Mark Trumbo smacked two home runs at Oriole Park at Camden Yards to lead the Baltimore Orioles over New York, 4-1.
I’m not sure that there’s anyone who’s been as important to the Baltimore Orioles thus far in 2016 than Mark Trumbo. When he was traded to the O’s, I was a bit surprised that the move didn’t create more waves than it did. Trumbo was a professional hitter, and a bona fide big leaguer. Yet it was almost a ho hum type of move.
But once league play began last month, that has changed. Trumbo’s streamlined the lineup, bridging the gap between the likes of Jones and Davis, and the back half of the order. At the end of the day, you never know which moves in the off season will really pay dividends – this one has and then some.
The Orioles got a solid start out of Chris Tillman, although he seemed a bit shaky at first. Tillman didn’t have his good stuff last night, however he got stronger as the game went on. Tillman’s line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 9 K. You might question how I could say he didn’t have his good stuff yet he ended up with nine strikeouts; as I said, he got stronger as the game went on.
Kings of Kauffman
New York actually had an early lead in this game, as Gregorius smacked an RBI-single in the second inning. However also keep in mind that just prior to that moment Tillman had runners at first and second and nobody out. He was able to induce a twin-killing, which left a runner at third and two gone. So while the
runner at third scored, he minimized the damage.
However Trumbo got going in the last of the second. He smacked a solo homer to tie the game, which put New York on notice that their 1-0 lead wasn’t ever safe. Jonathan Schoop also scored on an error by NY starter Severino in the fourth. He bobbled a ball as he tried to throw Ryan Flaherty out at first, and the O’s had a 2-1 lead.
One inning later Trumbo provided NY with a coup de gras, as his two-run homer gave the O’s a 4-1 lead, which is where the game stayed for the remainder. You also have to credit the Orioles’ bullpen, which bridged the gap from Tillman with Brach and O’Day very nicely. While I suspect that the Birds were probably looking to put more than four runs on the board last night, you take wins however you can get them in baseball.
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If you want more of a story than Mark Trumbo’s two home runs, look to Chris Tillman’s effort last night. 2016 is shaping up to be a very good year on “Tillman Island,” something that he addressed after the game (quote courtesy of Brittany Ghiroli, mlb.com:
"I’ve just been consistent with my delivery, and I think that’s helping a lot. When I’ve struggled in the past, I’ve kind of gotten out of my delivery a little bit and have struggled to get back in it. I think tonight was a good example of me having to make an adjustment early. It wasn’t where I wanted to be, and it kind of stayed that way throughout, but we were able to make some pitches, some big pitches with the fastball to kind of get through that, and the offspeed kind of got me through that."
The Orioles desperately needed Tillman to be solid going into this year, and for the most part he certainly has been. He had the one ill-fated start in Texas, however you have to chalk that up partially to the fact that it was in Texas. Furthermore his outing on Opening Day was shaping up to be very strong as well, but the weather forced him into pitching only two innings.
The O’s also needed more balance in their offense going into the season, and they’ve seemingly found that in Trumbo. With his addition, opposing teams now have four potential power hitters of who they have to take notice: Davis, Jones, Trumbo, and to a slightly lesser degree Machado. Pretty tough to pitch around anyone in this lineup.