I cannot lie to you Camden Chat community. My channel-changing finger was itchy watching this game. I thought about abandoning the O's in favor Champion's League soccer. Excuse me, football. That's right, things were just that bad. All of the things that the boys in black and orange did so well the night before were absent from this afternoon's game.
Ubaldo Jimenez continued to struggle in games at Oriole Park this season; he is now 0-4. This game seemed like another track on a broken record of poor games for the Birds in 2014.
Jimenez labored through four innings but made it out unscathed. He was at 76 pitches, struck out three and walked three and had yet to allow a run.
Included in this was a challenge on a close play involving a Lonnie Chisenhall ground ball to the right side of the infield in the first inning. Chris Davis fielded in cleanly and fed the ball to Jimenez covering first. Chisenhall was called "safe". Manager Buck Showalter did his patented little waddle onto the field and threw the metaphorical yellow flag. After a short deliberation, Chisenhall was accurately pronounced "out". That was about all of the good news for the O's.
The game began to crumble in the fifth inning. The first batter of the inning, Carlos Santana was walked. Then, Yan Gomes singled to center. Justin Sellers followed this up with a chopper up the middle. Jonathan Schoop did a nice job getting to it and attempted to shovel it to J.J. Hardy covering second. The toss came up short and Santana scored as the ball got past Hardy. Schoop was stuck with a semi-questionable error. 1-0, Indians.
Michael Bourn then came to the plate and, as four teammates before him did, he strolled down to first base on ball four, loading the bases again. Jimenez wrapped up his day by allowing a weak single to Mike Aviles to left field, which scored Gomes. Ubaldo was lifted, down 2-0 with the bases loaded, in favor of T.J. McFarland.
McFarland's outing began by hitting Michael Brantley in the back and scoring Sellers. 3-0, Indians. Then Chisenhall returned and continued to be a thorn in the Orioles side, singling to right field, scoring Bourn, and leaving the bases loaded again. 4-0, Indians. The next batter Ryan Raburn would ground into a double play as Aviles scored to make it 5-0. No RBI for Raburn. Moral victory! Finally, David Murphy grounded out to Schoop to stop the bleeding.
The O's lefty would stay in the game into the seventh inning, when things got dicey again. Things began with a Brantley single, followed by a Chisenhall double. Damn you, Chisenhall! Raburn then added the third hit in a row, this one a double, to score Chisenhall and Brantley. 7-0, Indians.
McFarland would face the lefty Murphy and then be replaced by Brad Brach. The first pitch out of his hands would be smashed into the right field bleachers for a home run by Santana. 9-0, Indians. Ugh. Brach would strike out Yan Gomes and get Sellers to fly out.
Then someone's mom started to complain that their son wasn't getting enough playing time. So, Showalter took most of the veterans out of the lineup. Steve Lombardozzi made his return, Lough entered to play some center field and Pearce got some action in left.
Even these "Super-subs" couldn't jump start the Orioles offense. It was nearly nonexistent even though they only had two "1-2-3" innings in the seven that Corey Kluber pitched.
Kluber was great, scattering five hits and two walks, while striking out nine. He became the first pitcher in the bigs with at least eight strikeouts in five straight outings this season. Every regular in Baltimore's lineups K'ed except for Hardy and Cruz.
The story for the O's was the poor performance of Jimenez. At four innings, this was his shortest start in an Oriole uniform and his second consecutive sub-par outing. All of the numbers are ugly. He threw 99 pitches and only 55 of them were strikes. As a result he walked five. Over his last two starts he has tossed nine innings and given up ten runs. For those of you keeping score, that is an ERA of 10. He has certainly lost the touch that saw him sparkle in early May.
Miguel Gonzalez will head to the hill tomorrow, trying to build on his quality start in Pittsburgh and to settle for a split with Cleveland. Trevor Bauer will take the ball for the Indians in his third start of the year. The game is at 1:35 and those lucky enough to attend, myself included, will be rewarded with a ripcord bracelet.
- Gary Thorne referenced an article on the Orioles walk rate by CC's very own Camden Hu.
- Ravens kicker Justin Tucker threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
- Troy Patton has been traded to the San Diego Padres in exchange for catcher Nick Hundley and cash. Hundley is expected to take over the starting catcher role and Caleb Jospeh will likely go back down to the farm.
- Steve Lombardozzi has been recalled from Norfolk. For the time being, he takes Patton's spot on the roster.
- Preston Guilmet was optioned following last night's game, but he is still in Baltimore. He will be recalled tomorrow as Chris Davis heads out on paternity leave.
- In summation, players likely leaving will be Patton, Joseph and Davis. Players coming are Lombardozzi, Guilmet and Hundley.
- The nine run loss is the biggest for the O's this season.