Tonight the Orioles faced Kyle Gibson, a pitcher who came into the game with an 8.20 ERA. After five innings he departed the game having given up six runs and with an ERA of 8.62. AND HE GOT THE WIN.
How did he get the win, you ask? How on earth was it possible? Well, I have a two-part answer for you. Part one is this: Ubaldo Jimenez. Part two? Tyler Wilson. The two combined to give up 12 runs in just 5 1⁄3 innings.
When people say that a game was a dumpster fire, it’s this kind of game to which they are referring. The Orioles had a 5-0 lead at one point and were leading 6-2 when the horribleness began. The Twins scored 12 unanswered runs. A dozen!
If we’re grading on a curve, Jimenez’s first three innings actually didn’t look too bad. He didn’t look great, not even close, but on the Ubaldo scale he was all right. He gave up a run in the third inning, but since the base runner who scored reached on a ball that was erroneously called fair (and then erroneously held up via replay), I was willing to cut him some slack.
But as is often the case with Jimenez, when things fell apart they really fell apart. He struggled through the fourth inning, giving up a home run to Max Kepler and then allowing two more base runners before finally getting out of it. And in the fifth inning he just completely imploded.
First Ubaldo gave up three straight singles to load the bases, followed by a double, which finally led to Buck Showalter pulling him from the game. The Orioles were still ahead at that point, but relief pitcher Tyler Wilson ruined that in short order. Wilson allowed two inherited runners to score but finally got out of the inning when Welington Castillo picked off Byron Buxton. Thanks, Beef!
So after five innings the game was tied 6-6 which is far from ideal but still a game that can be salvaged. Again, Wilson ruined that. The top of the sixth inning was the stuff nightmares are made of. Let me just make a list of what the Twins did to start the inning against Wilson:
- Byron Buxton singles
- Brian Dozier lines out
- Buxton steals second base
- Robbie Grossman walks
- Joe Mauer doubles. Buxton scores, Grossman to third
- Miguel Sano singles. Grossman scores, Mauer to second
- Max Kepler reaches on an error by Jonathan Schoop. Mauer scores
- Eduardo Escobar doubles. Sano Scores. Kepler scores.
Just like that the game was basically over for the Orioles. But shockingly it got worse! Wilson was relieved by Stefan Crichton. Crichton immediately gave up a double and then, with two outs he balked in a run. He dropped the baseball. He literally dropped the ball.
Crichton spent the next few innings being the only non-crappy Oriole to pitch in the game as he logged 3 1⁄3 innings and was one out from finishing the game when he gave up a two-run homer to Miguel Sano to make the score 14-6. That meant that Richard Bleier had to come in to get the last out of the 9th. He was able to do so despite Schoop prolonging the inning by misplaying a ball that was scored an infield single.
So, all of that happened. Jimenez was terrible, but he will probably still make his next start because who is going to replace him (and will Buck actually do it)? Wilson was even worse and he is likely on the next bus back to triple-A Norfolk. It’s just disgusting when your team scores six runs, including the first five of the game, and everyone has to sit back and watch it get blown out of the water by abysmal pitching.
Do you want to hear about the seven runs that the Orioles scored? I guess we could talk about that too. Five of them came in the second inning. That was a very nice inning. I liked it. It started with Welington Castillo at first base thanks to a fielder’s choice. Mancini doubled to the deepest part of center field which gave Castillo time to score.
J.J. Hardy followed with a single that knocked in Mancini, then with Hardy and Seth Smith on base, Adam Jones hit his eighth home run of the year. The Earl Weaver Special gave the team a 5-0 lead and was a very special home run. It was Adam’s 125th home run at Camden Yards, the most ever hit by a player in the park. Congrats to Adam! I just wish it had come in a better game.
The O’s sixth run came in the fourth inning. Hardy was on base with a gift double that ricocheted off third base and came in to score on a double from Manny Machado. Things really felt nice back then, didn’t they? Like the Orioles were going to win. But they were not going to win.
They added one more run in the ninth when a group of pinch hitters conspired to get Caleb Joseph another RBI, but that was certainly too little, too late. There was no way they were going to overcome such atrocious pitching.