Series Recap: Orioles swept by Yankees after embarrassing pitching display

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse for the Orioles pitching staff, they go out and surrender 38 runs in three games. That’s not a typo, the O’s actually gave up 38 runs against the Yankees this weekend.

Coming into the series we knew it was going to be difficult to take two out of three from the AL East leaders, but what ended up happening is just embarrassing. Yankee batters went 44/110 with 12 home runs as a collective in the series.

The Orioles actually looked ready to play on Friday when the game started. Jonathan Schoop put the O’s up early with a two run homer in the second inning. However, that would end up being the only offensive production for the Orioles. The Yankees, on the other hand, lit up the scoreboard with eight runs.

Dylan Bundy was able to hold the dangerous New York lineup to just three runs through his six innings of work, exiting the game with a one run deficit. The Bullpen was not as effective. Edwin Jackson made his second appearance of the season and surrendered three unearned runs while Stefan Crichton continued to struggle, giving up two more runs.

The Bronx bombers picked up where they left off at the beginning of Saturday nights game. The first inning struggles continued for Chris Tillman as he gave up six runs to start the game. Aaron Judge got things started with a solo shot, followed by a two RBI single from Gary Sanchez and a two run homer by Didi Gregorius. Chris Carter capped off the inning with a RBI single. To make things even more demoralizing, all six runs were scored with two outs on the board.

Due to a lack of off days, injuries, and general overuse in the past few weeks, the Orioles bullpen has not been as deep as manager Buck Showalter would like. The Orioles just cannot afford to have their bullpen pitch more than four innings a game at this point. However, three more Yankee runs in the second inning forced Tillman out of the game after just 1.1 innings.

Once again the bullpen failed to be effective in any way, giving up a collective seven runs in their 6+ innings of work. After their dominate game two win, the Yankees had already secured a series win but a sweep looked inevitable.

Sunday afternoon’s game started almost exactly like Saturday nights game.  The Yankees scored five runs off of Kevin Gausman in the first inning. A two RBI single by Castro got things started and Gary Sanchez followed with a three run homer to take the early lead.

Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees on Sunday. With Masahiro Tanaka struggling in recent outings, the Yankees decided to move his start to Monday. Despite getting an ample amount of run support, Green was on a short leash and had to exit the game after just two innings. It appears that Joe Girardi had set a strict pitch count limit for Green and he reached it faster than they anticipated.

This early call to the bullpen helped the Orioles crawl back into the game. Four straight doubles by Hardy, Tejada, Smith, and Schoop put the Orioles on the board and cut the Yankees lead to two. Just when things started to turn in the Birds favor, the pitching disappointed once again. Gausman was forced out of the game in the fourth inning after giving up another two runs.

The bullpen gave up another seven runs in relief as the Yankees picked up an easy 14-3 win and a sweep. New York now holds a three and a half game lead in the division. The Orioles are sitting six and a half games back and have sunk all the way into fourth place.

The O’s will hit the road tonight as they prepare to take on the Chicago White Sox in a four game series this coming week.  The last time the Orioles faced the White Sox they were able to pick up a sweep.  Their going to need a similar performance this week if they want to turn their season around by the all star break.

Series Preview: Orioles prepare for another battle with division leading Yankees

It seams like the Orioles are just treading water at this point in the season. They have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games, preventing them from moving up or down in the division standings. That could change this weekend as the O’s prepare to take on the AL East leading Yankees in New York.

The Yankees are coming off of a series win against the Red Sox, helping them maintain a spot at the top of the division. They are currently up by three games but are certainly aiming to make that lead a little more comfortable in the coming days.

Last Meeting: The Orioles and Yankees have already played three series against each other this season. In these games the O’s hold a 5-4 advantage despite being outscored 60-52 by New York. After their fourth meeting this weekend, the teams will not meet again until September.

