The Baltimore Orioles finally got a long outing from a starting pitcher not named Chris Tillman. It came yesterday at Yankee Stadium in the form of Scott Feldman, who pitched a gem. Feldman’s line: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K. I think that most people would agree that a line as such from a starting pitcher would generally net a win. However Oriole bats were held silent (save for three hits) against New York’s Ivan Nova. The Orioles were unable to mount any sort of a rally despite being down by only one run for most of the game. Brett Gardener led off with a double, and he later scored on Robinson Cano‘s RBI-single.
Feldman settled down after that one initial blip on the radar, and he mowed down NY hitters left and right. However this is a situation in which a starting pitcher has to look to his offense to help him out. Feldman was what we call a hard-luck loser, and the ultimate hard-luck loser at that given the fact that he only surrendered one run. Troy Patton came in to pitch the eighth inning, and promptly gave up a homer to Robinson Cano as New York stretched their lead to 2-0 (which was the final score).
In fairness, let’s keep in mind that New York hardly was hitting the cover off of the ball either. Feldman and the Orioles’ defense held them to going two-for-eight with runners in scoring position. On the flip side, they had runners in scoring position eight times as opposed to the Orioles only twice. I suppose one can spin this in numerous different ways, however one way or the other it comes out to the O’s falling 2-0 to New York and dropping another series.
The newest Oriole, Michael Morse, is expected to be in this afternoon’s starting lineup. I think it’ll be extremely interesting to see exactly what influence Morse has on the lineup. Perhaps he adds just a bit of protection for Jones and Davis, who end up seeing better pitches as a result. With this being September 1st, rosters are now expanding with the minor league season being over. So there’ll be some extra players on the Orioles’ bench, including today’s starter, Wei-Yin Chen. Chen of course was sent down to the minors to make space for Kevin Gausman after Tuesday night’s loss in Boston, however the plan was always to bring Chen back as a September call-up.
The O’s have now fallen a half-game behind New York in the standings, however that could be overcome by the Orioles winning the third game of the series this afternoon. They’ll be facing Phil Hughes of New York, who’s had his struggles both in general and against the Birds. Following today’s game the O’s will head to Cleveland, and then home to host the ChiSox. That will be seven games out of the division before New York comes to town on September 9th. If the Orioles are going to make their move, it has to be now. The rest of the league won’t continue to wait for them.