Breaking down the Orioles three-game stand against the Astros.
Game 1: 4-3 win on Monday afternoon (May 25)
Game 2: 4-1 loss on Tuesday night (May 26)
Game 3: 5-4 win on Wednesday (May 27)
What I liked:
1. Jimmy Paredes – Paredes continued his stunningly productive season, going 0-for-3 in Game 1 but then 5-for-8 with two stolen bases over Games 2 and 3. The stolen base in Game 3 was a steal of home on a double steal that ignited a four-run fourth, which included back-to-back homers from Chris Davis (who belted a two-run shot) and Steve Pearce. Davis also had a solo homer later in that game and Pearce had a two-run homer in Game 1.
2. Chris Tillman’s start in Game 2 – Tillman allowed two runs in seven innings for just his third quality start over nine starts this season.
3. The bullpen – Orioles relievers combined to allow two runs in eight innings on just four hits and three walks. Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz teamed to allow the two runs in the top of the eighth of Game 2.
What I didn’t like:
1. Wei-Yin Chen’s start in Game 1 – Chen allowed three runs in five innings, giving up 11 hits on 91 pitches. He is overall having a good season but now has given up seven runs on 19 hits in 12 innings over his last two starts.
2. Ubaldo Jimenez’s start in Game 3 – Ubaldo allowed four runs in seven innings, giving up 10 hits and a walk. Like Chen, Ubaldo is overall having a good season. But like Chen, Ubaldo now has struggled over his last two starts: seven runs in 11 innings on 17 hits.
3. The fall of Alejandro De Aza – The O’s designated De Aza for assignment on Wednesday as the corresponding roster move to activating Ryan Flaherty from the 15-day disabled list.
The O’s acquired De Aza from the White Sox via trade last August. He was very good over 20 games with the O’s during the 2014 regular season (143 OPS+) and was very good during the postseason (7-for-21 with a walk; three of the seven hits were doubles). But De Aza has an on-base percentage of just .277 over 30 games this season. Being DFA’ed means that the O’s have 10 days to make one of the following moves: return De Aza to the 40-man roster, trade him, release him or outright him to the minors. There is a lot more to the designation, but these are the basics.
The bottom line is that a guy who was expected to be close to an every-day player for the O’s in 2015 has been DFA’ed less than two months into the season. De Aza was the only Orioles player who went to an arbitration hearing over the winter. He lost his case, reportedly settled for $5 million and was owed $3.55 million for the rest of the season.
Flaherty was serving his second stint on the D.L. this season due to a right groin strain.
4. The overall offense – The O’s totaled just 10 runs over three game and batted just .236 (21-for-89).