Game times & pitching matchups:

Game 1: Friday, June 9, 7:35 pm – Jordan Montgomery (3-4, 3.67 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (6-4, 2.93 ERA)

Game 2: Saturday, June 10, 7:15 pm – Luis Severino (4-2, 2.90 ERA) vs. Chris Tillman (1-3, 5.59 ERA)

Game 3: Sunday, June 11, 1:05 pm – Masahiro Tanaka (5-6, 6.55 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (3-4, 5.86 ERA)

Notes on the Yankees:

  • Brett Gardner can thank the Orioles pitching staff for getting his offensive production going in 2017. The Yankees veteran is hitting .317 with four home runs and seven RBI’s against the O’s this season.
  • Yankees starter, Masahiro Tanaka has been struggling as of late. In his last five starts Tanaka has given up a combined 35 hits and 27 runs.
  • Its no longer a secret that Aaron Judge is one of the best young players in the game. Judge has been a big threat for opposing pitching all season. With a .330 batting average, 18 home runs, and 41 RBI’s, the Orioles pitching staff will be paying extra attention to Judge.

 Notes on the Orioles:

  • Chris Tillman is in desperate need of a quality start.  After making his season debut in early May, Tillman has struggled immensely. His first start  was a five inning shutout performance that earned him a win.  However, Tillman has given up at least three runs in every start since that season debut.
  • Kevin Gausman has found success against New York so far in his career, going 7-3 with a 2.63 ERA in 20 games against the Yankees.
  • After taking an MRI on Wednesday, Manny Machado has suffered a sprained left wrist. The third baseman was taken out of Wednesday nights game against Pittsburgh with the wrist / hand injury. Machado missed Thursdays game against the Nationals but is considered day-to-day going forward.

Following their trip to New York, the O’s will head to the south side of Chicago to take on the White Sox in a four game series.

Orioles offense stifled by Ross in 6-1 loss to Nationals

The Orioles would have liked to have an off day on Thursday, especially after playing two extra inning games against the Pirates on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Instead, the O’s traveled down the beltway for a makeup game against the Nationals.

After winning the first two games of the home-and-home series back in May, the Orioles were playing their best baseball and had racked up a six game win streak. That all ended in game three as Matt Wieters walked off his former team for the comeback win. Game four was postponed due to rain and rescheduled for June 8.

The final game of the season series started out rough for the O’s and never got better. Alec Asher surrendered five runs in the first two innings and finished his night after just four innings. The offense was even worse, getting just one hit off of Joe Ross through the first five innings.

Ubaldo Jimenez replaced Asher out of the pen and quickly gave up a solo home run to Stephen Drew making it a 6-0 game. After the solo shot, Jimenez was able to settle in and pitch through the seventh inning with five strikeouts.

The Orioles finally got themselves on the board in the seventh inning. Mark Trumbo led off with a double and Joey Rickard brought him home with an RBI single a few batters later. Ross would finish his night after 7.1 innings of work. The lone run ended up being the only blemish on his line as he finished with a career high 12 strikeouts.

Oliver Perez and Blake Treinen were able to finish off the eighth and ninth innings as the Nationals picked up the 6-1 win. After a long delay, the beltway season series has concluded with a 2-2 split.

The Orioles will be heading to New York this weekend for their fourth series against the Yankees this season.  With the Yankees win over the Red Sox on Thursday, the Orioles are now 3.5 games behind the AL East leaders.

Preview: Orioles can win season series vs. Nationals with win in makeup game

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Beginning on Tuesday, the Orioles started a journey that will have them play 22 games in 22 days. Two comeback performances had the O’s sweep the Pittsburgh Pirates in a quick two-game series at Camden Yards, and tonight the inter-league play continues with a makeup game against the Washington Nationals in our nation’s capital.

Tonight’s ballgame is the final game in a four-game series, famously named “The Battle of the Beltways.” The game was originally scheduled for Thursday, May 11, but rain forced the two teams to find another day to get the game in.

So far, Baltimore leads the season series with Washington, 2-1. The Orioles took the first two games of the series, played at Camden Yards, 6-4 and 5-4 (12 innings). In the first game, the Birds hit three home runs in the first inning off the bats of Joey Rickard, Mark Trumbo, and Trey Mancini. Kevin Gausman had a solid outing, going seven innings and allowing two runs on five hits, a walk, and eight strikeouts. In game two, Trumbo hit a walk-off single off Jacob Turner. The win was the sixth straight for the Orioles, and gave them the best record in baseball at the time.

The next night in Washington, the Nationals had a walk-off win of their own when former Oriole Matt Wieters hit a two-run single in the ninth inning to snap Baltimore’s winning streak. The loss sent Baltimore into a stretch where they lost six of seven games, and shortly thereafter the infamous seven-game losing streak took place from May 21-28.

