Reports of the Orioles’ demise were greatly exaggerated! Or at least their dreadful month of May was an extreme outcome for a flawed team that also has a few really fun things to keep an eye on. What I’m saying is that tonight’s 10-3 win over the Mets was a good time!
But Pete Alonso almost ruined it. Just four batters into the game, Alonso launched his eighth home run of the season into the left field bleachers to drive in Francisco Lindor, who had walked, and give the Mets an early 2-0 lead.
It wasn’t a terribly surprising event, though. Orioles starter Bruce Zimmermann had entered the game with 11 home runs allowed in 49 innings. He had allowed at least one long ball in all but one of his 12 outings prior to Tuesday night. It’s not really a matter of if he serves up a home run, but when. Then it becomes a question of whether he can settle down from there and keep his team within reach.
That is exactly what he did.
After the shaky first frame, Zimmermann got himself together and threw four hitless innings, allowed just one baserunner on a walk and struck out seven on the night. His season ERA sits at 4.83, and it feels fair to say that he is the most consistent, healthy starting pitching option on the Orioles’ roster...for now.
Fortunately, Zimmermann was also overwhelmingly supported by the Orioles offense. They knocked around Mets’ starter David Peterson and had him run from the game before the end of the third inning.
It started in the second inning. Pedro Severino led off with a single, moved to third on a Maikel Franco double, and then came around to score, along with Franco, after Pat Valaika laced a line drive double into left field. Not to be outdone, Cedric Mullins followed up two batters later with a double into the right-center gap to drive in Valaika and put the O’s up 3-2, a lead they would only build upon.
They don't call him Patrick the Batrick for nothing. pic.twitter.com/rfojJNWmR3— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 9, 2021
More run manufacturing came in the O’s half of the third inning. Freddy Galvis smacked a one-out double. Severino followed with a single, and then another Valaika two-bagger drove in Galvis to make it 4-2.
Later, rinse, repeat in the fourth inning. Mullins opened things up with a double, and Trey Mancini came in clutch with a base hit to right to score; 5-2 good guys.
Mullins-Mancini is a fun 1-2.— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 9, 2021
️ https://t.co/Uogu5dME6O pic.twitter.com/XmCecXaxmz
The biggest blow, however, came in the form of a Maikel Franco three-run shot in the bottom of the fifth inning. Following a Galvis single and Severino walk to begin the frame, Franco stepped up, and after watching one sinker go past for a strike, Franco crushed the Earl Weaver special into the second deck in left field. According to Roch Kubatko, it was only the sixth time in history that has happened at Camden Yards. That bomb cracked the scoreline open to 8-2.
MAIKY MOONSHOT TO THE SECOND DECK! pic.twitter.com/RfDBHoluba— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 9, 2021
It was clear sailing from there. Ryan Mouncastle added an RBI in the sixth inning with a single to drive in Anthony Santander, who had doubled moments earlier. And then it was Santander himself that went deep in the eighth inning for a solo shot.
Boil 'em, mash 'em pic.twitter.com/C3qSOmpxzj— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 9, 2021
The only hiccup that came to the Orioles was in the Mets’ half of the ninth inning. Travis Lakins headed to the mound to close up shop. But before he could do that, Alonso hit his second home run of the night and ninth of the season, a one-run bomb. Lakins then struck out Dominic Smith to wrap up the win in short order.
Obivously, Zimmermann is worthy of props for getting the win following five solid innings. But Hunter Harvey and Tyler Wells also deserve some credit for combining to toss three scoreless frames out of the ‘pen, although their one total strikeout in that time frame is a tad concerning.
If you have listened to the TV broadcasts recently, you will notice that O’s announcer Jim Palmer has gotten increasingly excited about the potential of Wells. He has shown better velocity and far better command more recently His future could still be that of a run-of-the-mill long-man out of the bullpen, but there is value there, and it has gotten a lot more fun to watch recently.
These two teams aren’t done just yet. They will meet again on Wenesday for the conclusion of their season series. Matt Harvey (3-6, 6.62 ERA) will look to bounce back against his former team. He will need to battle out Taijuan Walker (4-2, 2.17 ERA) to make that happen. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. from Camden Yards.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for Tuesday, June 8, 2021?
This poll is closed
Bruce Zimmermann (W, 5 IP, 2 R, 2H, 2 BB, 7 SO)
Tyler Wells (2 scoreless innings)
Maikel Franco (2-for-4, mammoth homer)
Pat Valaika (2-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI)