Baltimore Orioles can’t sweep NY, but take two-of-three


The Baltimore Orioles need to be a bit careful coming out of this weekend’s series with New York. While they took two-of-three (which is a desirable result), they dropped this afternoon’s game 5-3. I’ve always thought there was a psychological ebb and flow to series’ in that if you’re going to drop one game, make it either the first or second game of the series. Even after winning the first two, ending the series on a down note almost makes it feel like you lost the series.

So they need to remain wary of that – which is really all I’m saying. Unfortunately even in taking two-of-three, the O’s were unable to make up any ground in the standings given the fact that Toronto continued on a tear this weekend. However speaking for myself, I’m not ready to crown Toronto yet. They had a similar run at this exact time last season – and we know how that ended.

Mike Wright struggled a bit throughout his outing as a starter today, although the Orioles were never out of the game until the final out. Wright’s line: 4 IP, 6 H,5 R,  3 BB, 2K. As Buck Showalter pointed out after the game, Wright didn’t have any balls hit particularly hard. However it’s not always how hard you hit the ball as much as it is where or how.

Mark Teixeira‘s RBI-double gave New York a 1-0 lead in the first inning. However Wright pitched out of a jam to get back to the dugout and regroup. And by virtue of that, the Orioles took the lead in the last of the inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Nolan Reimold continued on his hot streak with a two-RBI single to give the O’s a 2-0 lead.

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

However New York wasn’t really in the mood to let the Orioles get into a groove. They abruptly loaded the bases in the second, and Brett Gardener’s sac fly-RBI tied the game at two. But the O’s briefly took the lead back in the last of the fourth on Caleb Jospeh’s RBI-double to run the score to 3-2.

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Wright however started to lose it in the fifth. He walked the first three hitters without recording an out, prompting Buck Showalter to come out of the dugout and bring in the newly re-activated Brian Matusz (who of course returned today after his suspension). Matusz however walked Garrett Jones, tying the game at three.

Matusz seemed to settle down after that, striking out Stephen Drew and Didi Gregorius. So it was starting to look like the Birds might get out of the inning without any further damage, however Johm Murphy’s two-RBI double gave New York a 5-3 lead. The ball was hit sharply down the third base line, and as Showalter later said he was impressed that Manny Machado even got leather on it. However it bounded past Machado after hitting his glove, and into left field.

And the rest of the story is the New York bullpen. Showalter would later say that we hadn’t seen how good it was because for much of the series they were playing catch-up. However they shut the Orioles down in the later innings to preserve the win.

Again, the Orioles can’t let themselves fall into thinking about just this game. They finished the weekend one game better than they were when it started by taking two-of-three. And the same goes for fans; the Orioles find themselves in a good spot now, as they’re playing good baseball and have won three straight series’.

Philadelphia now comes to town for a short two-game interleague series before the teams head up to the city of brotherly love for two later in the week. Wei-Yin Chen will be on the hill for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Philadelphia’s Aaron Harang. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Next: Baltimore Orioles: Roster Moves Getting More Complicated

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