Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado: Youngest Bird to 500
Manny Machado came to bat in the fifth inning for the Baltimore Orioles last night, and collected his 500th career hit in the major leagues. At 23 years old, he becomes the youngest Oriole in history to reach that milestone. One of the tidbits I saw on twitter last night was that at Machado’s age, Hall of Famer Wade Boggs hadn’t even made his MLB debut. On behalf of Birds Watcher and the Fansided Network, congratulations to Machado on reaching such a milestone!
If you would have told me that Ubaldo Jimenez was going to walk five hitters, I would have probably told you that the O’s were going to fall. But not only did Jimenez work around those walks, he also worked around three uncharacteristic errors behind him. Jimenez’s line: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 earned), 5 BB, 5 K. Regarding those walks, some of them were well-earned on Jimenez’s part. However home plate umpire Brian O’Nora was also giving the low strike all night, and my personal opinion was that Jimenez got squeezed a few times.
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Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
In general, I tend to agree with Buck Showalter in that having these interleague games this late in the season is probably a bit unfair to an American League team that is having to surrender it’s DH in the process. However at least in this game, Showalter probably can’t complain too much given that Ubaldo Jimenez’s RBI-single in the second inning opened the scoring and gave the O’s a 1-0 lead. And as I’ve said in the past, the pitchers are in the lineup also. I see no reason why they shouldn’t swing the bat. Yeah, I’m saying to get rid of the DH.
A few pitches later the O’s expanded the lead to 2-0 on an RBI-single by Nolan Reimold. Washington got to within 2-1 in the fourth when their catcher, Lobaton, reached base on a Schoop fielding error – he bobbled the ball on what appeared to be a double-play ball with a runner on third. However that run was already destined to be unearned, as the runner on third reached when Junior Lake opened the inning by dropping a routine fly ball in center.
To the Orioles’ credit, they closed the door after that. Washington had an opportunity to take control of the game at that moment, but the Orioles weren’t about to allow that. One inning later in the fifth with Machado on first base, Washington employed a right field shift on Chris Davis. With nobody guarding third, he sent a tight grounder down the line – which was eventually fumbled a bit by Werth in right field. That allowed Machado to score (with a semi-dramatic play at the plate), and gave the Orioles a 3-1 lead. Davis ended up at second base, and he later scored on Steve Pearce‘s RBI-double.
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So the O’s took game one of the “Battle of the Beltways,” 4-1. It’s tough to say if Pope Francis being in town had anything to do with it, however needless to say if you’re keeping track at home the Birds are 1-0 in games when his holiness has been in the same city at the same time. That means something, right?! The concern coming out of this game is of course the fact that Adam Jones was out due to back spasms. Granted at this point in the season everyone has something however it’s still a concern.
We also learned that Zach Britton has a strained lateral muscle, and is day-to-day. It started hurting him last week during the Boston series at Camden Yards. Incidentally, Machado wasn’t the only Oriole who passed a milestone in this game. It was also Jimenez’s 100th career win at the big league level – congrats to him as well!
The series continues this evening, with Chris Tillman on the mound for the Birds. He’ll be opposed by Washington’s Max Scherzer. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.
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