Baltimore Lost in a Game of Missed Opportunities


The result of last night’s game in Camden Yards was a tough pill to swallow for any Orioles fan. After battling back after being down 4-0 and 5-1 early in the game, the Royals hit two home runs in the top of the tenth inning to go on to beat the Orioles by a score of 8-6 to take a 1-0 lead in the ALCS.

People were pointing fingers at anyone and everyone and blamed them for the loss. Some were saying it was Chris Tillman‘s fault after only pitching 4 1/3 innings giving up five runs off of seven hits. Some put the blame on Steve Pearce after he bobbled the throw from J.J. Hardy in the third inning which would have gotten the Birds out the top half of the inning with only being down 1-0.

The rest would most likely blame Darren O’Day for giving up the go ahead runs in the tenth inning which would ultimately prove to be the decider.

I do not put the blame on any of these players. Although I am not thrilled with their performances, the bats of Baltimore frustrated me the most. It felt like countless times throughout the game Baltimore had a chance to break the scoring open and then they could not capitalize on their opportunities.

In the second inning, the score was 0-0 and the Orioles had bases loaded with two outs. Nick Hundley–however hard– he hit it right at the second baseman for the third and final out of the inning. Even worse in the sixth inning, after just tying the score up at 5, the Orioles had runners on first and second with nobody out. After Adam Jones grounded into a  fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners with one out, Nelson Cruz stepped up to the plate.

All the Orioles needed was a fly ball in the outfield somewhere and with Alejandro De Aza‘s speed at third the fly ball did not have to be deep by any means. Instead of working the count and seeing what the recently put in Royals’ reliever had to offer, Cruz swung at the first pitch which was a 98 mph fastball. He swung down on the pitch forcing a weak ground ball to the shortstop which allowed Kansas City to turn an easy double play to get them out of the inning.

If the Orioles could have at least scored one run in this half inning, it would have totally changed the outlook of the game. This failure to score the go-ahead run contributed to the nine base runners Baltimore left in scoring position as well as the ten total they left on base.

When the final out of Game 1 was recorded, it hit me that the Royals did not win this game, we lost it. The pressure of the moment got to the Birds last night. Hopefully all the mistakes that were made last night will not rear their ugly heads in Game 2 tonight.