bats came untracked in this game.
Chris Davis would add an RBI-single in the fifth. He would later score on a two-run homer by Seth Smith. Mancini would add an additional solo homer of his own in the seventh, When the dust settled, the O’s handed Seattle an 11-3 loss.
The O’s are two games out of the second wild card spot. But Seattle is right behind them. So this was a huge game and this is a huge series overall. The O’s need to take two-of-three at a minimum. They got off to a good start last night.
In order to take two-of-three, the bats need to remain hot. They can’t be inconsistent, especially seeing that Seattle is a pretty decent team. Sunday they weren’t really up for the challenge. Last night they were. That’s how it needs to continue to be.
The series continues this evening from Seattle’s Safeco Field. Wade Miley gets the start for the Orioles. Seattle will counter with Andrew Albers. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.
The Baltimore Orioles found themselves to be “the bug” yesterday in Oakland. You know the old saying; some days you’re the windshield, and some days you’re the bug. However the O’s need to figure out how to cease switching between the two – and quick – if they’re going to stay in the race. Let me rephrase that; they need to cease switching between the two and become mainly the windshield.
Jeremy Hellickson made it through five innings, however it was the fourth that did in him and the O’s. Hellickson’s line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 K. The O’s held the lead in this game – early on, at least. They got RBI-singles from Schoop and Davis in the first and second innings respectively. And it looked like the Birds were picking up right where they left off on Saturday night.
However Oakland’s Healy provided an RBI-double in the in the last of the fourth, and Olson reached on a fielder’s choice which scored a run. That tied the game at two. However later in the inning Chapman came to the plate with two on, and promptly smacked a ball out of the ballpark. It wasn’t a deep shot by any means, but the story of the Orioles’ season is other teams getting fat on bloops, seeing eye singles, and cheapie-type home runs.
Oakland would add a run an inning later on a sac fly-RBI. Joyce would later add a two-run homer, and Olson a solo shot before Oakland was finished for the day. Those were sandwiched around Manny Machado‘s solo homer in the eighth inning. The final of course ended up being 9-3 in favor of Oakland.
In the entire series, yesterday’s game was the only one in which the Orioles may not have really had a shot to win. Even still, they did have an early lead. However what I’m saying is that the score was a bit lopsided at the end. They had a lead in the eighth on Friday that was blown – if not for that, the Birds would have taken three-of-four from Oakland.
Mind you, Oakland’s a team that’s in full rebuilding mode. So the O’s should have been able to handle themselves in that sense this weekend. But some days you’re the windshield, and some days you’re the bug.
The O’s now head to Seattle for a three-game set. Kevin Gausman gets the start in the series opener tonight for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by former Oriole Yovani Gallardo. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.
On one hand Manny Machado and the Baltimore Orioles are lucky in the sense that they get all of their west coast games out of the way in one fatal swoop. However make no mistake about the fact that this west coast swing is a tough road trip which might make or break the season. Paramount in difficulty is the fact that there are no off days literally until the Birds head home. So what’s the best way to deal with that issue? Win games.
The Birds got a stellar effort out of starter Dylan Bundy, who set the tone for the O’s in the series opener in Anaheim. Bundy’s line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 10 K. Those last two stats in the line are telling in terms of how Bundy was dealing last night. Not walking anyone and striking out ten batters is a pretty special game.
Anaheim did strike first, as they took a 1-0 lead in the last of the fourth on a sac fly-RBI. However the Orioles took care of that one inning later when Joey Rickard singled Beckham (who was on base yet again) home to tie the game. Adam Jones would add a sac fly-RBI later in the inning, and the Orioles held a 2-1 lead.
Anaheim battled back ever so briefly, as they tied the game in the sixth on a solo homer by Trout. But this was an Orioles team bent on victory on this night. Manny Machado came to the plate in the seventh with the bases loaded, and promptly smacked a grand slam which gave the Birds a 6-2 lead. And that held up as a 6-2 victory.
The win put the Orioles back at the .500 mark for the season. They’ve been below .500 since the end of June, which capped of a really poor stretch for the Orioles. But since then they’ve righted the ship. And we saw that again last night – is this a game that they would have won in May or June? Probably not.
To his credit, Machado was simply trying to have a productive at-bat with the bases loaded. And he indicated as much in his comments after the game (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):
I was just trying to get something over the plate. He was running the ball in and using that slider the whole game. He was pitching a hell of a game. Just had a couple mistakes and we were able to take advantage of it. Played overall a great game. That was a great inning, started off with Castillo getting a base hit and getting guys over. It was a team win today.
Detroit didn’t really stand much of a chance against a Baltimore Orioles team bent on victory yesterday afternoon. When you hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the first inning and Ubaldo Jimenez is already dealing strong, you immediately put the opponent on notice that it’s not their day. Jimenez’s line: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K.
Jonathan Schoop smacked a two-run homer in the first, followed in sequence by solo shots off the bats of Chris Davis and Trey Mancini. Before the crowd had even settled, the Birds led 4-0. One inning later they got an RBI-double by Manny Machado, followed by a solo homer by Rickard two innings later. And the rout was on.