As of this writing, the Orioles (31-26) are in third place in the American League East, 2.5 games behind the first-place Yankees (33-23). The Red Sox (32-26) are two games behind New York. The Nationals (37-21) sit very comfortably at the top of the National League East. The second-place Mets (25-32) are 11.5 games behind the Nats in the standings.

Tonight’s pitching matchup and game-time: 7:05, MASN 2 (Orioles), 105.7 The FanAlec Asher (2-3, 3.62 ERA) vs. Joe Ross (2-2, 7.34 ERA).

Orioles have travel advantage: Something to keep an eye on is that the Nationals are coming back from a nine-game road trip out west. Following their 2-1 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday, the Nats headed home and are not receiving an off-day because of this makeup game. For sports teams, a west coast-to-east coast trip is a lot harder than an east coast-to-west coast flight because of the time zone difference, so the Orioles have a clear rest advantage going into Thursday night’s game.

Machado injured: Manny Machado left Wednesday night’s game against the Pirates after being spiked by Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen. According to Orioles team doctors, Machado left due to “left wrist soreness.” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after the game that Machado had X-Rays on his wrist, which came back negative, but Machado will be getting an MRI done on Thursday to know what exactly the injury is. In Machado’s place, Ruben Tejada made his Orioles debut, going 0-4 with a strikeout.

So far this series – Orioles:

  • Trumbo: four hits, four RBI
  • Jonathan Schoop: four hits, one RBI
  • Caleb Joseph: six hits, two RBI
  • Brad Brach: two appearances (1.1 innings), four earned runs, six hits, two walks, one strikeout

So far this series – Nationals:

  • Bryce Harper: four hits, two RBI
  • Jayson Werth: four hits, one RBI
  • Wieters: five hits, three RBI
  • Blake Treinen: two appearances (two innings), one earned run, two hits, four strikeouts

Following tonight’s makeup game, the Orioles will head to New York to face Yankees in a three-game weekend series. The Orioles are 5-4 against the Yankees this season and 1-2 at Yankee Stadium.

 

Series Recap: Orioles put together two come-from-behind wins to sweep Pirates

BALTIMORE, MD — Despite trailing at at least four runs in both games, the Orioles were able to come from behind in both games and Sweep the Pirates, by scores of 6-5 and 9-6.

In game one, the Orioles trailed by scores of 4-1 and 5-3. Down by two in the ninth inning, it was the power bat of Jonathan Schoop that pushed the game into extra innings, as Schoop hit a two-run blast off of Pittsburgh closer Tony Watson. It was the second home run of the game for Schoop, who hit a solo shot in the seventh inning.

Schoop’s seventh-inning shot was back-to-back with that of Chris Davis.

In extras, Brad Brach made quick work of the Pirates’ lineup in the 10th inning, striking out David Freese and putting away Josh Bell and Andrew McCutchen via line-out and ground-out.

In the bottom of the 10th, Adam Jones singled with one out. Manny Machado was next up and almost won the game with a two-run home run, but left fielder Adam Frazier caught the ball up against the wall on the warning track. On the play, Jones was able to tag and reached second base, putting him in scoring position with two outs. From there, Mark Trumbo was the final hero of the night with a walk-off single on a 1-0 count. McCutchen’s throw was close, but not in time, and the Orioles were awarded with a 6-5 thrilling victory.

Starter Kevin Gausman once again had his fair share of struggles, mainly in the second inning when he allowed three runs. In his non-decision start, he pitched 6.2 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits, a walk and five strikeouts on 113 pitches.

Game two on Wednesday turned out to be very similar to Tuesday’s game. The Pirates got on the board first in the second inning when Max Moroff hit a two-run double. The Orioles answered quickly, when Hyun-Soo Kim hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning to cut Baltimore’s deficit to one run.

In the third inning, Elias Diaz would repeat the exact same thing, hitting another two-run double to put Pittsburgh up 4-1. Orioles starter Wade Miley had a rough night, and was done after 2 2/3 innings after throwing 83 pitches and recording eight outs. The game remained tied until the seventh inning, when Jose Osuna hit a two-run home run to extend Pittsburgh’s lead to 6-1.

