Baltimore Orioles: The Wheels Come Off


Aug 20, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; General view as the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Minnesota Twins is delayed at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles suffered a blowout loss to the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night 15-2 after a long 2:31 rain delay. It would have better to have been postponed. Yes, that is a new record for runs given up this season.

The picture attached to this article says it all.

This game was so bad, so early, that I was starting to look forward to seeing Ryan Flaherty get a chance to play. I don’t know if that has ever happened before. He did, and he broke his 0-for-34 streak!

The start of Miguel Gonzalez reminded me a lot of my adolescence — the vast majority of what was done was very good, but when a mistake was committed, a terrible price was paid for it. Most pitches had good movement, but every pitch that was flat and in a hittable placement was spanked with great authority and disastrous results.

Gonzalez has had his season unravel more and more with each passing month. Let’s take a look at his career, month by month, over the past four years …

April– – –4.605.193.42
September3.092.301.69– – –

The stats don’t really support the reputation that Gonzalez has had for consistency. In the bigger picture of the end-of-year numbers from 2012-14, it is true. And from July of 2014 through the first two months of this season, it is true. But overall it is up and down, and right now it is especially down at 6.14 for August.

The Orioles were shut down by the power pitching of the Twins’ veteran Tyler Duffey. You’ve heard of him over the years, right? That’s Duffey — with an “E” in the name … not to be confused with Hugh Duffy, the Hall of Famer from the late 1800s.

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No, this Duffey was actually just pitching in his third major league game. Though he had a 2.53 ERA in AA-AAA this year, his first two Big League starts had not gone well. But Duffey shut out the Orioles over the first seven innings, especially fooling them over and over with a sharp breaking ball.

Though Duffey was very, very good, the Orioles were typically helpful in holding down the pitch count by swinging early and often in many at-bats. Of course, when a pitcher pounds the strike zone, good things generally happen if he has good stuff working on that evening. Duffey did.

Just as the 18-2 drubbing that the O’s laid on the A’s a few games ago only gets to count as one win, this massacre only gets to count as one loss.

As Adam Jones said after the game, “We gotta just keep grinding.”  Actually, I did not hear him say that, but I know for a fact that he did. So I included it here. (Hey, the game ended at 12:28.)

Now go win three in a row!

Next: The long road for Urrutia from Cuba to Baltimore