Baltimore Orioles: John Means Struggles in His Season Opener

The Baltimore Orioles took to the field on Thursday night to face the New York Yankees under the lights at Camden Yards.

And, in a strange turn of events, the Baltimore Orioles began the night in a similar way to the game on the night before.

On Wednesday night, the Yankees scored two runs in the first inning off of Asher Wojciechowski. The two-run lead in the first seemed to become insurmountable after the Yankees continued to nickel-and-dime their way to a nine-run win.

On Thursday night, the Yankees picked up five runs against John Means in the first inning. The trouble began with the second batter, Aaron Judge. Means plunked Judge, then did the same to Gleybor Torres. This gave the fourth batter, Giancarlo Stanton, the opportunity to earn an RBI after he hit a single. With two men on, Means walked Aaron Hicks. Then Luke Voit hit a grand slam, and just like that, the Yankees had a 5-0 lead.

But this one didn’t seem as troublesome to the O’s. In the first inning, the Birds got back a pair of runs from J.A. Happ. Austin Hays led of the Orioles with a single. Then, Hanser Alberto did what he does against left-handed pitchers – homered. The two-run homer showed that the Orioles were not going to give up without a battle.

Then, Rio Ruiz decided he wanted a two-run homer, after he knocked in Pat Valaika who earned a base on a walk.

After the Ruiz home run, the rest of the innings remained scoreless. Then, the rain hit, and the game stalled for quite some time with the Orioles on deck to hit in the bottom of the sixth. But, according to the newest MLB rules for 2020, a regulation game is one where the visiting team has made fifteen outs (which puts it into the top of the sixth).

This is the official rule from MLB.com:

“A game is considered a regulation game — also known as an “official game” — once the visiting team has made 15 outs (five innings) and the home team is leading, or once the home team has made 15 outs regardless of score.”

With the last part of the rule, MLB officials could call this game which would give the Orioles another loss. This would be unfortunate, as the Orioles were one more two-run home run away from the win.

Unfortunately for the Orioles, there were a couple of disappointing events in this game. The first was John Mean’s performance. He only pitched 2.1 innings, after missing the Opening Day nod with a sore arm. He had plenty of velocity today, but he struggled with placement, as the two hit batters in the first inning show. In the second he turned it around by facing the minimum. Then, on a three-one count in the top of the third, Torres had a long fly ball for an out, and that was the end of Mean’s time on the mound.

Next: Underrated Jose Iglesias Deserves More Respect

Tomorrow, the Orioles are still at Camden Yards. They welcome the Rays to town, and Alex Cobb gets the nod against Blake Snell. What a week for the Orioles. First they sit idle because of the Marlins. Then, they have to face Gerrit Cole, then two days later they face Snell.

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