The last time these two teams met, Chris Smith squared off against Wade Miley to start the series. Chris Smith got rocked, with the Orioles hitting a bunch of home runs and Wade Miley navigated his way to a win somehow, allowing very few runs. Tonight, as they say, “was déjà vu all over again.”
Both Miley and Smith threw 1-2-3 first innings, reminiscent of yesterday afternoon’s affair. It’s not a good state of affairs when a clean first inning from your team’s starter feels like a bad omen—but it didn’t turn out to be, and that’s a good thing I guess.
Wade came out throwing “not strikes” a lot in the second inning, because, well, that’s what he tends to do. Ryon Healy hit a one-out single that if we’re being fair, should have probably been played cleanly for an out by Tim Beckham. Miley responded by walking Chad Pinder, and there were two on with one down.
Matt Chapman came to the plate next and slapped a double down the right field line. Ryon Healy score easily on the play, but a Seth Smith- Jonathan Schoop relay to a waiting Wellington Castillo easily cut Chad Pinder down at the plate. That’s all the damage the Athletics would muster in the second, but they still got away with an early lead—1-0.
The Orioles begun their half of the second inning in similar fashion, with AJ singling, and Trey Mancini working a walk. Chris Davis whacked a ball to the opposite field, and Rajai Davis ran into the wall, losing the ball in the process. The play was ruled a single, and all runners were safe—a bird for each bag.
Trumbo came up next and mustered a sac fly and an RBI before Wellington Castillo GiDP, killing the potential for the O’s to score more than one in the inning. It was a potential rally, but there would be plenty more runs before the night was over. For the moment, the score was knotted 1-1.
Wade Miley hit his stride, retiring seven straight batters in the second through fourth innings. Meanwhile, the O’s offense fell asleep in the third, but the Good Doctor of Birdland, Adam Jones, checked in with a home run to lead off the Orioles fourth. 2-1, Orioles.
Miley somehow worked around two singles and a walk in the fifth, as the tightrope act continued. The Orioles, for their part, continued to pile on base runners, only scoring them scantly until they unleased Jonathan Schoop in the fifth.
Seth Smith led off the inning with a walk, and the fact that he is seemingly constantly doing such things is one of the reasons I really like him. Dude is walking at a 9.8% clip. That is so un-Oriole-like that it feels like we shouldn’t be allowed to have him.
Anyhow, after a Tim Beckham foul pop out, Manny Machado reached on a complete boot-job by Athletics third baseman, Matt Chapman. You know what Jonathan Schoop likes to do after Manny Machado reaches base? Hit the ball with authority. You know what Jonathan Schoop did this time at bat?
Jonathan Schoop (29) off RHP Chris Smith (15) - 111.2 mph, 16 degrees (404 ft Home Run)— MLBBarrelAlert (@MLBBarrelAlert) August 22, 2017
77.2 mph Knuckle Curve#Athletics @ #Orioles (B5) pic.twitter.com/UWcTXpdTB5
With a launch angle of only 16 degrees, Schoop’s 111mph blast was an absolute laser shot to left-center field, only reaching a peak height of 44 feet. For a point of reference, that height is less than half the distance between any two bases. “Frozen rope” is another cliché that comes to mind here.
The A’s immediately lifted Chris Smith in favor of Ryan Dull, and it didn’t help their cause one bit. Adam “Doctor Dong” Jones greeted Dull with his second home run of the night, and just like that the score was 6-1 in favor of the Orioles.
Chris Smith ended the evening with an ugly final line of 4.1IP, 6H 5R (4ER), 2BB, 3SO.
The Orioles wouldn’t score any more in the inning despite a few more base runners, but the damage was done, and they didn’t relinquish the lead once they took it. The A’s added a run in the sixth on an FUHR by Jed Lowrie, making the score 6-2 in favor of the Orioles. Good for him.
Wade Miley continued pitching roughly “meh” with decent results into the seventh inning, when he walked Chad Pinder to lead off the inning. Buck decided that one base runner was ample challenge for Darren O’Day. He pulled Miley, who got a nice little hand from the home crowd as he exited.
Darren O’Day did good things, inducing a fly-out from Matt Chapman to new defensive replacement, Craig Gentry. He then erased Miley’s base runner by getting Bruce Maxwell to GiDP. That sealed Wade Miley’s final line at an acceptable 6.0IP, 5H, 2ER, 4BB, 6SO
The A’s drew the score back out of “blowout” territory in the eighth, when Brad Brach continued to struggle, and Boog Powell hit his first Major League home run onto the flag court at OPACY. Something about it was sort of fun due to his namesake, but it was mostly just annoying because it was Oakland’s second FUHR—this one by a rookie.
Matt Olson came up to bat after a Rajai Davis strikeout, and hit what should have been a single to Craig Gentry. Olson got caught trying to stretch it to a double, and even though all MASN replays showed that he was clearly out, Bob Melvin decided to challenge—and lost. Brach escaped without any further damage when Jed Lowrie flied out to Adam Jones.
The Orioles scored their final run of the night in the form of an insurance run in the eighth, when Wellington Castillo stroked a solo dong of his own. The blow put the game out of “save” territory, so the newly recalled Alec Asher was trotted out in the ninth, rather than Zach Britton—at least at first.
Asher pitched somewhere in the territory of “so what?,” but Khris Davis reached on an error by Jonathan Schoop, and Matt Chapman worked a walk. With two runners on, and two runners out, Zach Britton was called upon to induce a ground out by Bruce Maxwell to end the game.
The save was Britton’s 11th of the season, and extended the American League record to 60 straight save opportunities converted.
The O’s never let the A’s all the way back into the game tonight, holding on for a much-needed win. The Birds are back in action tomorrow night at 7:05pm ET with Ubaldo Jimenez going against Paul Blackburn.
Who was The Most Birdland Player for August 21, 2017?
This poll is closed
Wade "Starting Pitcher Bias" Miley
Adam "Double Dong" Jones
Jonathan "Laser Dong" Schoop