Baltimore Orioles: Tyler Wilson hurt by first pitch fastballs
Tyler Wilson probably threw too many strikes for the Baltimore Orioles last night, and on first pitches at that. New York hitters took advantage.
Tyler Wilson and his fellow Baltimore Orioles pithers know that part of their job is deception. Heck, that’s part of the job description of any pitcher at any level. You can throw the greatest fastball of all time, but if hitters know it’s coming eventually they’ll adjust and start to put it in play.
And that’s part of what happened in last night’s game against New York, as Wilson threw far too many first pitch fastballs, and New York hitters were waiting for them. With a few exceptions, these aren’t the Bronx Bombers of old, however. ARod can still obviously put the ball out of the ballpark, but with a pitcher being as predictable as Wilson was last night…NY teams of years ago would have put up 15 runs. Wilson’s line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 1 K.
New York hitters thrived on seeing-eye singles, and almost Kansas City-like luck in terms of bloopers falling just out of the reach of fielders. But baseball is a game of inches at times, and it was typified by this game. You can look at Wilson’s stat line and see that he was throwing strikes (too many if anything) – and that they were being put in play. If those balls don’t find the holes that they did, it’s not an issue. But this is part of baseball, which as we know is a game based on failure.
New York took a 1-0 lead on Romine’s sac fly-RBI in the third inning, however it was the fourth in which they did their big damage. Castro’s RBI-double gave them a 2-0 lead, which was followed by an RBI-groundout by Gregorious to run it to 3-0. Tack on Refsnyder’s RBI-double and Romine’s RBI-single, and the Birds were suddenly down 5-0.
Of course the pressure was kept on an inning later when Castro ran the score to 6-0 with an RBI-single. In the sixth New York pulled off a play that generall only works in little league, but since everything was working for them to that point they probably figured why not. They pulled off a double-steal, with Ellsbury successfully stealing home plate, and running the score to 7-0.
However the good news for the Birds is that they battled back. In fact, they almost took control of the game. Granted it was too little too late, but you can’t totally keep these O’s down. They are in fact a better team than the current New York Yankees, and regardless of for whom anyone follows that’s a fact.
Mark Trumbo got the O’s on the board in the last of the seventh with a solo home run, which was followed by Wieters of all people legging out an infield single. (As a guy who similar to Wieters runs like the “Queen Mary,” I can’t imagine myself doing that – but he did!) That brought Pedro Alvarez to the plate and he smacked a two-run homer, cutting the lead to 7-3.
The O’s caught NY’s Nova just as he was starting to tire, as he had been great to that point. But New York couldn’t get a reliever ready in time, and still with nobody out in the inning Adam Jones came to the plate with two on. And Jones did what Jones does, hitting a three-run home run that put the O’s right back in the swing of things at 7-6. However New York’s bullpen is solid as we know, and they shut the Birds down for the remainder of the game. ARod would add an RBI-single in the ninth, and the O’s fell 8-6.
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Jones’ three-run homer also put him in an elite category. It was his 370th RBI, which passes the great Cal Ripken Jr. for the most RBI in the history of Camden Yards (Ripken’s mark was 368). Mind you that Ripken also played the first half of his career at Memorial Stadium, but until last night he held that mark. While Jones might have slightly more power, I’ve always felt that the two were very similar hitters in terms of where they put the ball and so forth.
When told of the new record after the game, Jones was predictably humble about it, and he gave credit to those around him (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):
"I think that is pretty cool. Means I’ve been around here a little bit and have been fortunate to be healthy and play with some really good players over the years. It is a team thing. It is not like I hit home runs to always drive myself in."
However at the end of the day, it’s a loss for the Birds. Boston reclaimed first place by virtue of their win yesterday afternoon, however again it’s a long season. The key for the O’s is to take the series, against a NY team which as I said above is inferior to them for all intents and purposes. Sweeping someone is tough, so the goal is to take two-of-three in all of these series’.
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And the O’s will have the chance to do just that later this afternoon in the series finale. Kevin Gausman will be on the bump for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s C.C. Sabathia. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.