Baltimore Orioles: Is Darren O’Day at risk for a suspension?

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

For the most part, Darren O’Day has been as solid as solid can be for the Baltimore Orioles. However the stat sheet from yesterday’s game says that he was tagged with a blown save and the loss after giving up back-to-back home runs in the eighth. However anyone who saw yesterday’s game knows there’s an asterik by that blown save and loss – something that O’Day unfortunately addressed after the game.

Kevin Gausman was a bit off yesterday as well. He turned in what Joe Angel of the Orioles’ radio network called his worst outing of the season to this point. Yet, he muscled through five innings and was in line to be the winning pitcher. Gausman’s line: 5 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K.

Gausman gave up an early run in the first on a Cabrera RBI-single, however the BIrds tied it up right away as Jones returned the favor with an RBI-double. The red-hot Jonathan Schoop would then add a two-RBI single of his own, and the Orioles had a 3-1 lead. However an RBI-triple in the second and a two-run homer in the fourth for Detroit tied the game up at three…and we played on. 

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  • The fifth inning saw Detroit take a 4-3 lead on an RBI-single, however Manny Machado came to the plate in the last of the inning with a runner on. Machado managed to break out of his 0-for-12 mini-slump with a two-run homer which gave the O’s a 5-4 lead. However O’Day’s back-to-back home runs in the eighth off the bats of Martinez and Cabrera ended up sinking the O’s for good on this day. In dropping the finale 6-5, the O’s still took three-of-four in the series.

    Of course, that’s what the official story was for the game. However the line score and

    Darren O'Day
    Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

    stat sheet can’t tell you the intangibles of the game, and what happened the pitch prior to the Martinez homer was of supreme importance. On a 2-2 count with two outs in the inning, Martinez checked his swing on Darren O’Day’s pitch. Home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg appealed to first base umpire Mark Wegner on whether the swing was checked in time…

    …and Wegner ruled that Martinez had in fact checked his swing. Unfortunately for O’Day and the Orioles, Wegner was the only person in the ballpark (heck, the only person on planet earth!) who thought the bat didn’t touch the strike zone. O’Day had already begun the march off the mound to the dugout. Yet Wegner’s opinion on the matter was the only one that counted, so it stood as ball three – Martinez tied the game on the next pitch.

    To his credit, O’Day said after the game that Wegner didn’t make him throw the pitches to Martinez and Cabrera. However he also had some choice words for Mark Wegner, which gave a few people – myself included – some pause (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

    "It was a good pitch. If I get him to swing at it and I did. Mark Wegner absolutely embarrassed himself. I have a great relationship with a lot of umpires. Some I consider friends. They have a tough job. It’s a judgement call, but that was pretty egregious. I think all the replays, it’s a swing. Hitters that good don’t need extra chances"

    It’s rare that you see a normally soft spoken guy like O’Day speaking that harshly of an umpire. However it also shows how competitive players are, and how fine the line can often be between winning and losing. O’Day is correct to point out that Wegner didn’t make him throw the two home run balls. But he’s also right in what he said above.

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    Right as he may be however, he’s also now opened himself up to being penalized by the league. There are ways that you can diplomatically take issue with an umpire’s call, such as saying something along the lines of I thought it was this way, obviously he disagreed. Now I’m the first one to admit that it’s easy to say that here in print, but very hard for a player to say it in that manner in the wake of a tough loss.

    But the fact is that in saying that an umpire embarrassed himself probably isn’t going to make O’Day any friends in the league office. Having said that, O’Day is correct in his assessment of the call itself – it was horrible. If the league wanted to be fair, they’d simply fine O’Day an undisclosed amount. However any player who pops off in that manner about an umpire is generally suspended. 

    Next: Baltimore Orioles slammed to victory by Jonathan Schoop

    And a suspension of course hurts the team in a sense. Now with that said, I wouldn’t expect a suspension to be more than one game. But time will tell…luckily for the O’s MLB has it’s hands full with the biggest brawl in Texas since the Alamo right now, so perhaps O’Day’s comments will go overlooked.