The Orioles were destroyed by the Twins tonight, guaranteeing themselves a third straight series loss, which is not fun. As fun as Orioles baseball was in the month of June, that is how miserable it has been so far in the month of July. But fret not, because our leader Mark had this to say about watching bad baseball in 2015:
The best thing you can say about this game is that it's better than July 2010 when we were all completely numb to the Orioles losing.— Camden Chat (@CamdenChat) July 8, 2015
Actually, that's not really all that comforting.
One start after pitching so well against the Texas Rangers that Buck Showalter had no choice but to leave him in the rotation, Kevin Gausman completely fell apart against the Twins. He was getting hit very hard in the first inning, even the outs were loud. He gave up three runs on four hits in the first, including a bomb of a home run by rookie Miguel Sano. That is one big kid.
Gausman gave up one run in the third that wasn't really his fault (see below), but then completely fell apart in the fourth inning. He started the inning by allowing a double and a single, but caught a break when the Orioles were able to throw out the lead runner at home on a ground ball to second. It was a hideous rundown that went to replay, but the out call was upheld. Brian Dozier then hit a long fly ball to knock in a run via sacrifice fly. Gausman intentionally walked Joe Mauer to try and set up the double play, but he then ruined that by hitting Trevor Plouffe to load the bases. He was then pulled for Brad Brach, who didn't do him any favors. He walked in one run and gave up a two-run single before getting out of the inning.
Goose's final pitching line was 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. He will most likely be sent down to the minors after the game, but not because of this performance. With the All-Star break coming up, Gausman will likely be given a start in the minors to keep him fresh, while also giving Dan Duquette an extra roster spot for a few days.
The Sad Tale of Matt Wieters
It feels like ages ago that I was so excited for the return of Matt Wieters. His hitting has dropped off since a few hot games upon his return, and his defense behind the plate has really deteriorated. What happened to him? His framing skills are awful, and he just doesn't look good back there. After Joe Mauer singled in the third inning, Wieters was basically solely responsible for him coming around to score. Wieters allowed a ball to bounce away from him (it was scored a wild pitch) and then made a simply terrible throw down to second base as Mauer trotted in safely. Then, with two outs, Wieters just completely missed strike three. Like, it just went right next to his glove. Mauer scored from second on the passed ball and the batter reached on a dropped third strike.
In the fifth inning, after the game was already a laugher, Aaron Hicks stole second base and Wieters's throw bounced about five feet in front of second base. It was terrible.
Today is the first time since Wieters returned from Tommy John surgery that he has caught two days in a row, and it was not a success. He hasn't looked great behind the plate, but today was the absolute worst. It would be more palatable if he were hitting, but he is not. It was really a pretty sad night for Wieters.
RISP Woes Continue
The Twins starting pitcher, Kyle Gibson, was pretty good tonight. But he also benefited from yet another pathetic display by the Orioles when batting with runners in scoring position. In the first inning, both Chris Davis and Matt Wieters came to the plate with runners at second and third (thanks to a Manny Machado single and an Adam Jones double). Both struck out.
Chris Parmelee hit a leadoff double in the second inning and was stranded. Even when the Orioles finally scored on a J.J. Hardy fifth inning two-run FUHR, there were no runners in scoring position.
Finally, in the eighth inning, the Orioles got a hit with a RISP. With Machado at second base, Adam Jones hit a double that came about six inches from being a home run to dead center. Manny came in to score, but unfortunately the Orioles were already down by six at that point so it was kind of a hollow victory. And of course, they followed that with two more fruitless at bat with both Davis and Wieters failing to get a hit with Jones at second base. In the night they went 1-for-8 with RISP. Good job, guys.