Baltimore Orioles fall to DC despite two Adam Jones homers


There’s really no shame for the Baltimore Orioles in losing to Max Scherzer, especially given the fact that Adam Jones smacked two homers off of the guy. However had last night’s game gone differently for the Orioles it would probably be a lot easier to fathom. Nevertheless the Birds fell this afternoon by the score of 3-2 to a Washington team to whom they in effect had no business falling. This team was banged up coming into this series, and yet they took two-of-three from the O’s.

And part of the reason for that was because they forced the Orioles to play National League baseball. Have you ever heard the phrase don’t ever argue with a fool because they’ll drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience? No, I’m not calling Washington a team of fools. But they forced the Orioles in effect to play their game. And given that the Orioles were coerced into playing the National League game, they were beaten by a National League team by their experience. 

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  • Wei-Yin Chen provided Orioles fans with another quality start, this time on the day before the all-star break. Chen’s line: 8 IP, 8 H, 3 R (2 earned), 0 BB, 7 K. Again, that’s a quality start – and Chen ends up taking the loss. It’s tough to argue that he hasn’t stepped his game up just a bit since being sent down to Frederick a few weeks ago, which is exactly what the Orioles wanted to see.

    Max Scherzer is, in my opinion, the best pitcher in baseball right now. That’s very debatable for sure, however that’s just my take. So I was a bit surprised when Adam Jones homered to left center field in the

    Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    last of the first inning against Scherzer. At that moment it wouldn’t have been totally out of the realm of possibility to think that perhaps the Orioles might have a good day against Scherzer – especially after they pummeled him in the ALDS last season. But ultimately it was not to be.

    The Orioles as a team only went 0-for-1 with RISP this afternoon, however that also shows you how good Scherzer was in the wake of the Jones home run. The O’s didn’t get on base again until the sixth inning. However in the fourth, Washington got the lead off runner (Yunel Escobar) on base with a single – and Clint Robinson later singled to give them runners at first and second with two gone. However keep in mind that National League baseball is in effect piecemealing runners together – often called “small ball.” So while the Orioles only needed one more out, all Washington needed was another hit…

    …and they got it. Dan Uggla singled to center, and with Escobar running on the play Adam Jones came up throwing. However Jones appeared to re-aggravate his shoulder, and ended up airmailing the throw to home plate. Escobar scored to tie the game, and on the errant throw both runners ended up in scoring position. Tyler Moore would later double both of those runners home, and the O’s trailed 3-1.

    Part of American League ball is also cutting runners down whenever you can, which is what Jones tried to do on that play. Whereas in the National League perhaps they would have just let that one go and move on. So am I saying that small ball is the way to go and that it will always defeat swinging for the fences? Not in the least. However teams need to know when to use it and when not to – and the Orioles struggled with that all weekend.

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    Orioles fans know that this is a very good offensive team, they just didn’t show it leading up to the break. Washington looked like a team that was taking all three of these games seriously in their heads, whereas the Orioles looked like they just wanted to get to the all-star break. One might argue that might have something to do with the results of the games, however we should also keep in mind that there are worse places to be than 44-44 at the break. And in fact, the break itself is coming at the right time for the Orioles.

    There was just a bit of drama left in the game, however. With two outs in the last of the ninth, Adam Jones homered over the left field wall to bring the Birds to within 3-2. But Chris Davis fell victim to swinging for the fences once again after that, and the O’s fell to defeat – dropping two-of-three to Washington.

    As I said above, the all-star break comes at the right time for the Orioles. I know that Buck Showalter is certainly hoping that a few days off allows some guys to re-charge their batteries to gear up for a stretch run in the second half. Some people are going to say that this team is done and that they may as well sell off a few players as opposed to anticipating a stretch run. But when you’re within a few games of first place, you need to be looking at who you might be able to acquire in a trade to put yourself over the top.

    And Dan Duquette has said that the Orioles will be buyers at the trade deadline. That’s not to say that they’re going to take a bad deal just to make a deal. But they’re not going to be afraid to make a deal as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches at the end of the month. Incidentally, fans can catch Manny Machado in tomorrow night’s home run derby at the all-star game. They can also catch Machado, Adam Jones, Darren O’Day, and Zach Britton, playing for Ned Yost‘s American League team in the all-star game Tuesday night.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles with a tough decision on Dylan Bundy

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