The Orioles played a game and won on a sad night for Birdland, scoring just one run in the first inning and making it hold up. Despite not having his most dominant strikeout stuff, Kyle Bradish pitched eight strong innings and Yennier Cano struck out the side in the ninth to nail down the win. The Orioles magic number is now just two.
Gunnar Henderson batted leadoff for the Orioles tonight, and in his first at-bat of the game he gave the Orioles the lead. His seven-pitch AB against Josiah Gray ended with Henderson taking a cutter low in the strike zone out of the fence in right field. It wasn’t Henderson’s most prodigious shot of the year, though it did go 400 feet. At the time it felt like it would be just the beginning for the Orioles. It was actually the end, offensively.
It’s not that they didn’t have their chances against Gray, though Gray was much improved from his typical outings this year. Gray has good stuff but he has struggled with control, walking a whopping 4.6 batters per nine innings. Tonight, though, he walked just two.
The Orioles put two runners on in the second inning, one in the third, two in the fifth, and one in the sixth. But they just couldn’t push any more runs across. Gray exited after six innings but the Orioles couldn’t solve the Nationals bullpen either. Ultimately they managed just six hits. They went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left five batters on base.
You’re not going to win many games when you score just one run. Enter Kyle Bradish.
Bradish needed just just nine pitches for a 1-2-3 first inning. And while every inning wasn’t quite as easy, they all had the same result: zeroes. He put on the first two runners in the second but got out of it even with a double play overturned on challenge.
He allowed two more baserunners in the fourth inning, but responded by striking out two batters to end the inning. Those two represented half of his strikeout total as Bradish relied heavily on his defense in the game. He was a groundout machine, inducing 14 of them in his eight innings.
After the fourth inning, Bradish allowed just one more baserunner, a walk to Keibert Ruiz in the sixth inning. Ruiz was erased on a double play ball. He got stronger as he went on. After seven innings, Bradish sat at 90 pitches and with such a slim lead, it seemed an easy call to send him back out for the eighth. He came through in that inning as well, getting the batters 1-2-3 on 14 pitches.
The Orioles offense looked like it might tack on some insurance runs when Henderson singled and Adley Rutschman walked to start the bottom of the eighth inning. But Anthony Santander grounded into a double play to all but end the rally.
Henderson, who moved to third base on the double play, tried to insert some excitement into the game when he attempted a straight steal of home. The tag just barely beat him to end the inning. The Orioles challenged but the call was upheld.
When asked about it postgame, Henderson said that the third baseman wasn’t paying any attention to him and when the pitcher came set he seemed to be looking off into space so he thought he had a chance.
After that, it was all down to Yennier Cano and he was flawless. He faced three batters and he struck out all three swinging. It was never a competition.
Orioles win, 1-0! Their magic number is now two. Their sweepless streak is now at 90 series.
Who is the Most Birdland Player for Tuesday, September 26th?
This poll is closed
Kyle Bradish (8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K)
Gunnar Henderson (team-leading 28th HR, 2-for-4)