Machado would add a two-run homer in that fourth inning – and again, the rout was on. The Birds would add numerous other runs until they hit twelve. That included a Beckham RBI-single, which means that he stayed hot since becoming an Oriole. Detroit would put two meaningless runs across in the top of the ninth, but the colors of this day were most certainly orange and black.
The Orioles finished the home stand with a 5-2 record, which is about all you can ask of any team. The issue of course is that they now head out on a ten-game road trip. Not only is it the longest road swing of the season, but it’s to the west coast. The Orioles will be on the road out on the coast for basically a week-and-a-half. And they won’t have a day off until they return home.
So, is the season over if we don’t do well on the West Coast? No. Our guys know what’s at the stake the rest of the season and that road trip includes that.
In a sense, the O’s actually lucked out this year. In 2016 they were out on the west coast on three different occasions due to playing the NL West in interleague play. However there’s little doubt that the distance, time change, etc. make this the toughest road trip of the season. The other issue is that the O’s will be light years away from their minor league system. If a roster move ends up having to be made, it might take awhile for a guy to join the team.
If you stayed until the end of last night’s Baltimore Orioles game, you get “fan of the year.” That would have meant that you stayed through two rain delays, Detroit getting a large lead, and the Orioles almost coming back. But at the end of the day (no pun intended), it also would have meant that you were just at the ballpark for a long time.
Chris Tillman just didn’t have it last night. Tillman’s line: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R (5 earned), 2 BB, 1 K. Now while you don’t make excuses for players, it is fair to point out that after the game began 45 minutes late due to a passing storm, the first rain delay was called after Tilman only recorded two outs. The second one was almost right after the first one. So there was a lot of starting and stopping.
However before those first two outs had been recorded and the game halted, Kinsler and Upton had both smacked two-run homers for Detroit. So the fact is that Tillman just didn’t have it last night. But again, starting and stopping isn’t easy.
When the game finally did resume for good, Orioles fans were treated to a rarity in the field, which ironically had already occurred this year. The Birds turned an unconventional triple play earlier in the season, however Manny Machado was able to start a traditional one in the top of the second last night. With nobody out and runners at first and second, Machado fielded a ground ball and stepped on the bag at third for a force out. He then began the relay around the horn in the infield, recording all three outs on one play.
Triple plays happen, but they’re considered special in baseball. So to anyone who was in the park last night, you saw something that doesn’t happen everyday. Unfortunately for the Orioles, that was the only early highlight. Detroit would put five more runs up in the third (only three of which were earned due to an error) to take a 7-0 lead.
But the Birds did fight back. Machado got them on the board with a sac fly-RBI in the last of the third, and Schoop added an RBI-double as well. Castillo added a sac fly-RBI of his own in the fourth. Machado would also plate another run on a fielder’s choice in the last of the seventh.
One good sign for the Birds was that Tim Beckham smacked a solo homer in the eighth to bring the O’s to within 7-5, but that’s as close as they got. Beckham played in his third game as an Oriole last night, and he’s made an impact in each of them. Thus far at least, it’s been a good trade for the O’s, needless to say!
Manny Machado‘s glove was a key part of the Baltimore Orioles’ win last night in Tampa. More on that in a moment. But it all begins and ends with starting pitching, right? If in fact, Kevin Gausman set the tone last night early on. Gausman’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K.
Gausman once again gave the Orioles a quality start, in a series that’s of dire importance to both the Orioles at Tampa. The pitching seems to be getting marginally better. It’s still not great, but it’s getting better.
Machado made a key play in the last of the first to end the inning, starting a double-play. He made a similar play to end the fifth inning, and in both cases that helped to keep Tampa off the scoreboard. Make no mistake about the fact that if not for those two plays, the Orioles might not have won this game.
The Birds got on the scoreboard in the top of the third when Adam Jones smacked a solo homer to left. And that run stood up for the Orioles through Gausman’s tenure in the game, along with those of the rest of the pitchers used. The O’s of course added to that lead eventually multiply.
The O’s would load the bases in the eighth, and Machado smacked a two-RBI single up the middle into center field. That opened up a 3-0 Orioles’ lead, but they weren’t quite done. Schoop would add a sac fly-RBI before the inning ended, and Castillo would score on a throwing error in the ninth. This allowed the O’s to cruise to an eventual 5-0 victory.
The Birds were finally able to put it all together in this game. They got a dominant outing out of their starter, the bats came through in the clutch, and the Orioles’ bullpen held things down come the latter innings. While I suspect that they envisioned a bit more power ruling the day, the fact is that the Birds put runs up behind a dominant pitching performance, and held the lead.
And yes, that’s what you want. This Tampa team is one against whom the Orioles have had some success this year. With the win last night, the Orioles improve to 6-4 on the season against this team. You have to start somewhere when it comes to scratching your way back into the race.