Lance McCullers is new to the Astros rotation having just come up last month, but if he continues pitching like he did tonight, he should have no problem keeping his spot. In just his fourth start ever, he went nine innings and held the Orioles to one run. But the way the Orioles offense has been lately, it's probably less of a statement about his pitching ability than it should be.
Nothing much happened until the bottom of the second when Chris Carter hit a solo home run with two outs. Home runs hurt, but when they come with two outs already in the inning they hurt more. The Orioles would tie it up though in the fourth inning when Jones hit a triple that just barely missed going over the wall and then Delmon Young drove him in with a single. I wish there was a way for Delmon Young to only hit with runners in scoring position, seems to be a good situation for him.
Of course, that tie game didn't last long as Carter hit another home run in the bottom of the fifth, making the game 2-1. After a three up, three down inning for the O's in the sixth, George Springer would hit his solo shot to make it a 3-1 game. That would be all the scoring in the game.
Tommy Hunter replaced Miguel Gonzalez in the 7th, but kept the Orioles in the game by not allowing any runs. Despite giving up three home runs it was technically a quality start for Gonzalez. The problem is he has now given up at least one home run in four straight games and five of his last six. He now leads the Orioles rotation in home runs allowed with 11, but Chen isn't far behind with 10. That's bad, but when your pitching staff only allows three runs in a game, it's not unreasonable to expect your offense to do enough to win the game. Unfortunately for the Orioles, they forgot how to score runs after the calendar turned over to May. June isn't off to a good start, maybe we should start counting the days until July.
At least Adam Jones tried to make it interesting tonight by getting a single with two outs in the ninth. Of course, Chris Davis followed him to the plate and wouldn't you know it - he struck out. That gives him 73 on the year which could put him in the lead in that category in all of MLB by the time the night is over. Of course. he's up there with guys like Giancarlo Stanton, so maybe we should be glad Davis didn't get a $300M contract this offseason?
At this point the Orioles have lost five in a row and are falling farther under .500 and farther behind the Yankees for the division lead. Tomorrow they get Dallas Keuchel again...something tells me they won't get the same results as they did the last time. And after this they get to go to Cleveland. During the game I saw a MASN promo that previewed that game and highlighted how they're going to have to face Corey Kluber. I'm sure that'll be easy too.
If the team could get money and a minor leaguer for Alejandro De Aza, you really have to wonder what else is out there to be had for any number of the guys on this roster. Nolan Reimold's opt-out date is approaching, are they really going to let him go for nothing without giving him a shot? Is it worth keeping any of the impending free agents when you could bring up someone from Norfolk and give them a shot? The team seems to really like Dariel Alvarez...seems like it might be time to see if he's got it. Just imagine what it's going to be like when Brian Matusz is serving his suspension and the team has to play a man down for a week. Oh, and Bud Norris is likely to return this weekend, forgive me if I'm dreading it.
The final game in Houston is tomorrow afternoon...I'm just glad I'll be at work and won't have a choice about whether to subject myself to this mess.