The Baltimore Orioles struggled from the outset on Tuesday, as the team quickly went down 1-2-3 in the first inning and Kevin Gausman left up runs in the bottom of the first.
From there, it only really got worse.
Kevin Gausman was off his game, something that has been in the case in the majority of his starts this year. He expressed optimism in his postgame comments that he knows what is wrong and is going to fix it. We can only hope.
Offensively, it wasn’t much better. Many expected the Orioles to have their way with Bronson Arroyo, but that wasn’t the case.
The Baltimore Orioles only managed three runs off the 40-year-old, allowing him to pick up his first win of the year.
In my piece previewing the series, I said there would be three keys. Those were feasting off the Reds’ starting pitching, controlling the Reds’ running game, and keeping the ball in the ballpark.
So, how did Game 1 fare? Pretty terrible on all accounts.
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The Baltimore Orioles only managed the three runs off Arroyo, despite having chances for more. There were several long foul balls that were just foul, and if fair would have been home runs.
The Orioles also had runners on first and third in the fourth, and a chance to chip into the 9-1 lead with only one out. However, Jonathan Schoop swung at the first pitch and hit a weak pop-up to second base, and J.J. Hardy flied out to end the threat.
Other than that killed rally and the Adam Jones home run, the Orioles almost looked disinterested at the plate throughout the game.
The running game? Well, both Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza had stolen bases, giving them both six for the year. Peraza’s came in the first inning off Gausman, while Hamilton’s came off of Vidal Nuno.
After Billy Hamilton singled to lead off the first, Gausman seemed preoccupied with him, walking Peraza on four straight pitches. They both would come around to score in the inning.
Then, in the second, Hamilton reached on an infield single after Arroyo made the first out. Gausman then hit Peraza, and both would score again on the Adam Duvall grand slam.
Part of controlling the running game means keeping these players off the basepaths, and Gausman did a terrible job of that.
As for power, most of it came from the Reds. I mentioned that only Duvall and Joey Votto were power hitters in the Reds’ lineup. Well, both hit home runs, including a grand slam. The Orioles were sunk early in this one.
Sure, Adam did add a home run for the Orioles, but it was nowhere near enough.
Add in the hamstring injury to Seth Smith, and burning through both long relievers and it was really a night to forget. If Smith needs to visit the DL, I would go with a short bench and just bring up another pitcher at this point. Craig Gentry and Trey Mancini can help cover the losses, and if necessary another move can be made when the team gets back to playing the AL on Friday.
I don’t know how to feel about Ubaldo Jimenez tonight. He has historically been good against Cincinnati, but of course hasn’t faced them in awhile.
Meanwhile, the Orioles are facing a rookie basketball player turned pitcher. Amir Garrett has been very good, and obviously is very athletic.
However, I expect the Orioles to break out against the left-hander. We will see if it happens.