Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis with a team slum-buster


For the past couple of weeks fans have been lamenting the fact that Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles were only scoring via the long ball. And that may well be a fair criticism. However in reality it’s not as much about the absence of manufactured runs as it is the lack of big plays or clutch moments. Opponents instead are coming up with those clutch moments – but last night that was about to change.

Miguel Gonzalez pitched about as strong a game for the O’s as one could. Gonzalez’s line: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K. It’s worth mentioning again that we’re seeing fewer and fewer walks from Oriole starters – even in games that are being lost. This is to the credit of the entire staff, as they’ve been working hard to pitch-to-contact. And sometimes that will in effect yield more runs, however it’ll also yield quicker outs. The outs part of that is where Gonzalez was last night.

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Chris Davis being put on Bobby Bonilla payout plan by the Orioles
Chris Davis being put on Bobby Bonilla payout plan by the Orioles /


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  • I mentioned clutch moments and big plays above; as we all know, this is part of sports. I’ve never bought into the concept of [insert team] isn’t very fun to watch; what people are really saying is that they don’t produce any big plays. But in the end you don’t always have to have big plays to win games, although they certainly help big time when they come. And of late, they haven’t been there.

    Following singles from Hardy, Schoop, and Lough, the O’s had the bases loaded with one down in the top of the third. To drive home the point about the Orioles struggling in the clutch, for the second time this week they produced a hit with a runner in scoring position which didn’t yield a run. Opponents have even been taking runs off of hits with RISP away from them of late. But with Chris Davis striding to the plate, the Orioles had a different story written for last night.

    Courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Davis worked the count full, and finally got a pitch that he liked. The shot off his bat to right center field was never in doubt, and with that grand slam the Orioles had their clutch moment as well as a 4-0 lead. At the time my thought was that this won’t help the narrative of the O’s only being able to score off of home runs. However it’s funny how that goes away when you’re winning.

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    Gonzalez held that lead very well, and the score remained at 4-0 until David Lough led off the top of the eighth inning. On the first pitch of the at-bat Lough smacked a triple down the right field line. However Tampa’s second baseman (Forsythe) made an errant throw in an attempt to get Lough at third base, allowing Lough to take home plate and run the score to 5-0. Tampa’s Curt Casali would account for their only run with a solo homer in the last of the inning, and the O’s cruised to a 5-1 victory.

    Incidentally Lough really showed his worth to this team on that triple…he has blazing speed. The O’s don’t steal too many bases, however perhaps if Lough were in the lineup more often they would. Of course he would have to get on base to score, and therein lies the problem at times. But while the throw to third was ill-advised in that circustance, Lough’s speed got him in safely. It also created a false sense of urgency in the Tampa infield, and that throw allowed him to score. Needless to say, Davis Lough and his speed deeked Tampa a bit.

    This win was much needed, and it snapped a four-game losing streak for the Orioles. It also changed the entire outlook on the series, as they now have an opportunity to salvage a series win if they can take this afternoon’s game. That sentiment, along with relief of seeing some runs on the board was felt throughout the Orioles’ clubhouse (quote courtesy of Brittany Ghiroli,

    "“I think it was kind of a relief. We haven’t been putting up too many runs, but to be able to do that and get a good cushion, a good lead, I think it definitely made us more calm.” – David Lough"

    The Orioles will close out this weekend’s series in Tampa this afternoon with Wei-Yin Chen on the mound. He’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Matt Moore. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles: What's truly important at the deadline?

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