The Orioles failed on all levels today as they did not capture the sweep they were looking for. Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman had another very bad day and the bats were shut down by Eduardo Rodriguez who allowed only one hit (though five walks) in his day.
Oh and remember that brouhaha regarding Manny Machado sliding into second base? So did the Red Sox, apparently. More on that below after we slog through the details of this 6-2 loss.
One-hit by Rodriguez
The Orioles bats haven’t exactly been on fire of late and they completely went to sleep today against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. Despite Rodriguez having trouble finding the plate at times, the O’s managed just one hit off of him in six innings pitched.
Rodriguez retired the first nine batters he faced before issuing his first walk of the day to Craig Gentry leading off the second. That erased the perfect game, and a single by Chris Davis in the fifth inning. Jonathan Schoop also walked in the inning but J.J. Hardy could not get the runners in.
The O’s biggest chance to score came in the sixth inning when Rodriguez walked the bases loaded. Trey Mancini came to the plate as the guy you’d want to see in this situation. He already has five home runs on the year and is known for crushing lefties. But he had looked over-matched twice against Rodriguez with two strikeouts. This time he made solid contact but the ball went right to third baseman Pablo Sandoval for the final out of the inning.
Gausman’s struggles continue
Kevin Gausman made his fifth start of the season today and it was yet another disappointment. I certainly don’t know what’s wrong with him but something needs to be figured out. If he’s hurting, put him on the disabled list. If he’s not hurting, he needs to make some big changes. He doesn’t even look like the same pitcher we saw in 2016.
The first two batters of the game reached against Gausman, though neither hit was very impressive. One was a shallow fly ball that fell in right field and the other a ground ball that sneaked through the right side of the infield. The next two batters, however....
Mookie Betts had been shut down by the O’s pitchers this series but he got his revenge in his first at-bat against Gausman today. His three-run homer to left field wasn’t an awe inspiring moon shot, but it cleared the fence and gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. If you want awe inspiring, that came in the next at bat from Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez murdered a ball that landed in the back of the lower section in left field.
Gausman retired the first two batters in the second inning but then loaded the bases for Ramirez, who gave another ball a ride that made me fear that the score would be 8-0 after just two innings. But luckily he hit it to center field where there is a little more room and Adam Jones made the catch on the warning track.
It looked like Gausman was settling down some after that, but he never started to look good. In the fifth inning he gave up his third home run of the game, this one from Mitch Moreland. After a walk to start the sixth inning and a bullet that resulted in a force out, Gausman’s day was done. His final pitching line was 5.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 3 HR. His season ERA now sits at 7.50.
The bullpens took over for the starters for the final three-plus innings and the Orioles were finally able to break through for a few runs and even force the Red Sox closer into the game But it was too little, too late.
Sometimes Baseball is Dumb
One of the dumber things about baseball is physical retaliation against real or imagined transgressions from the other team. We got to witness that first hand this weekend.
If you missed the first two games of this series, Manny Machado slid into second base to break up a double play on Friday and his top leg collided with Dustin Pedroia. Machado immediately popped up and tried to help Pedroia, who ended up coming out of the game. The Red Sox coaching staff seemed pretty angry as Boston fans and media alike on social media called for Machado to be thrown at. Pedroia, for his part, never blamed Manny (publicly at least).
Saturday’s game passed without incident as did most of today’s. In the sixth inning Eduardo Rodriguez threw three inside balls at Manny’s knees that did not hit him, then in the eighth inning everything erupted.
With a 6-0 lead, relief pitcher Matt Barnes decided to not only throw at Machado, but to throw at his head. The ball flew just behind Machado’s head head and hit his bat, though it looked at first as though he’d been hit. His head! Even if you subscribe to this barbaric tradition of throwing at batters, you don’t headhunt! It’s like, rule number one. To paraphrase the legendary Luke Scott, “Not at his effing head, bro!”
Manny, unlike me, reacted maturely and simply went to first base as the umpire threw Barnes out of the game and both managers rushed out to the field.
As John Farrell yelled at the umpire about god knows what, Showalter stood in front of Machado at first base, though it was obvious Manny had no intentions of going after anyone. Ultimately they ruled that it was a foul ball and after all of that, Manny had to go back and finish his at bat.
While new pitcher Joe Kelly was warming up, cameras caught Pedroia and Machado having a discussion across the field. Pedroia told Manny that he did not approve of that move. My lip reading skills caught him saying, “It’s not me, it’s them.” Machado seemed to respond that he understood, and things seems to be cool between the two men this entire stupid scene was built around.
Manny got back in the batter’s box to finish his AB and hit a double over the head of Jackie Bradley, Jr. It knocked in the first run of the game as Adam Jones had been on base via a single.
My final conclusion about this entire thing is that boys are dumb.