Observations from and analysis of the Orioles’ series loss to the Blue Jays
Game 1: 7-1 loss on Monday night (April 9)
Game 2: 2-1 loss on Tuesday night (April 10)
Game 3: 5-3 win on Wednesday night (April 11)
1. The Orioles’ offense, which has been woeful so far this season, woke up in the 5-3 win on Thursday night, pounding 11 hits and going 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Jonathan Schoop had a full-count RBI double in a three-run fourth and an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
But the offense wasted very good starts by Dylan Bundy and Andrew Cashner over the first two games of the series.
The O’s went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position in the 7-1 loss on Monday night. Schoop, Adam Jones and Chris Davis struck out in succession in the bottom of the first, during which the O’s had Manny Machado on first and Trey Mancini on second with no outs. Anthony Santander, Celeb Joseph and Mancini struck out in succession in the bottom of the second, during which the O’s had Tim Beckham on first and Danny Valencia on second with no outs. Jones grounded into a inning-ending double play in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded.
The O’s had just three hits to go with five walks in the 2-1 loss on Tuesday night as Aaron Sanchez carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning.
2. One guy who did do well in this series was Manny Machado. He had a solo homer in the bottom of the third, a single and a walk in the 7-1 loss on Monday night; drew two walks in the 2-1 loss on Tuesday night; and had a double and a single in the 5-3 win on Thursday night. Machado also made an excellent defensive play in that game, back-handing a Justin Smoak grounder in shallow left field and then firing the ball to Chris Davis in time for the second out in the top of the seventh.
3. The Orioles’ starting pitching was outstanding in Games 1 and 2 and good enough in Game 3. Starting pitching anywhere close to this on a consistent basis would go a long way toward this team doing well this season.
Dylan Bundy in the 7-1 loss on Monday night was great for the third time in three starts this season, allowing two runs in seven innings on 10 strikeouts versus four hits and two walks. He gave up a two-out two-run homer to former Oriole Steve Pearce in the top of the third on a 3-0 pitch. Otherwise, King Kong Bundy was great yet again. He now has a 1.35 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 11.25 K/9 over three starts this season.
Andrew Cashner was terrific in the 2-1 loss on Tuesday night, tossing seven scoreless innings on six strikeouts versus four singles and three walks on 104 pitches.
The Orioles’ lone win in this series came despite the team’s worst starting-pitching performance in the series. Kevin Gausman allowed three runs in six innings in the 5-3 win on Thursday night, as he gave up six hits (including a solo homer and a double) and three walks. But he did have seven strikeouts.
4. Off being totally overworked in winning three of four at the Yankees in the previous series, the Orioles’ bullpen was horrendous in the 7-1 loss on Monday night. Mychal Givens and Nester Cortes Jr. combined to allow five runs in the top of the ninth, wasting Dylan Bundy’s latest gem. Givens, who somehow did not allow a run in the top of the eighth despite loading the bases with no outs on back-to-back singles and a four-pitch walk, loaded the bases again in the top of the ninth on a leadoff walk, a one-out single and then a one-out hit-by-pitch. Cortes then came in with two outs and the bases loaded. He issued a bases-loaded five-pitch walk to Curtis Granderson and then gave up the crushing blow: a grand slam to Josh Donaldson on a 1-2 pitch. Cortes then allowed a single and a double before finally getting out of the inning. The O’s designated Cortes for assignment on Tuesday.
Miguel Castro and Darren O’Day each allowed a run in the 2-1 loss on Tuesday night. Castro gave up an unearned run in the top of the eighth on a one-out walk, a wild pitch and a single that led to a throwing error by right fielder Anthony Santander. O’Day gave up a tie-breaking two-out solo homer to Curtis Granderson on a 1-2 pitch in the top of the ninth.