When the Orioles set out officially on their rebuild, it was almost guaranteed that they’d play in their fair share of games like tonight, which was decided almost as soon as it began. They will probably play in more than their fair share, honestly.
The Rays manhandled the Orioles in the way you’d expect a first place team to manhandle the team expected to be the worst in baseball. They beat the Orioles 8-1 tonight without even breaking a sweat. (They do play in a temperature controlled dome after all)
David Hess was the starting pitcher for the Orioles and things were bad. That’s really the story of the game. The offense also had a rough time, but Hess’s night was so bad that it’s hard to focus on anything else.
Not only did Hess give up three home runs in just two innings, allowing six runs overall, but the balls being hit off of him were destroyed. The hits were loud. The outs were loud. The dingers were especially loud. Of the 13 balls put into play against him, nine of them were hit over 100 mph off the bat. It was ugly.
With the starting pitcher out after just two innings (plus two batters in the third), the bullpen jumped to action to pitch the final six innings. That’s a scary proposition for many teams, but for the Orioles’ bullpen it’s especially troublesome. Because they’re not, um, good. But tonight they exceeded my admittedly low expectations!
Josh Lucas pitched two scoreless innings and Tanner Scott and Mike Wright each gave up a run in two innings pitched. Scott walked three guys, which is not surprising if you followed his career through the minors. Mike Wright finally dropped his ERA into single digits, which is a silly thing to point out, but he has to start somewhere!
As for the offense, it was almost nonexistent. The O’s managed just three hits and two walks, with Rio Ruiz being the most successful. His one hit was the home run that kept the Orioles from being shut out, and he also picked up a walk. Funnily enough, all three hits were for extra bases as Jesús Sucre and Dwight Smith, Jr. each doubled.
So that’s another loss in the books. The Orioles are now 7-12, which is not good. But you know what it’s better than? 6-13. That’s the Red Sox record. I’m gonna hold onto that as long as I can (a couple more days, probably).
The Orioles will be back in action tomorrow, looking to avoid being swept. Andrew Cashner is the starting pitcher for the Orioles against the always intimidating TBD for the Rays. Game time is 7:10.