Podcast Episode 49: Expressing concern for Orioles pitching, Matt Wise in-depth on the Ravens 2019 rookie class

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Orioles offense steps up in series finale to split four game set against White Sox

Game 1 (3-2 BAL): The Orioles opened up their second four-game road series in a row with a quality performance. Andrew Cashner got the start for the Orioles and battled his way through five strong innings before turning it over to the bullpen.

Three relievers entered the game after Cashner’s exit to close out the final four innings of a one-run game. Mychal Givens tossed two clean innings and Richard Bleier worked through the eighth on just 10 pitches. Brad Brach has been shaky this season both in and out of the closer role and that didn’t stop on Monday. Brach caused a scare by loading the bases in the ninth, but still managed to escape and pick up his seventh save of the year by striking out the side.

The O’s offense was not particularity dominate but utilized three solo home runs by Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones to edge past the White Sox.

The Orioles also got some crucial defensive plays from Trey Mancini and Machado in the fifth inning that ended up being huge in maintaining the slim lead. It started when Chicago’s Adam Engel tried to stretch a hit into a double but ended up getting cut down by Mancini’s throw to second base. The White Sox base runners did not learn their lesson and once again tried to be aggressive with two outs in the same inning.

With runners on first and second, Jose Abreu came through with a clutch double to left field that looked like it might score two. Mancini recovered the ball quickly and got it in to Machado who fired his relay throw to home plate in time to save a run.

Game 2 (3-2 CHW): These two evenly matched teams played another close game on Tuesday that ended in the same score as game one. However, this time the White Sox came out on top after picking up three runs in the eighth inning.

Kevin Gausman was even more effective than Cashner the night before, tossing 6.1 innings of work and racking up 10 strikeouts. Gausman has been the most consistent member of the O’s rotation so far this season and did a good job of getting back on track after a rare six-run performance last week against Boston.

Unfortunately the Givens and Bleier combo was not as effective as they were in game one. Givens finished off the seventh without any issues but ran into trouble in the eighth after giving up a leadoff triple and then loading the bases. Bleier entered the game and quickly traded the lead for the second out of the inning when Yoan Moncada hit a sacrifice fly. Yolmer Sanchez followed with an RBI single to give the White Sox their first lead of the game.

Miguel Castro closed out the inning but the damage had already been done and the O’s offense was left with just one inning to get their lead back or at least tie it up. Chris Davis walked and Trumbo singled to get two on with one out, but the potential rally ended there and Chicago escaped with a comeback win.

Game 3 (11-1 CHW): Full recap of Wednesday’s game by Ian Schultz

Game 4 (9-3 BAL): After completely imploding on Wednesday the Orioles regrouped and got great outings from both the offense and Dylan Bundy to force a series split. It started right away in the first inning when the Orioles offense took everything that was being given to them by White Sox starter Lucas Giolito.

The O’s started the first very impatient, getting two runners on but also picking up two outs after just eleven pitches. Davis, of all people, was the patient one at the plate and took a walk to load the bases and start the string of  good at-bats. Giolito could not settle down after walking Davis and proceeded to give up a pair of runs by walking the next two batters. Chance Sisco capped off the inning with a two-RBI single to make it a 4-0 game early.

Through the next two innings the Orioles offense would add five more runs. Mancini and Jones went yard back-to-back in the second while Machado and Pedro Alvarez added RBI singles in the third to put the O’s up 9-0.

Bundy also delivered a great start that was much needed after Cobb made an early exit the night before. Bundy went the distance for the second complete game of his career. He only ran into a little trouble in the fourth when Jose Rondon launched a three run homer to left field. It resulted in a weird box score as Bundy hit a batter and then allowed another to reach base on a wild pitch strikeout earlier in the inning. After the fourth the White Sox had scored three runs but recorded just one hit.

Bundy settled down after this and gave up just one more hit through the next five innings as he picked up his third win of the year. He would also finish with 14 strikeouts, just shy of the franchise record for most in a single game. The record of 15 strikeouts has been reached by three different pitchers with Erik Bedard being the most recent in 2007.

Up next: The Orioles wrap up their road trip this weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays. This marks the third meeting between these two AL East teams so far this year, but the first time in St. Petersburg.

Image credit: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Cobb Crumbles as Orioles Fall 11-1 to the White Sox in Chicago

CHICAGO —  The Baltimore Orioles thought they had acquired a crown jewel of what was widely considered a successful offseason when they acquired Alex Cobb in the waning hours of free agency. