September continued to be a month of struggles for the Baltimore Orioles and they were magnified against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Baltimore Orioles two-game series came to a close Wednesday night and they played two of the quickest games of the season.
The speed of play and the lack of offense were the biggest takeaways of these two games between two middle-of-the-road teams.
Some speedy play
Tuesday’s game ended with the Pirates winning by a score of 10-1. Kevin Gausman pitched four innings and gave up six runs. He earned his 11th loss of the season, bringing his win-loss record to 11-11. Fortunately for the Orioles (who were completely overshadowed by Andrew McCutchen), the game was only 2:38 long. Cutch was the star of the game earning eight RBIs and hitting the very first grand slam of his notable career.
Fittingly, McCutchen’s two home runs and one double all were off of Gausman. It put a perfectly fitting close to the fact that the Orioles pitching has benefitted plenty of opponents all season long. Fortunately for Orioles fans who have had more than enough of the September slump, the game moved at an incredibly fast pace and was the first evening game to end that night.
The Orioles have had faster games, but this one seemed especially speedy. Probably because fans could not wait for it to be over. Of the games played prior to Tuesday, only fifteen games finished in less time than Tuesday’s.
Wednesday’s game was also lightning fast and was the first night game to end. This one had a closer score with the Pirates winning 5-3. This game was three minutes faster that Tuesday’s, ending after 2:35.
Who scored the runs?
The Orioles had a three-run second inning Wednesday night, but could not get any more runs across home plate after that. Pedro Alvarez, Trey Mancini, and Chance Sisco scored the runs. Anthony Santander earned a RBI along with Mancini and Sisco.
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Gabriel Ynoa pitched Wednesday. In his three innings, he allowed four runs. Mychal Givens allowed the fifth to score in his one inning pitched. Ynoa will finish the season with an ERA of 4.15. Gausman will finish with an ERA of 4.81. The league average ERA in 2017, according to Baseball Reference is 4.36. Ynoa has limited time on the mound, but his ERA is slightly better than average. Gausman, on the other hand, is one of the top pitchers for the team. Only one regular starter has an ERA lower than the MLB average. This clearly explains why the Orioles will be watching the post-season from the same place as the fans.
The other big takeaway from the two-game series with the Pirates is the lack of offense from the veterans. Chris Davis scored the only Orioles home run of the series, while a rookie and two minor leaguers scored the three on Wednesday. Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, and the other household names could not get anything going – much like the rest of the month.
The Orioles get a day off Thursday as they make their way to Tampa for their final series against their league rivals the Rays. The Orioles enter that series with a record of 75-84 sitting in last place in the AL East, 17 games back from the Boston Red Sox. Hopefully, those three games against the Rays will go quickly, too.