Baltimore Orioles, Wei-Yin Chen fall in the Bronx


Baltimore Orioles’ bats seemed to go back into their shells last night with Wei-Yin Chen on the mound in the Bronx. Having said that, the Birds were in fact 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position, which isn’t the worst mark of all time. In fact, one could just chalk this 3-2 loss to New York up as a defensive game. That’s probably how a lot of Orioles fans would look at it if not for the Birds’ struggles at the plate leading up to the break.

Chen pitched a good game, certainly one in which he put the Orioles in a position to win. Chen’s line: 6.1 IP, 10 H, 3 R,  0 BB, 3 K. That’s exactly the type of line one would expect from a guy that pitches to contact, and is a fly ball pitcher – especially in Yankee Stadium. For the most part, Chen held the New York offense at bay. However in the end it was a two-out base hit in the bottom of the order which got the ball rolling for the O’s to fall in this one.

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    New York got on the board early, and they did so in National League fashion. A ground rule double in the first, a sacrifice to move the runner to third, and then a sac fly-RBI by ARod gave them a 1-0 lead over Chen and the O’s. One inning later in the second, Chase Headley‘s RBI-double gave them a 2-0 lead. However Chen bore down after that point and kept things right where they were. And that gave the Birds a shot to get back into the game, a chance of which they eventually took advantage.

    With two outs in the top of the sixth, Matt Wieters’ RBI-single cut New York’s lead in half. J.J. Hardy would tie the game later in the inning with an RBI-single of his own, and we had a new ballgame. The Orioles appeared to have the momentum at that point given the fact that Chen was dealing and they had evened the score. But things can change quickly.

    New York’s Didi Gregorious got on base in the last of the sixth with a two-out single. Keep in mind, Gregorious is in the bottom of the order. Furthermore, the Orioles have seemed to struggle of late with two outs. It’s tough to say why that is; do they let their proverbial guard down? Are they overly predictable with their pitch calls? All of that is very possible. It’s also possible that the opponent is relaxing just enough to where they’re able to function better in a sense. So where as the Orioles might be feeling like the pressure is on, the opponent is more loose.

    However Brendan Ryan was able to come through for New York one way or the other with a two-out RBI-double, and that’s all she wrote. The O’s were able to muster a few more base runners, however the NY bullpen shut them down for the most part. And incidentally the Orioles’ bullpen shut down NY as well. But that doesn’t mean as much when you can’t put forth any further runs. 

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    It’s somewhat strange how the bottom of orders and two-out rallies can hurt a team like the O’s from time to time. As I said above, do they let their guard down? Or is their guard actually too high? It comes off as doing the hard stuff, but not being able to do the easy things. Similarly, if you can put the ingredients together to make a cake and you forget to turn the oven on, your cake isn’t going to work out.

    The Orioles will have to make a roster move prior to this evening’s game, as they’ll be recalling Kevin Gausman to make the start. Buck Showalter has indicated that it will probably be a position player that is sent down because he likes the mix in the bullpen right now. As it stands now, Ryan Flaherty has an option and could be sent to the minor leagues. The Orioles would hate to lose a guy like him, however my personal opinion is that he would be the lesser of two evils as opposed to DFAing another player.

    This is a big game for the Orioles tonight given the loss last night, so they’ll need everyone to be on their game. Gausman will be opposed by New York’s Ivan Nova. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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