From there, the Orioles scored eight unanswered runs to complete the second comeback in as many days. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Jones hit a solo home run. In the ninth inning, the Orioles scored four runs on a Joey Rickard sacrifice fly, a J.J. Hardy double, and a two-run home run by Trey Mancini. Mancini came through again in the 11th inning, hitting another home run; this time a three-run shot.

Mancini came off of the bench in the ninth inning, and finished the game with five RBI.

“I came in ready to hit in the last inning,” Mancini said after the game. “I knew that if guys got on base that I had a chance to get up there.”

“Trey obviously had a few big blows,” manager Buck Showalter said after the game.

In the game, Mike Wright had a solid relief outing, pitching 3.1 scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and recorded three strikeouts. Also in the game, Machado was spiked by McCutchen when the outfielder was sliding into third base. The injury forced Machado out of the game, and Ruben Tejada replaced Machado in the lineup.

“[Manny] had an X-Ray, which was negative,” Showalter said. “They’re talking about getting an MRI tomorrow just to be on the safe side and make sure we know what we are dealing with.”

The Orioles are now 9-1 in extra inning games this season.

With the conclusion of this nine-game homestand, the Orioles now hit the road for eight games. The original schedule had the O’s off on Thursday, but now the Birds will head back to our nation’s capital for a makeup game with the Nationals. This 7:05 matchup takes place in response to the rain-out on May 11. The Orioles currently lead the 2017 “Battle of the Beltways” series, 2-1.

 

Ravens release tight end Dennis Pitta

OWINGS MILLS, MD — Dennis Pitta’s career as a Raven, and likely in the NFL, is over.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Ravens released the tight end with an injury waiver. This comes just five days after the 31-year-old suffered a third hip dislocation in four years. The injury was non-contact, and occurred in an OTA practice that was closed to the media.

No one, including Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, has addressed the media since Pitta’s injury, but after practice on Friday, General Manager Ozzie Newsome released a statement going over the sad details of Pitta’s injury:

Pitta re-negotiated his contract with the Ravens early this offseason, which included an injury waiver and a $2.5 million pay-cut over the next two seasons. By releasing Pitta with the waiver included, the Ravens will save about $2 million in cap space. No roster moved have been made since Pitta’s release, but that $2 million could help the Ravens’ chances in signing free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, or possibly Eric Decker, who the New York Jets are looking to trade or release.

Pitta came back last season after missing the entire 2015 season and the majority of the 2014 season. Despite missing all that time, he led all tight ends in the NFL with 86 receptions. He was the only tight end on the Ravens’ roster to start all 16 games, and set career highs in receptions and reception yards (729). He proved to be Joe Flacco’s favorite receiving target, finishing the season with two touchdowns and 121 targets, more than any player in Baltimore’s passing game.

Pitta finishes his career with 224 receptions for 2,098 yards and 13 touchdowns. He caught seven touchdowns in the 2012 season, and was one of the biggest weapons on the Super Bowl 47-winning offense.

With his release, Pitta is technically a free agent, but will be undergoing yet another hip surgery and long rehab process. No announcements have been made about his football career, but all are assuming that Pitta will retire after a third injury to the same hip.

Ravens add more secondary depth with Brandon Boykin signing

The Raves didn’t waste any time finding a replacement for the recently injured Tavon Young.  On Monday afternoon it was announced that Baltimore had signed two new corner backs, Brandon Boykin and Al-Hajj Shabazz.

Boykin entered the league in 2012 after being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. He would end up playing just three seasons there before traveling across Pennsylvania and joining the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015. During training camp in 2016, Boykin suffered a torn pectoral muscle and was sidelined for the entire season.

The 26-year-old corner has racked up 118 tackles and eight interceptions in his career while proving himself useful in the slot. This is exactly where the Ravens would like to use Boykin after the loss of Tavon Young.

The Shabazz signing was more of a depth move as the young corner was an undrafted free agent in 2015. Since then he has bounced around multiple practice squads. While playing for the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers, Shabazz also found himself contributing on special teams but has only recorded one career tackle.

In addition to the signing of Boykin and Shabazz, the Ravens also announced that they had released corner back Kyle Arrington. The 30-year-old has had a rough time finding a role in the Ravens secondary since joining the team a few years back. After a tough 2015 campaign, Arrington suffered a concussion during a preseason game against Carolina and spent the entirety of 2016 on injured reserve. His release will create $2.1 million in cap space.