Beat the Beast: 3 takeaways from the Baltimore Orioles series win against Tampa Bay
Question: if the Orioles beat the best team in baseball, could they be considered the best team in MLB? Here are three takeaways for this series.
Monday, 5/8: When the RISP didn't work (TB 3-0 BAL)
Baltimore came from Atlanta with a two game losing streak. One factor to this: RISP. And that script played out again at OPACY. The pitching staff was solid with Kyle Gibson (6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K), Bryan Baker (1.0 IP, 2 BB) and Keegan Akin (2.0 IP, H, ER, 3 K), but the offense went silent again.
Mr. Walltimore had a portion on this, too, robbing a possible Anthony Santander home run (it was a Homer in the rest of MLB ballparks). But against Shane McClanahan and the Rays' pitchers, they needed to perform better. With an 0-6 RISP (2-29 in the last three games at the time), the Orioles couldn't score and they suffered their first shutout at home in 2023. On next day, in a flurry of moves, Akin was demoted to Norfolk.
Tuesday, 5/9: The negative streak is over (TB 2-4 BAL)
Grayson day! The righty had some trouble early with a solo HR by Wander Franco. But Adley Rutschman had an answer. He put his 0-19 slump in the rearview with a blast to Eutaw Street (his first) to put the Orioles ahead against Zach Eflin.
Grayson pitched into the sixth inning, but he had his first quality start (5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K). Bullpen came in and kept Tampa Bay with scoreless innings with Mike Baumann, Yennier Cano and Felix Bautista. In the end, 'The Mountain' had his first four-out save in the season with some ups and downs. He closed the door and put the Orioles back in the win column. It's the first home win for GrayRod.
Wednesday, 5/10: Effective (TB 1-2 BAL)
The rubber game was a pitching duel. Dean Kremer had back-to-back performances like his 2022 form (6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K). He deserved this to recover his confidence, and made it against two of the best teams in MLB.
The offense needed a spark to score against Yonny Chirinos. With the bases loaded on sixth, Adam Frazier and Austin Hays drove two runs to put the O's on the board. Austin Voth pitched a clean seventh but the allowed a run in the eighth. Danny Coulombe entered and made Randy Arozarena and Harold Ramirez look silly with his breaking balls to get out of the jam. Cano pitched in the ninth for another save. Curiosity: Cano had three saves and three hits allowed in 2023.
With a 3-3 in back-to-back series against high level competitors, Baltimore goes to the day off in high spirits. The next opponent, Pittsburgh, has only one win since May 1st. Let's keep rollin'.