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Little offense, bad defense make Orioles losers again

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The Orioles really needed to win this game. They have had a miserable homestand so far and today wasn’t any better. A rare good outing by Yovani Gallardo was wasted in the 5-3 loss.

It’s safe to say that today’s game did not go as planned. Thousands of people headed out to the ballpark to get their free t-shirts, hoping to see a win. On recap duty for today, I enjoyed brunch with some friends and then settled in to watch the finale of this four-game series.

Then it rained. And it rained, and it rained, and it rained some more. And then it stopped and the sun came out. Followed by even more rain! I was trapped in the house, held hostage by the idea that the game could start any time.

I watched some episodes of The Office to pass the time, while at the stadium fans were told they could leave and re-enter, which never happens. They were also told they could trade their tickets for another game, which never happens before a game is officially canceled.

Finally, at 5:40, four hours and five minutes after scheduled game time, Yovani Gallardo threw his first pitch. He and Astros starter Dallas Keuchel each pitched a quick first inning, and then it started raining again!

The second rain delay was much shorter, thankfully, and once the game picked up in the second inning it didnt stop again until it was ended in another Orioles loss.

Gallardo’s Unlucky Inning

Yovani Gallardo pitched seven innings with three earned runs (four total) in the game. That’s a really good game for Gallardo, but he wasn’t rewarded for his efforts. He had one inning that served as his undoing, and much of it really wasn’t his fault.

With the score tied 1-1 in the fifth inning, Teoscar Hernandez hit a ground ball to third base that Manny Machado couldn’t make a play on. It was correctly scored as an error. A George Springer single put runners on the corner, then with one out Jose Altuve singled in Hernandez.

Gallardo was giving up hits, but Hernandez shouldn’t have been on base. The very next batter, Carlos Correa, hit a fly ball to right field that looked like it would be an out. Davis had to run for it, but he got there. It bounced out of his glove, allowing two more runs to score.

For reasons that I don’t understand, that ball was scored a double instead of an error. I want to complain about how only a desperate team puts Chris Davis in the outfield right now, but the truth is that this team has been running Mark Trumbo out there all year. And I don’t know if Trumbo even gets close enough to put a glove on that ball.

Gallardo got the next two batters to end the inning, and left with his team down by a score of 4-1. All three runners that crossed the plate shouldn’t have, but that’s baseball. The offense didn’t pick him up the way they should, and the Orioles lost because of it.

Shut Down By Keuchel

Like I said, the offense didn’t do much to pick Gallardo up as they scored just two runs off of Dallas Keuchel in eight innings. Eight innings in which Keuchel threw only 95 pitches, I might add. He probably couldn’t have pitched the complete game, but it was a save situation after all.

With the O’s down 1-0 in the fourth inning, Jonathan Schoop hit a lovely home run to tie the game, his 19th of the year. It landed in the O’s bullpen and couldn’t have been prettier. Unfortunately it was one of the few enjoyable things to happen for the Orioles at the plate.

After the Astros had their three-run fifth inning, the Orioles got one back when Adam Jones singled in Nolan Reimold with two outs. Unfortunately Jones was thrown out trying to get to second base on the throw home. Jones was originally called safe, but on video replay the call was overturned. He definitely came off the base, but in the replay I saw it seemed inconclusive if Correa kep the glove on him. But I did only see one angle.

The Orioles found themselves on the wrong end of a video replay again in the sixth inning, when Buck Showalter challenged the out call against Schoop that ended the inning. It looked to me like maybe the first baseman’s foot lifted off the base, or maybe the ball wasn’t in the back of his glove when Schoop’s foot touched the bag.

It didn’t look like conclusive evidence to me to overturn no matter what the call would have been, though many of my fellow fans on social media and in the gamethread seemed to disagree with me.

That was the last chance the Orioles had against Keuchel, although they did manage a bit of excitement in the ninth inning.

Parker Bridwell Can’t Lose

After Gallardo’s seven-inning outing, Buck Showalter turned to Parker Bridwell to make his major league debut. He struck out the first batter he saw, Evan Gattis, on a nice breaking pitch. Well done, Parker!

Unfortunately with two outs he gave up a solo homer, though it didn’t have an bearing on the outcome of the game. It wasn’t a blast by any means, more of a fly ball that kept drifting.

Bridwell also gave up a single to lead off the ninth, but only faced three batters thanks to a caught stealing. All in all a nice debut for the kid, hopefully he gets to hang around for a little while.

Stat Padding with Mark Trumbo

With one out in the ninth inning and Ken Giles on the mound for the Astros, Mark Trumbo continued his trend of murdering baseballs. This one went to straight away center field and cut the lead to just two. But it was too little, too late. He was the only batter to reach base in the inning.

The Orioles are now 1-5 on their homestand, which is unacceptable. They lost a valuable chance to gain ground in the standings, but at this point that seems a secondary concern to the fact that they need to stop losing all the damn time.