The Orioles played a sloppy, disappointing game tonight. Starting pitcher Tyler Wells completely fell apart. The batters failed to do anything against a pitcher who came into the game with a 6.89 ERA. The defense was sloppy. The one bright spot was, of all people, Cole Irvin. In the end, it marked the team’s second loss in a row.
Wells was pitching tonight on extra rest, having last started on July 8th. He’s been good in his most recent starts though his peripheral stats seem to show that he’s been getting better results than he should be. Was tonight some regression to the mean?
He had a good first inning, striking out two. But that’s the only nice thing you can really say about him. In the second, he put two runners on ahead of Jason Heyward, who hit a three-run shot for his ninth home run of the year. Giving up home runs has kind of been Wells’s thing this year, but he has been good at limiting the baserunners ahead of them. This was the first three-run homer he surrendered this season.
If that had been all it was, it wouldn’t have been so painful. But, of course, it wasn’t. Three singles later and the score was 5-0. Wells also threw a wild pitch in the inning for good measure. He threw a total of 59 pitches and did not return after that second inning.
I had mild hopes the Orioles could come back, given that the Dodgers’ starting pitcher, Michael Grove, started the game with a 7.89 ERA. But my hopes were unfounded. The batters were just terrible. They scored their only run in the second inning when Ryan O’Hearn worked an impressive 13-pitch walk and Aaron Hicks doubled him home with one out.
Hicks moved to third on an error in the outfield and it looked like they might have a rally brewing. They did not. Colton Cowser and Adam Frazier could not get on base or bring Hicks in.
After that, Grove had their number. He didn’t get a lot of 1-2-3 innings, but they did not get another runner to second base until the sixth when Adley Rutschman led off with a double. Anthony Santander worked a walk and finally, something was happening!
Dave Roberts pulled Grove from the game for Yency Almonte, who quickly retired three batters. So much for something happening.
After their five-run second inning, the Dodgers didn’t score again until the seventh. The reason for that was relief pitcher Cole Irvin, though he did not get any help from his defense.
Irvin was far from perfect, but he kept the Dodgers off the board. In the fifth inning, Gunnar Henderson made a low throw to first on a ground ball from Miguel Rojas. O’Hearn should have had it, but he did not. Error number one for the Orioles. Rojas made it to third in the inning but did not score.
In the fifth, Irvin pulled off a true Houdini act. He hit Freddie Freeman and gave up a single to Will Smith. Max Muncy hit a double play ball to Adam Frazier at second, but Frazier botched the play (error #2). Instead of two outs and a runner at third, Irvin and the Orioles had bases loaded, none out.
Irvin struck out J.D. Martinez and got a force out at home for the second out. That brought Chris Taylor to the plate, who had just hit a grand slam last night. Tonight though, Irvin got a huge swinging strikeout to end the inning.
After four innings pitched, Irvin lost it. He walked the first two in the seventh and was pulled for Cionel Pérez. It was Pérez’s first game back from the IL and it did not go well. On his very first pitch, the Dodgers pulled off a double steal and Rutschman threw the ball into the outfield (error #3), allowing a run to score. Not only was it a bad throw, but third baseman Jordan Westburg also slipped and fell down to make thing worse.
Pérez walked the next two batters and got a ground out at home, but then O’Hearn made a poor decision to throw home on another ground out, which allowed another run to score. Another single and another bases-loaded walk and the score was 9-1. It was pretty gross. Sorry, Cionel.
The Dodgers scored an unearned run in the eighth thanks in part to an error (#4) from Henderson. The Orioles scored a couple of FU runs in the bottom of the eighth which served no purpose other than keeping the score close enough that they couldn’t use a position player to pitch the ninth.
Mike Baumann followed Pérez with two innings in garbage time and he was decent with two hits, the previously mentioned unearned run, and four strikeouts.
Orioles lose, 10-3. They must win tomorrow to continue their streak of not being swept this season and since Adley Rutschman joined the team. Game time is 1:05 with Dean Kremer on the mound against Julio Urías,