Cleveland was obviously much more easily adaptable to the quick turnaround yesterday (early day game under the blonde sun after a night game) than were the Baltimore Orioles. It’s hard to say why teams can look so good in a game, only to come back the next day and lay an egg. However it probably begins and ends with starting pitching, and Ubaldo Jimenez was unable to get out of the fifth inning yesterday. Jimenez’s line: 4 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 BB, 3 K. Jimenez was strong for four innings, although he did allow a few runners. But he didn’t break until the fifth when his pitch count was creeping up.
Cleveland put runners at first and second with nobody out in the fifth, and when Jonathan
Schoop bobbled Sellers’ infield single and allowed a run to score. Cleveland would proceed to load the bases, and then took a 2-0 lead on Aviles’ RBI-single. A HBP, an RBI-single, and a GIDP later, and the Orioles trailed 4-0 with only two outs. Buck Showalter went to T.J. McFarland after Cleveland netted their second run due to Jimenez’s high pitch count, however the final two runs were charged to Jimenez as he was responsible for the runners.
Raburn’s two-RBI single gave Cleveland a 7-0 lead in the seventh, and to top things off Carlos Santana hit a pop fly to right that just carroed…and carried, and carried. It hit off the roof of the grounds crew shed and bounced into the stands…for a two-run homer. You know that it’s not your day when your opponents are using the dimensions of your home park to their advantage. However let’s not pin this entirely on Ubaldo Jimenez or the pitching staff. The O’s couldn’t muster any runs off of eight hits.
Part of this was due to Corey Kluber‘s mastery on the mound.
For the most part, these four-game series’ end up getting split, and the O’s have a shot at doing that today. Unfortunately they’ll face Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer in the finale this afternoon, along with his 2.25 ERA on the season. However the Orioles also pulled quite a few of their starters in the later innings yesterday so as to give them some extra rest with the game out of hand. The Birds will send Miguel Gonzalez to the mound against Cleveland this afternoon.
The big news of the day however was that the Orioles announced right as the game was beginning that they had made a trade. Troy Patton was sent to the San Diego Padres (along with cash) in exchange for catcher Nick Hundley. Hundley has had some injury problems over time, however he’s a veteran catcher that handles pitching staffs well. Thus far in 2014, Hundley has been hitting .271 with a homer and three RBI for San Diego. He’s making $4 million this year, and his contract includes a $5 million team option for 2015.
This move calls to question what Oriole batteries will look like moving forward this year. This is just my personal opinion, however I suspect that Matt Wieters might not return in 2014. While Wieters still maintains that he’s hoping to rejoin the team later in the summer, I don’t think the Orioles would make a move like this only to have Wieters come back into the mix. Nevertheless, Caleb Joseph will probably be optioned back to the minor leagues so as to make room for Hundley at some point. It’s unclear whether he’ll actually be in Baltimore for today’s game, or if he’ll join the team in Milwaukee on Monday.
As for Troy Patton, he was aquired in a 2007 trade that sent Miguel Tejada to Houston. The Orioles more than got their money’s worth out of him in that sense. Perhaps one of the most important but yet unspoken aspects of this trade from the Orioles’ standpoint is that they’re removing a player from the organization that’s out of options. The bullpen has been a crowded place for some time, and Patton has almost been one of the “untouchables” given that they couldn’t send him down without him clearing waivers. That would risk them losing him – and continuing to pay his salary.
So it’ll be interesting to see what roster moves are made in the time between now and this afternoon’s game given that things seem to be moving fairly quickly. Hundley is expected to be on the active roster in time for today’s game.