Baltimore Orioles: Start the month with a walk-off win against the Blue Jays
After an August loaded with drama-filled game endings, the Baltimore Orioles started September with just as much drama.
Only this time the Baltimore Orioles needed 13 innings to get a run across home plate.
The game against the Toronto Blue Jays was all about pitching and fortunately for the Orioles, they out-pitched the Jays.
The pitching was superb
The pitching highlights belong to all five pitchers, but especially to Kevin Gausman who threw six innings. He gave up five hits, walked one batter, and struck out eight. This was his second consecutive shutout game after he held the Boston Red Sox to four hits in 7.2 innings on Aug. 26. Gausman has a 4.79 ERA, which is a significant drop from his season high 7.55 in early May.
He was followed by Brad Brach, Zach Britton, and Miguel Castro. All three relief pitchers recorded two innings. Each struck out one batter. Britton and Castro gave up one hit each.
The win was awarded to Jimmy Yacabonis who joined the team with the September call-ups. The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher walked one batter, but did not give up any hits. He was thrown into the fire and held his own in a high-stress situation. This is exactly what the September call-ups are about.
Credit should also be given to the Toronto Blue Jays pitching who held the heavy hitting Orioles to one run in 13 innings. Joe Biagini pitched seven innings and struck out 10 batters. It was a rare game without a home run.
Hits at the right time
Offensively, runners did get on base, but the Orioles had difficulty getting more than one on at a time. Manny Machado had a notable day going four for six. Unfortunately, the batters who followed him could not get Mr. Miami around the horn. Until the 13th, when Jonathan Schoop hit a double to right field. Machado was on first at the time and used his speed to cross home plate.
Machado and Schoop dominating the AL
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When the All-Star Break began, after 83 games, Machado had a slash of .230/.296/.445/.741. He had 18 home runs and 47 RBIs. In the 47 games after the All-Star Game, he has recorded 12 more home runs and 41 RBIs. His slash since July 14 has been .345/.374/.599/.973. His second half has been nothing but consistently outstanding.
In fact, since the All-Star break, Machado is tied with Charlie Blackmon for the most hits (68) in the MLB. Interestingly, Schoop is in second place with 64. Schoop is also in second place with the most RBIs since the All-Star Break, only Giancarlo Stanton has more. Machado is tied with Nolan Arenado in fourth place.
Next: Baltimore Orioles: September call-ups
If the start of September is a sign of things to come, especially regarding pitching, the Orioles could continue their run toward the playoffs. But first, they have to get past the Blue Jays against. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM as Wade Miley faces Marcus Stroman.