Baltimore Orioles Bury the Graveman, and Everyone Else


Aug 16, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles left fielder Gerardo Parra (18) celebrates with teammates after scoring in the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles totally buried Oakland starter Kendall Graveman with spade after spade of hits (four doubles and two homers) and runners circling the bases. But it was merely the beginning. The O’s punished every pitcher to follow, as only the position player Ike Davis escaped without giving up runs.

Good things happen on days when eight of your nine starters get multiple base hits. Good things happen when you pound out 26 hits in eight innings. Good things happen when you are 12-for-23 with runners in scoring position. Good things happen when you register 10 extra-base hits and your first three spots in the lineup go 12-for-17 with a walk.

The best thing that happens when all the good things are added up is a final score of 18-2.

Yes, it is a pretty weird game; and it is too bad it cannot count for more than one win. It is also too bad the Orioles could not bank a few runs to spend on Monday night against a very tough starter.

How weird was the game? The bottom of the eighth inning featured a position player for the A’s pitching to a relief pitcher for the O’s, and Jason Garcia walked in his first career at-bat. Garcia is going to finish the 2015 season for the Orioles with the #1 OBP of 1.000! This situation evolved as Steve Clevenger was sent from the DH position to play first base, thus causing the O’s to lose their DH.

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Clevenger looks really, really good at bat. He has a very locked-in approach of moving the barrel of the bat to the ball. This bodes well for the future. Even if Matt Wieters is re-signed, the Orioles could use Clevenger as a third catcher and DH — who can play first base. After going 4-for-6, he is now batting .450 on the season in Baltimore (9-for-20).

Who should the Orioles single out as the offensive star of the game? Surely it is Gerardo Parra who had five hits, including a homer in the first inning to start off the scoring. Or is it Caleb Joseph? The O’s catcher had three hits and a walk in five plate appearances, knocking in four runs with a double and homer. But how could Adam Jones not be considered? He had a pair of homers, his 21st and 22nd of the season.

Comparatively speaking, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop looked bad, only getting three hits each. And Chris Davis really stunk up the place, only getting two singles and one RBI, while striking out twice!

Wei-Yin Chen was not at his best, but he got the Orioles through six innings against another of those boring teams that foul off pitch after pitch.

Come back tomorrow for separate articles on Chen and run support numbers, and another on the hitting travails of J.J. Hardy who was 0-for-4 on this day.

As well, you might click below on the article from yesterday’s game — one in which I referenced the deadly 2013 series in Arizona that sunk that team, wondering if this current Oakland series could be just the opposite for the 2015 Birds.

Next: Davis Walk-off Sets Tone for Remainder of 2015