The Orioles have lost a lot of games this year and they are going to lose a lot more games before they are a good baseball team again. Some games it seems like the O’s are determined to explore every possible different way that a team might lose a game. Then there are the depressing, familiar losses like Tuesday night’s 9-4 setback at the hands of the Yankees, where all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.
There are a lot of stories that explain why the 2019 Orioles are what they are, but in the end, none of them are bigger than this: They give up a hell of a lot of home runs. They give up so many home runs that it seems like the Orioles set a new record daily about giving up home runs, on their way speedily towards setting the season record for most home runs given up by a team.
During Monday’s game, The Baltimore Sun’s Nathan Ruiz noted that the Orioles hold records for, among other things, most consecutive games allowing multiple home runs, and most games allowing three or more, four or more, or five or more home runs. On Tuesday, they gave up six home runs, extending the consecutive multi-homer game record (it’s now 11) and the 3+, 4+, and 5+ home run game records.
On the MASN broadcast after the fifth of the homers, they noted the Orioles have been outhomered by the Yankees 46-16 on the season, with 37 of those home runs being hit at Camden Yards. Immediately after the recital of that stat, Cameron Maybin hit the Yankees sixth home run of the night, so update those totals 47-16 and 38 home runs allowed at home to the Yankees by the O’s pitchers. That 38 homers allowed to a single road opponent is also a record. There is still another game to play tomorrow night.
It is the 20th time the O’s have given up 4+ homers. They have lost all 20 of those games. This makes 229 home runs allowed on the year, now just 30 homers shy of breaking the record of 258 allowed by the 2016 Reds. Even having watched all of it, this remains unbelievable.
Tuesday night’s story of how the O’s gave up so many home runs had a lot to do with Asher Wojciechowski turning into a pumpkin after a decent six start run before having to face the Yankees. They bombed him out of the game after just four innings, mostly because in the third inning he gave up three home runs in the span of four batters.
The first of these homers was Mike Tauchman, who is absolutely the most likely 2019 MLB player to actually be some mid-40s schlub who has made a dark bargain with the devil to be a big league player, in the vein of the musical Damn Yankees. Of course, in that show, the devil’s bargain is so Joe can help his team beat the Yankees; the Yankees benefiting from this is not nearly so fun.
Seriously, Tauchman is now batting .299/.371/.563 on the season. The homer he hit off of Wojciechowski was his 10th on the season in his 60th game. Not long after hitting his homer, Tauchman also casually robbed Pedro Severino of a two-run home run.
What can you even do about something like that? Not give up a billion (approximate) home runs to everybody else. That would probably help. Also, it would probably help to not have this happen to the team’s outfielders:
DJ Stewart mistimes his dive, takes a fly ball off of his noggin pic.twitter.com/8xDSjmRcUI— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) August 7, 2019
It is inherently absurd and comical to have an outfielder, in this case DJ Stewart, who as chance would have it was just called back up to MLB today, dive for a ball and have it hit him in the side of the head while he slides, full extension, along the ground. For one of the worst teams in baseball, this is the kind of play that could symbolize the whole hopeless season, especially considering that the Orioles are the worst team in MLB by the Defensive Runs Saved metric.
The moment wasn’t funny for long as Stewart ended up coming out of the game following that half-inning, and as he remained in left field he looked like a person who, to this untrained eye, might have been concussed. Hopefully he only came out as a precaution.
Some other things that the Orioles might try to do: Don’t have pitchers who give up three hits to Austin Romine. Don’t have David Hess giving up two ninth inning home runs, which happened to be the 11th and 12th home runs he’s allowed to the Yankees this year. Hess has surrendered 27 home runs in 74 innings this year. Good grief. You know? Just, good grief.
In the middle of this storm of home runs allowed, the Orioles hitters did their best for a second straight night and it just wasn’t enough. If you really want to complain about them, sure, it’s not great that they could only muster four runs in a game where seven of the nine innings were pitched by Jonathan Holder (6.31 ERA), Stephen Tarpley (8.31 ERA), and Nestor Cortes Jr. (4.37 ERA). But most of the time four runs will win an MLB team a game. Just not with the 2019 Orioles pitching staff.
The Orioles had as many hits in the game as the Yankees did, 11 apiece. The difference in the game was that only one of the Yankees 11 hits did not go for extra bases, while all but three of the Orioles 11 hits were singles. There aren’t going to be any breaking news bulletins announcing that the Yankees are better than the Orioles. Everyone already knew long before tonight.
The O’s will try to salvage a game of this series as it concludes on Wednesday night. John Means is coming off of the injured list to make the start for the Orioles, with James Paxton set to get the ball for the Yankees in the 7:05 game.