Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles fall to Seattle

Given that the Baltimore Orioles have only played AL West teams since the all-star break, one thing I’ve noticed is that west coast baseball is very simplistic. Whereas in the AL East we try to out-muscle and out-strategize opponents, teams from the west coast rely very much on a “hit here and a homer there” to win. For the most part, the O’s seem to be able to counter that type of game with the power of their offense, however the fact is that you’re not going to win them all.

Miguel Gonzalez gave the O’s a fairly solid outing, although he ended up yielding all four Seattle runs. Gonzalez’s line: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

If anything, I would submit that Gonzalez was throwing too many strikes and getting too much of the strike zone, which allowed Seattle hitters to get on base.
I’m not sure if the correct term is that Gonazalez was too good, but the fact is that you have to strike a balance between pitching to contact and pitching to strike out.

The Baltimore Orioles gave Miguel Gonzalez an early 1-0 lead in the last of the first when Nick

Markakis scored on Adam Jones‘ fielder’s choice-RBI. Markakis had led off the game with a walk; and we all know that nothing good happens after a walk…unless you’re at bat that is. However Nelson Cruz and Delmon Young both struck out to end the inning, ending the Orioles’ threat. Chris Davis also started this game on the bench, mainly due to his struggles at the plate. However Buck Showalter also said that Davis hasn’t fully recovered from his flu symptoms, although he will be in the lineup this afternoon. The fact that Davis sat on Chris Davis Action Figure Night is merely ill timing.  But it’s not as bad as the Oakland A’s going forward with Yoenis Cespedes t-shirt night in the game where the guy for whom Cespedes was just traded (Jon Lester) was making his debut.

Seattle tied the game at one in the third inning on an Ackley solo shot onto the flag court in right field. For the most part Gonzalez was fairly solid, however he made a couple of bad pitches and paid for it. With one out in the fifth Seattle got a single and a double out of Austin Jackson and Ackley, which brought Robinson Cano to the plate. With the count at 1-1, Cano jumped on a pitch and hit it over the scoreboard for another flag court home run. The Birds did get one back in the last of the inning when Caleb Joseph wrapped a homer around the foul pole, and the O’s trailed 4-2.

The O’s hoped to mount a late comeback, however T.J. McFarland loaded the bases in the ninth after he hit Robinson Cano. Kendrys Morales singled to right field, scoring two and giving Seattle some insurance runs. The O’s did mount a semi-rally in the last of the ninth with Ryan Flaherty shooting an RBI-single to left field, however it was too little too late as the O’s fell 6-3 and the series evened at one.

In fact, perhaps Seattle adopted a bit of the east coast style of the game to defeat the Orioles last night. However that ninth inning exemplifies how many of these western teams operate; a hit here and there, and then they wait for you to make a mistake. And that’s what happened when McFarland hit Cano. The good news for the O’s is that Toronto also lost, leaving the Orioles at 2.5 games ahead in first place.

The series concludes this afternoon on “Tillman Island,” as Chris Tillman heads to the hill for the O’s. He’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma.

 

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Miguel Gonzalez

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