The story was much of the same Tuesday night as the Baltimore Orioles failed to secure a victory against the Washington Nationals.
On a night in which fans were treated to an appearance from legendary third baseman Brooks Robinson and a bobblehead of the iconic #5 making a diving play, the Baltimore Orioles fell in game one of a two-game mid-week series against the Washington Nationals. Despite a noteworthy performance from starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski, the offensive woes of the Orioles continued to take center stage.
There’s no point in focusing on the negatives on a nightly basis, so let’s keep this one positive! Despite dropping Tuesday night’s game by a score of 8-1, the Baltimore Orioles did produce a number of positive talking points, beginning with their starting pitcher.
Wojciechowski worked just 5.1 innings tonight and failed to produce a single clean inning (needing 95 pitches), but he did limit the Nationals to three earned runs on six hits while striking out a career-high seven hitters. Best of all, he issued zero free passes. The Nationals are hot and Woj entered the game with an ERA over 6.00 during his time with the Orioles; this one could have been a lot worse.
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After throwing 90 pitches to get through five full frames, manager Brandon Hyde sent Woj back out to begin the sixth, a decision Hyde probably wishes he could take back. Leadoff hitter Juan Soto sent a 2-1 pitch into the bleachers for the 17th time this season, the second home run off Wojciechowski on the night (Matt Adams sent one to Eutaw Street in the second inning). Not sure why Woj was sent back out to start the sixth, but there’s no point in being upset or questioning the move when the Orioles have just 28 wins this season and Woj is just a body to work innings.
As for the offense, the Orioles produced just four hits against Washington pitching, two of those hits coming off the bat of Hanser Alberto. Alberto went 2-4 with an RBI and run scored, raising his batting average to .306 on the season. His first hit of the afternoon was a line-drive home run off Nationals’ starter Austin Voth. It was his fifth home run of the season.
With the birth of his daughter looming, Alberto will likely miss a few games as the Orioles prepare to welcome the Boston Red Sox into town this weekend. I’m afraid to see what this offense can do without Hanser Alberto. That is a line I never thought I would say, yet here we are. Alberto’s .306 average continues to rank among the top 20 in all of baseball, among qualified hitters, as he has been one of the biggest success stories of the 2019 season.
The only other notable hit produced from the offense came off the bat of Trey Mancini. In the midst of an 0-24 slump at the plate, Mancini doubled on a 62.6 mph squibber down the first base line. According to Baseball Savant, the batted ball had a .050 expected batting average. Baseball is a weird, yet beautiful game.
Renato Nunez would be the only other Oriole to record a base hit on Tuesday night. The Orioles will now look to split the two-game series on Wednesday. Aaron Brooks and Erick Fedde will toe the rubber for their respective teams. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
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