Defending the O's

Alright we all know the Orioles have lost the last 2 games in pretty poor fashion. Last night I witnessed the spectacle in person and obviously didn’t leave happy after the O’s fought strongly for 14 innings to give up 3 runs in the 15th. I watched as they had the bases loaded in the 11th and the 12th and failed to score a winning run and I watched as they got 2 men on in the bottom of the 15th and failed to tie or win then too. And, yes, I saw Michael Gonzalez give up the winning (2) run(s).

Let’s get some stuff straight though.

1. Both Zach Britton and Bartolo Colon were great. Britton went 7 innings giving up 6 hits and an unearned run, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Another thing to keep in mind, he’s gone 19 straight innings without giving up an earned run. That’s pretty damn good. Colon was even better going 8 innings giving up only 3 hits, no runs, 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts. And he only threw 87 pitches. I was actually very surprised that the Yanks brought in Rivera in the 9th because the O’s usually do pretty well against them and Colon was just dominating us. Clearly, it was a bad decision because Rivera blew the save, his 3rd of the season and 2nd against us, and let the O’s tie up the game.

2. Our bullpen was also great. In the 8th, Rapada came in to get the one lefty out followed by Berken coming in to end the inning only giving up a walk. Kevin Gregg came in and got the 1-2-3 inning in the 9th. Koji gave up a hit in the 10th but then followed with THREE strikeouts to strike out the side. That’s pretty incredible. Jim Johnson pitched 2 (almost) perfect innings besides giving up 2 hits. And Accardo didn’t do terribly. He gave up one hit in the 14th then got out of it. In the 15th, he gave up 2 singles with none out which brought in Gonzalez. Yes, he gave up the 2 singles BUT he also threw 55 pitches which is a lot more than he usually does.

3. Gonzalez did throw the pitch that gave up the 2 runs BUT those runs weren’t his fault technically. Accardo is the one charged with those runs. Yes, Gonzo was brought in to get the outs and he failed to get any outs but I think people need to remember that those runs are Accardo’s fault. Gonzalez is only charged with the one run by Cano that Guthrie let in when Gardner hit a sac fly. Obviously Gonzalez is not a good pitcher at all and is definitely not worth the $6 mill he’s making this season, but it’s not ALL his fault and I think fans need to back off him a little (see point 4).

4. The real problem fans should be having is with the offense. Like I said before, they had many many players in scoring position that the team failed to plate. They left 15 on base throughout the game which is pathetic. But what you should also remember is that the Yankees played the same way. Their offense failed to get going until those 2 singles given up by Accardo and the double given up by Gonzo to Cano in the 15th. Both teams’ pitching dominated and both teams’ offense sucked.

5. This was a really good game. Calm down and stop getting so caught up in one game. The Orioles are clearly not going to be contenders this year but they will finish somewhere around .500 which is pretty much what you should have expected in the beginning of the season. They are better than last season without a doubt but they aren’t near being a GOOD team that can win consistently. When you play a 15-inning game, the outcome is going to be about luck. The Yankees’ bullpen got lucky when getting out of a bases loaded situation twice in back-to-back innings. Our bullpen got lucky in a few situations in the extra innings. A 15-inning game is a rubber match and it’s about who’s going to throw that unlucky pitch first and who’s going to make that lucky defensive play or whatever.

I really think people are going a little overboard with this one. We’re still 3 games under .500 and only 5 games back. This time last season, we were probably 20 games back or close to it. It’s one game. Yes it’s a heartbreaking loss but, at the same time, it’s better than the 15-3 loss we had against them in April. Again, the game really could have gone either way and the Yankees got a few lucky breaks (including the hit Wieters had that hit Brandon Snyder’s foot giving the Yankees an extra out in the bottom of the 15th).

Everyone relax. This was never a playoff/World Series team. It’s a somewhere-around-.500 team and that’s how they’re playing. Give them some credit.

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