Baltimore Orioles: Mike Wright Crumbles Against Yankees
The Baltimore Orioles dropped their home opener to the New York Yankees despite a big return from Alex Cobb.
Everything was going right. The festivities of Opening Day at Camden Yards, a beautiful first pitch moment from Joe Angel, and a solid return for starting pitcher Alex Cobb. Things were clicking for the Baltimore Orioles and the early season magic appeared to remain at peak performance.
Then Mike Wright entered the ballgame and things quickly unraveled. Unable to climb out of the hole created by Wright, the Orioles dropped their home opener 8-4 on Thursday afternoon.
A 402-foot opposite field solo shot by Jonathan Villar and bases loaded balk and wild pitch by Yankees’ starter James Paxton gave the Orioles a quick 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning, giving Alex Cobb plenty of breathing room to work with in his 2019 debut.
Cobb worked 5.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and striking out five, throwing 87 pitches. He produced a swing and miss on 10 of the 32 split-changeups thrown and responded well when the Yankees touched him up.
After giving up a home run to Gleyber Torres in the third inning, four of the next six batted balls against Cobb resulted in a groundout (the other two were a flyout and single).
With two outs in the sixth inning, Cobb was replaced by Mike Wright, in line for his first win at Camden Yards as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. Unfortunately, the real Mike Wright showed up.
Greg Bird and DJ LeMahieu recorded back-to-back two-out singles, followed up by the go-ahead three-run home run from Torres, his second long ball of the day. Wright needed just one more strike. It never came.
Thursday’s game was a reminder that this is still the 2019 Baltimore Orioles and Mike Wright will always be Mike Wright. Speaking of disappointments, first baseman Chris Davis continued his freefall into a wasteland of nothing. Davis finished the afternoon 0-3 with three strikeouts, running his season numbers to 0-17 with 11 strikeouts.
With a runner on first and down by one in the bottom eighth, Brandon Hyde benched Davis for Hanser Alberto. Call it playing the matchup ( LHP Zack Britton had entered the game) if you want. I won’t buy it. How much longer does Mike Elias sit back and watch this train wreck? For the sanity of us all, let’s hope it isn’t long.
The Orioles and Yankees will take Friday off before returning for game two of the series on Saturday night at 7:05 pm. Dylan Bundy and J.A. Happ are currently scheduled to start.
I leave you on a positive note. A replay of Jonathan Villar’s opposite-field shot. Now go watch some minor league games. Ryan Mountcastle is playing first base for the Norfolk Tides….for now.