Baltimore Orioles: Another hard-luck loss for Tyler Wilson
Tyler Wilson produced a quality start for the Baltimore Orioles yesterday afternoon, however Oriole bats struggled against Boston’s knuckleballer.
The Baltimore Orioles will take the type of outing they got out of Tyler Wilson yesterday afternoon anytime. He made perhaps one bad pitch in the game, however given that he was facing a knuckleballer who shut down Oriole bats, he just didn’t have much room for error. Wilson’s line: 6.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
Nobody’s going to blame the O’s for not getting anything going against Boston’s Wright, who’s a knuckleballer. In effect, they were guessing all day long. The issue of course now becomes that in many cases it takes teams up to a week to “rebound” in terms of getting their timing back after facing a knuckleballer.
Boston took an early 1-0 lead in the first on somewhat of a strange play. Bogaerts grounded out to first, however Betts was able to score from second because nobody covered home plate. That’s a mental lapse on the Orioles, however in reality it never should have happened. Replays clearly showed that Bogaerts fouled the ball off his foot, and Buck Showalter argued that point for a couple of minutes – with no luck.
Showalter was told that it wasn’t a reviewable play, although to their credit the umpires did huddle up to discuss if this should stand. Apparently none of the four umpires clearly saw the ball hit off the batter’s foot. Furthermore that play isn’t reviewablein accordance with MLB rules. Boston basically got away with one there, but if the rules don’t allow for a review there’s not much that can be done.
Bogaerts would add an RBI-double in the third, however the O’s battled back in the last of the fifth. Flaherty’s RBI-double and Jones’ sac fly-RBI tied the game. For at least an inning, the O’s appeared as if they were getting to Wright’s knuckleball. In reality they were trying to time the pitches all game long, and for that inning they were just guessing right.
However Wilson’s one bad pitch game an inning later when he hung an off speed pitch to Bradley – who hit it out of the park. Wilson was in need of a shutdown inning there which really would have given the O’s some momentum, but the home run was a tough blow. Long after Wright had departed, Ortiz added a solo homer in the eighth, and Hernandez added a three-run shot.
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So the O’s fell 7-2 in the opener of this four-game set, but again there’s not much you can say about facing a knucklerballer. Personally I’m not sure why every team doesn’t try to develop one, because they’re obviously a great asset. It’s not an easy pitch to master however, which is why there aren’t too many.
Save for that Bradley home run pitch, Wilson was pretty good yesterday. As I said, you’ll take that start out of him (or anyone for that matter) any day of the week. And to be honest, it’s a shame when a pitcher can’t throw one bad pitch in a game and still have a shot to win. However that’s what a knuckleballer can do for a team, in this case Boston.
Next: Baltimore Orioles: What a day for Darren O'Day!
The series continues tonight, which is the second of four games. Kevin Gausman will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez (himself a former Oriole prospect, who’s also making his season debut after coming of the DL). Game time is set for just after 7 PM.