Baltimore Orioles: Miguel Gonzalez struggles as Birds fall
Miguel Gonzalez struggled with his command once again last night, as the Baltimore Orioles fell in Kansas City 3-2. Gonzalez’s line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 K. Now with that said, even though he only lasted 4.1 innings he looked better than he did in his start last week against Minnesota. However of late he hasn’t been able to command his fastball the way we saw last season, and it’s now having a dire affect on games.
Gonzalez retired Kansas City in the first inning, however he allowed them to get on the board on Kendrys Morales‘ solo homer in the second inning. But that’s not the worst thing in the world (in theory). Solo home runs aren’t going to beat you – in general. However one inning later Eric Hosmer‘s fielder’s choice with a runner on third base ran the lead to 2-0, and Mike Moustakas‘ RBI-single made it 3-0.
However the Orioles put together an inning in the fourth which resembled Kansas City’s normal modus operandi. The rally started with two outs and the bases empty. Matt Wieters drew a walk, and Steve Pearce sent a single to left to give the O’s some life. Jonathan Schoop‘s RBI-single cut the Kansas City lead to 3-1, and an RBI-single by Caleb Joseph made it 3-2.
Courtesy of Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
However the Orioles couldn’t really muster anything more than that past that point. Kansas City’s bullpen took over, which usually spells doom for their opponent – the Orioles being no exception. The Birds are in a position right now where they’re in effect being held to attest for every little thing that happens in games. As I said, normally solo home runs aren’t going to beat you. At the end of the night, the O’s lost by one run.
The Orioles’ bullpen was strong in this game, keeping Kansas City at bay after Gonzalez’s departure. But what can the Orioles do about Gonzalez himself? He’s reeling right now, and it’s happening at the worst time possible. His next start will be Sunday in Texas, however the Orioles have an off day next Thursday; I wouldn’t be surprised to see them skip him in the rotation. Time will tell.
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But the fact is that he didn’t get much help from his offense short of that fourth inning. In general there appears to be an aura of predictability about the Orioles offensively, and that’s all but been the case all year. How often have I mentioned fielders barely having to move to catch a ball on the fly? Teams are able to position themselves to all but guarantee outs.
But in a game like this one, it boils down to confidence. Kansas City is playing with a lot of confidence right now. Heck, they’ve been doing so since the AL Wild Card game last year. They seem to be on this perpetual high, and not even a loss or two can seemingly ruin that.
The series continues tonight with Wei-Yin Chen on the mound for the Orioles. He’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Johnny Cueto, Game time is set for just after 7 PM.
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