One thing that makes baseball an interesting and exciting sport is the possibility that, in any one given game, just about anything is possible. The unexpected can happen in any moment, to the delight of everyone watching. On the other hand, there are also those games that go exactly how you knew they would go.
The Orioles, unfortunately for them, played the latter sort of game on Saturday afternoon against the Blue Jays, losing 5-1. Toronto had David Price starting for them. The Orioles starter was Mike Wright, whose last start at the MLB level came against this very team in this very stadium, the outcome of that prior start was Wright repeatedly punching the padded seat in the dugout in frustration.
There was no dugout punching today, and while Wright was marginally better, it was only marginally, and he was so bad the last time that it's really not worth much. Over only four innings of work, Wright gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk, including a first inning blast by Jose Bautista, who predictably preened and strutted like a peacock in admiration.
Wright's outing was the kind of thing to help illustrate why there are those who feel he's the next Tommy Hunter, destined for a bullpen role. He had a nice fastball, yet had trouble with just about any of his off-speed pitches. The Bautista home run in particular came on a hanging breaking ball after Bautista had been late on a 97mph fastball. IT was the dreaded speeding up of the bat, and the result was a home run.
The one run looked like it would be enough for Price for most of the day. He only allowed three hits in seven innings of work, striking out eight. That's pretty dominant stuff, although he also issued four walks - two of which came in his final inning of work and helped lead to the lone Orioles run of the game. After Price walked Chris Davis and Jonathan Schoop, Caleb Joseph drove in the lone Orioles run on a single.
For a brief moment the Orioles seemed to be threatening, but after Joseph was the very, very bottom of the lineup, and both Junior Lake and Paul Janish struck out. There were two innings left but that was effectively that for the Orioles. Aaron Sanchez and Brett Cecil each added a scoreless inning to close the door.
By the time they reached that small rally in the seventh inning, they faced a five run deficit. On top of the three runs given up by Wright, Jason Garcia gave up two runs on three hits in one inning of work. Well, at least he didn't walk anybody, I guess? Meh.
The Orioles failed in a bid to win three straight games for the first time in over two weeks. With a win, they would have caused the Blue Jays to be dealt consecutive losses for the first time in nearly as long. They last lost even two in a row on August 14 and 15. The Jays are a nutty 24-7 since the beginning of August. The Orioles, in the same span, are 13-20. Ouch.
They still have a chance to salvage a series win at 1:07 on Sunday afternoon. Chris Tillman is scheduled to start for the Orioles. The Jays are expected to send out Marco Estrada, although they keep changing their minds. The Orioles now have to finish 17-10 just to end the season with an above .500 record.