Orioles: Six-Run Inning a Microcosm of O’s Bullpen Struggles

Cesar Valdez #62 walks to the dugout after being replaced by Tyler Wells of the Baltimore Orioles. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Cesar Valdez #62 walks to the dugout after being replaced by Tyler Wells of the Baltimore Orioles. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Monday night was supposed to be another John Means night out for the Baltimore Orioles. However, the bullpen had other plans in Minnesota

In short, the now 17-30 Baltimore Orioles evening started as planned. John Means played his part, and the O’s hitting wasn’t leaving him out to dry. After going down 2-1 in the 6th inning, the Birds posted a two-run 8th and put Means in line for the win. The Cy Young hopeful pitched seven solid innings, only giving up two earned runs, both off of solo shots.

At this point, and in everyone’s minds (including Brandon Hyde), it was time to bring in the setup crew and get this game to the 9th inning and Cesar Valdez. The Minnesota Twins, however, had different plans. Tanner Scott came on to face the Twins in the bottom half of the 8th and struggled to find the location of Sisco’s glove, walking one and giving up two earned in just 1/3 of an inning.

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Hyde then went to his trusty steed of a closer, in Valdez, to try and cover up the bleeding. That attempt at a cauterization failed as the O’s closer got tossed around for three hits and three runs before, only earning one out. At this point it the damage was done, and it was 7 to 3 in favor of the Twins. Tyler Wells got the final out of the night, but not before lending another run.

The bullpen explodes, and the Baltimore Orioles are in dead last

The Baltimore Orioles have now successfully lost seven in and row, and in line with their recent nature, the third start in a row for John Means. I know, I know, this team isn’t just based around one man, but when you have a Cy Young dark horse on your side, he’s going to need help from everyone.

Unfortunately for Brandon Hyde and the O’s, they are now in sole possession of the last place, not only in the AL East but in all of Major League Baseball. Understanding, of course, that the Birds are still a rebuilding team, but many had hoped this season would bring some additional hype.

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In a vacuum, this loss and the potential outcome of the Orioles is excellent if you like top picks and getting the early choices. However, wins and excitement can fully rejuvenate a city, a team, its fans, and everything else that goes on in an organization. It’s still early, but the fears of another down year are here. The O’s go again tonight, as they will try and salvage the series against the Twins.