Aug 26, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph (36) applies the tag to complete the double play as Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings (8) is out at home in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Joseph is at Home for the Baltimore Orioles

After a long road trip, the Baltimore Orioles are so glad to be at home that they pulled out a 4-2 victory over the Rays by getting three outs at home!

Did you follow that?

If you were able to watch the whole game on Tuesday night, you were able to see three of the best plays at home plate by a catcher as could be imagined in a single game. Caleb Joseph has had an amazing season defensively for the Orioles since he joined the team upon the season-ending injury to Matt Wieters.

The three plays to Joseph were:

  • In the first inning – a 5-3-2 play from Chris Davis to Steve Pearce on a ground ball while Desmond Jennings attempted to take home on the throw. It was a very close play, but the throw and tag were flawless, as was Joseph’s positioning at the plate.
  • In the second inning – an 8-2 play, as Ryan Hanigan attempted to score from second base on a two-out single by Desmond Jennings. Adam Jones’ low bouncing throw came right to Joseph’s glove on the sliding Hanigan.
  • In the seventh inning – a 5-2 play with a bare-handed grab by Chris Davis of a slow bounder toward third. Joseph short-hopped the catch for a bases-loaded force out.

But not only did Caleb Joseph protect home, he brought home the first two Orioles runs in the fourth inning with a line drive to center field that just barely fell in. With two outs, this was a huge hit, putting the O’s ahead 2-1.  The Orioles are 14-1 when Joseph has an RBI in a game.

And again in the bottom of the sixth inning (and again) with two outs and Chris Davis on first base, Caleb Joseph extended the inning with a solid single. This too proved to be a big hit, keeping the inning going for Jonathan Schoop to follow with another single to drive in the tie-breaking run that would prove to be the game-winner.

This sixth-inning damage was done off Grant Balfour, who was the eventual losing pitcher. He is now 1-6 with a 5.54 ERA.  Remember when Dan Duquette and the Warehouse were criticized for not signing Balfour. Instead it was a relative no-name like Brad Brach who ended up in the O’s bullpen – where tonight he improved his record to 5-0 with a 2.47 ERA.

Though a big win for the Orioles who pick up a game on the Yankees, it was a deliberative, methodical, and even tedious game that lasted 3.5 hours. Each team ran lots of deep counts and extended at-bats. Rays starter Alex Cobb was out of the game after four innings, having already thrown 92 pitches. Wei-Yin Chen also had command troubles, though he pitched out of a lot of trouble on an evening he did not have his best stuff.

Game three of the four-game series will continue on Wednesday night with Kevin Gausman going against Drew Smyly.

This will be Gausman’s 15th start of the year. He is 7-5 with a 3.81 ERA. He pitched two games against the Rays in late June with opposite results – winning one by giving up no runs in six innings, while getting hit hard on the second occasion with five runs on seven hits in five innings.

Combined between Detroit and Tampa Bay, Smyly is 8-10 with a 3.42 ERA. Two of his eight wins this year are against the Orioles. The first of these was through three scoreless innings of middle relief in the third game of the year for the Tigers. He later started a game versus the O’s and only gave up one run in six innings – a first-inning homer by Adam Jones.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Caleb Joseph

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