First thing’s first; Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and J.J. Hardy were all named starters in the MLB all-star game, with Manny Machado being named a reserve. This is the first time since 2005 that the Baltimore Orioles had a starter in the game, and this year they’re the only team in MLB with three starters. Ironically, this year the O’s probably were hurt by a rule that seemingly used to guarantee their representative. If every team did not have to have at least one player on the roster, one could have certainly made a case that Nick Markakis should be an all-star, along with several others. However for years and years that was the only reason that guys like Brian Roberts would be on the roster; and for the record I agree with that concept. Regardless of how good or bad your hometown team may be, you have the right to watch the all-star game and have at least one member of that team be on the field at some point.
Having said that, the O’s continued to scuffle in yesterday’s 5-4 loss to New York. Chris Tillman was only able to make into the sixth inning, and was tagged with the loss. Tillman’s line: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K. The Orioles took an early lead when Adam Jones lined a single in the first inning which was followed by Chris Davis’ 33rd home run of the season. Nolan Reimold reached base on an error in the second inning, and later scored on Alexi Casilla‘s RBI-double. However as Chris Tillman said after the game, New York puts a lot of grinding at-bats together and they find ways to get to you. They put two runs across in the second to cut the Orioles’ lead to 3-2. Cruz lined an RBI-single, and Eduardo Nunez sent a sac fly into the outfield for the second run.
At the very least the Orioles never ceased to be competitive in this one, and they re-took a two-run lead in the fourth on Taylor Teagarden‘s RBI-single. However NY tied it up in the fifth Ichiro Suzuki recorded an infield RBI-single, and Robinson Cano singled the tying run home. However it was Nunez once again in the sixth who singled home Lyle Overbay for the would-be winning run. The O’s strung together a bit of a mini-rally in the ninth, but it wasn’t to be.
A lot of Orioles fans are clamoring that the team is no good and so forth. Keep in mind that less than a week ago they were riding high after sweeping this same New York team. That’s baseball folks. Some days you win, some days you lose, and some days it rains. You have to ride the good streaks, and ride out the bad. All of the guys in that clubhouse (especially Buck Showalter) know that and understand it. The fans should be no different. In monitoring twitter from here in Europe, I noticed a lot of folks upset over Kevin Gausman being used in relief of late. Keep in mind that the O’s now have a new starter in Scott Feldman, however the question is whether or not Gausman’s the pitcher that should be losing starts. Having said that keep in mind that Buck Showalter knows what he’s doing better than I or anyone reading, and with the all-star break coming after next weekend the O’s will almost certainly re-shuffle the starting rotation.
New York was able to drop the Orioles back into third place with yesterday’s win, however only by a half game. If the O’s can salvage one in the finale today, they’ll re-take second and avoid a sweep. Jason Hammel will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Hiroki Kuroda.