The O’s west coast trip started out great with a 2-game sweep of the Padres, but the Mariners series brought them back to earth. The O’s had their 7-game win streak snapped, and went on to get swept by Barry Bon….I mean Seth Smith and the Mariners. Smith absolutely went off, batting .470, hitting 4 home runs, and driving in 11 runs. Once again, pitching was the downfall in this series, they couldn’t get the shutdown innings after the O’s scored, and couldn’t keep Seattle off the board.
Tillman labored through 4.2 innings, gave up 3 runs, Gausman went 6 innings, gave up 8 hits, gave up 3 earned, struck out 7, and Tyler Wilson and Ubaldo Jimenez stunk like water trash. They combined to pitch 7 1/3 innings, gave up 14 earned runs, and 15 hits. Starters didn’t get it done, and that right there is why the O’s got swept.
Something has to change with these starters. Gausman doesn’t have a road win since August 2104, Wilson got sent down because they don’t need him until after the ASB, Jimenez is getting the nod tonight. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Just keep on trotting out these scrubs, but there is no one waiting in the wings. DD has to be scouting for a pitcher, because he knows this rotation is maybe good enough for a playoff run, but not a deep one. Sooner or later this bullpen usage will catchup with them. I know a healthy O’Day coming back soon will give some relief, but we can’t keep relying on 4 innings from the pen every night.
The O’s headed to Los Angeles for a 3-game set with the Dodgers, and seemed to have rookie Julio Urias on the ropes, and knocked him out of the game after just 3.1 IP and 5 runs. Yovani Gallardo was so-so, giving up 4 runs in 4 IP. The Dodgers bullpen shut down the O’s the rest of the game, and the O’s pen blew it, with Odrisamer Despaigne giving up 3 and that was it. Again, these starters HAVE to start going deeper into games, just have to. Tillman did just that in game 2, and was helped out by a MASSIVE Manny Machado bomb. Tillman gave up 1 run over 7 innings, but only struck out 2. That gives him 5 Ks in his last 2 starts, after he was putting up career high K/9 IP numbers, have to wonder if he is a bit worn down, hence why I am happy with him not getting chosen for the All-Star game. Game 3 was a five and a half-hour affair that ended with All-Star Zach Britton getting the opposing pitcher to ground out with the bases loaded. Damnit I love National League ball. Mark Trumbo had 2 bombs and Jonathan Schoop broke the 4-4 tie in the top of the 14th to give the O’s the series win, and send them home with a 4-5 road trip.
Dylan Bundy saved that game for the Orioles, flat out. Bundy struck out seven batters in 2 1/3 innings. Let me run that back, 7 Ks in just over 2 IP. Twice, Bundy had RISP, and escaped with no runs. After a leadoff 2B to Howie Kendrick in the bottom of the 6th, Bundy K’d 3 straight. Fast forward to the bottom of the 7th, Utley singled, Seager doubled, Turner struck out, and then AGon was intentionally walked to load the bases with 1 out. Bundy again comes in clutch and Ks the next 2 and saves the game for the Birds. Buck has hinted that he thinks Bundy could get a start or two coming up, not sure if he is stretched out enough, but he’s been pitching on a starters schedule, so we will see.
Friday, July 8th vs Angels- Ubaldo Jimenez (5-8 6.95) vs Matt Shoemaker (3-9 4.40)
Saturday, July 9th vs Angels- Yovani Gallard (3-1 6.10) vs Nick Tropeano (3-2 3.28)
Sunday, July 10th vs Angels- Chris Tillman (11-2 3.55) vs Tim Lincecum (1-2 7.50)
49-35 and sitting with a 2 game lead over Toronto for the division, couldn’t ask for more at the All-Star break. Soft schedule coming up in the next 3 series (LAA, TB, NYY are a combined 32 games under .500) so we need to see this team put together another lengthy winning streak.
Let’s watch Trumbo hit some dingers in the derby, Manny flash the leather during the game, and Britton get the save for the American League. Great first half for the Birds. And for anyone going to the games this weekend, some great giveaways being handed out, the 50th Anniversary World Series t shirt tonight, the AWESOME Manny Garden Gnome, and the oversized Adam Jones baseball card. I will gladly take any of them off your hands if you have extras, let your boy know! And check out this awesome Gumby like video the O’s did for Manny’s birthday.