The Orioles played an uninspired game tonight, failing to plate even a single run in support of starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo. Their depleted lineup couldn’t take advantage of Michael Pineda, yet another 5+ ERA pitcher. The end result was a 5-0 loss, a four-game losing streak, and a 2-4 road trip with one game to go.
The Oriole Infirmary
The Orioles were at a huge disadvantage going into this game as they were operating without a number of their regular players and down to basically a one-man bench. Chris Davis, Manny Machado, and Buck Showalter all have the flu, although Davis at least was well enough to be at the park in case of emergency.
On top of that they just had to put Hyun-Soo Kim on the disabled list and Matt Wieters is day-to-day after being hit in the foot with a pitch on Monday.
Because of these issues the Orioles were forced to put Ryan Flaherty, Joey Rickard, Caleb Joseph, and Nolan Reimold all in the lineup at the same time. That’s rough, man.
Davis may be ready to play tomorrow and possibly Wieters, but I wouldn’t expect to see Machado for a few days. If Davis and Wieters aren’t ready, the O’s will continue to play basically with only Julio Borbon as a sub off the bench.
To make matters worse, Adam Jones came out of the game in the eighth inning. After the game acting manager John Russell told Gary Thorne that Jones was having a back spasm which is why he was removed. Pray that he is OK to play tomorrow because otherwise I don’t even know, man.
The Orioles and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day with RISP
Michael Pineda started this game for the Yankees with a 5.56 ERA, but anyone who has seen him pitch knows that he can have very good stuff. He did have good stuff at times, but he also made a few messes for himself that the Orioles couldn’t capitalize on.
In his six innings pitched, Pineda allowed baserunners in four of them. The O’s two biggest chances to score came in the second and fourth innings. In the second inning J.J. Hardy singled and Nolan Reimold walked with two outs, but Flaherty couldn’t knock them in.
In the fourth they had an even better shot. Pineda started the inning by giving up a single to Adam Jones and a walk to Mark Trumbo. After Pedro Alvarez struck out, Hardy singled to the right side, but the outfielder was playing so shallow that Jones couldn’t score. Bases loaded with just one out! Instead of capitalizing, Reimold and Flaherty struck out to end the inning.
Overall Pineda had eight strike outs in his six innings. If this were written from a Yankees fan’s point of view it might say how Pineda dialed it up and was clutch to get out of trouble, but from here it looked like the Orioles just couldn’t take advantage of a struggling pitcher. That especially goes for Reimold, who just couldn’t stop swinging at pitches in the dirt.
Reimold and Flaherty, two guys who wouldn’t be in the lineup under normal circumstances, were the biggest goats with RISP. Reimold left four runners on base; Flaherty left five. As a team the Orioles were 1-for-9 with RISP and the one was Hardy’s hit that did not result in a run.
A very un-Gallardo day
For much of this game it looked like Gallardo would be the hard-luck loser. And he would have been either way since the Orioles didn’t score any runs, but he ended up giving up enough runs that you can’t feel too bad for him.
After a poorly played ball from Joey Rickard led to a leadoff triple in the first, Gallardo gave up the first run of the day in the first inning on a sacrifice fly. He fell apart a bit after that, walking two batters, but starting in the second inning he looked great.
From the second inning through the end of the fifth, Gallardo allowed just one baserunner. Unfortunately that was Mark Teixeira, who hit a solo home run to make the score 2-0.
Gallarod entered the sixth inning with a low pitch count and looking to be in control despite the fact that his team was losing. But before you could even get back from your middle inning trip to the kitchen for a snack, he had loaded the bases with no outs. Two singles (one a bunt from old man Carlos Beltran) and a walk ahead of Teixeira.
The good news is that he didn’t give up a grand slam to Teixeira. The bad news is that he walked him with the bases loaded to make the game 3-0. It all happened so quickly that there was no time for anyone to be warmed up in the bullpen, but after that walk Gallardo didn’t need the help. He struck out Didi Gregorius and got Starlin Castro to ground into a double play to end the inning.
It was pretty impressive. I know it was a mess of his own making, but still.
I was ready to call Gallardo’s six-inning, three-run effort a success. It’s all relative, right? But acting manager John Russell sent him back out for the seventh, where Joey Rickard misplayed another ball into a triple. That resulted in another sac fly, which made Gallardo’s night look a lot worse. Ultimately it doesn’t matter when the offense scores no runs, but still discouraging.
Tomorrow the Orioles will attempt to avoid the sweep in a day game before heading home to Baltimore. Chris Tillman is scheduled to start for the Orioles, and I can only imagine that they have him wearing a protective face mask and covered head to toe in Purell to make sure he doesn’t get sick as well.