Baltimore Orioles no-hit by Hisashi Iwakuma
The Baltimore Orioles nary stood a chance today against Hisashi Iwakuma of Seattle, who held them without a hit. Iwakuma gave up two walks in the game, which he dominated from the beginning. It’s really tough to say why these things happen to various teams. First off, the O’s were without the services of Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy this afternoon; Wieters injured his hamstring last night, and Hardy got a day off. But…is their lineup not even capable of a hit?
The answer of course is that while we’ve seen the Orioles struggle at times, all teams fall into traps of struggling over the course of the season. The Orioles aren’t by far the first team this year to fall victim to this fate, and for all we know they won’t be the last. From the beginning however, they seemed to approach the game as if they had a plane to catch. And of course they did.
Kevin Gausman had his struggles in the game today, but he rebounded very nicely to keep the Birds in the ballgame and to give them a chance to win. Gausman’s line 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 8 K. That’s a quality start, for those charting these things at home. And the true definition of a quality start is putting your team in a position to win. Gausman did that without a doubt.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the last of the third when Franklin Gutierrez sent an RBI-double to left field. Gutierrez would later score when Robinson Cano would add an RBI-double of his own. Incidentally,
Courtesy of Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Cano’s RBI-double was the opposite way and barely found a hole between second and third; the ball was effectively “nubbed” into very shallow left field. Gutierrez wasn’t running on the play, and probably should have been dead in the water at home plate. However Lough’s throw didn’t have much on it, and it allowed Gutierrez to score easily.
Jesus Sucre would add an RBI-double of his own in the fourth, accounting for all of the runs in the game. The rest was Hisahsi Iwakuma out dueling the O’s. That might be tough for a lot of folks to read, but it’s the truth. While Iwakuma was exceptional, I didn’t feel that he had what they call no-hit stuff (until the end). He threw a lot of balls out of the strike zone, but the Orioles kept swinging. And at the end of the day, the O’s ran out of outs with which to play.
While the road trip ended on a very sour note indeed for these Birds, fans shouldn’t allow themselves to thing that it was a total unmitigated disaster. In a nine-game span, the O’s won four and lost five. Now that’s not by any means a great trip, but as I said it’s not a disaster either. Unfortunately many people take their final impressions with them forever – and the final impression of this road trip was the no-hitter.
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One thing I will say is I’d be curious to know why Buck Showalter didn’t seem to offer anyone up as a pinch-hitter. Understand, I’m not second-guessing Showalter by any stroke of the imagination. However while bunting to break up a no-hitter goes against the unwritten codes of the game, there’s nothing that says a pinch-hitter can’t be sent up. I recognize that J.J. Hardy was given a day off due to some nagging things, but was he unavailable to hit (presumably) once? With that said, we also see the effects that being so far away from home when bumps and bruises come about can have on a team.
The O’s now find themselves at a crossroads in that they can let this unfortunate game affect their season in a negative manner, or they can use it as fodder for the rest of the season. In having to watch Seattle celebrate on the field at their expense, do they really want to go through seeing Toronto or New York do the same? But that’s a decision that they need to make. In the interim, on behalf of our staff at Birds Watcher I’d like to congratulate Hisashi Iwakuma. He pitched a heck of a game this afternoon.
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