The Baltimore Orioles struggled in each facet of the game on Monday, as the team once again got a quality start from the starter, only to lose.
Game 69 – Baltimore Orioles (35-34) 4 Tampa Bay Rays (28-43) 5 F
W: Jake McGee (3-0, 1.44)
L: Darren O’Day (2-1, 1.52)
S: Juan Carlos Oviedo (1, 2.31)
MVP: Jerry Sands 1/1, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, Pinch-hit home run provides winning runs
The GOOD: The list of quality starts continues, as Wei-Yin Chen goes 6 2/3 to run the streak to eight. The Orioles starting pitching staff has been quite good lately, and that streak continued.
Nick Markakis passed Ken Singleton on the Orioles all-time hit list. Markakis nearly hit a home run in the sixth, and also had a single in the game. Markakis continues to be a solid, consistent hitter for the Orioles.
Delmon Young came off the bench, hit a pinch-hit home run and gave the O’s a chance.
The BAD: A lot. I am an optimistic person, but this team may be nothing more than mediocre. They come back and tie the game, and then promptly give it right back. They had more errors on the night, fewer hits, and their pitchers left up three home runs.
Buck Showalter got out-managed by Joe Maddon, and it cost the O’s the game. Brian Matusz is struggling lately, but he gets brought in to play the matchups, and gets rocked by Jerry Sands…who? O’Day doesn’t deserve the loss in this game, Matusz does.
The Orioles continue to leave way too many runners on base, a total of 7 in this game and going 2-9 with runners in scoring position.
But the big BAD of the day is losing Matt Wieters for the next nine months as he has Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. Wieters was having his best offensive year of his career, albeit in a small portion of the season. But he was coming through in the clutch. His defense was not what O’s fans expect, but now we all know why.
Caleb Joseph has been better than Matt this year behind the plate, but he can’t perform the same way beside it. At this point I think he is the starting catcher, so the O’s need him to start hitting like he did in the minors. Because right now when you have Joseph and Schoop or Flaherty at the bottom of the order, there isn’t a lot of confidence in those hitters to deliver.
What’s NEXT: The Orioles will play game two from Tropicana Field on Tuesday, with Miguel Gonzalez (3-4, 4.17) coming off the DL to face Erik Bedard (3-4, 3.83). Gonzalez was pitching much better before getting hurt, while Bedard started his season on fire, but is now struggling. The O’s need to pick up a series win against last place Tampa, so hopefully the bats can break out tomorrow against the former O’s pitcher.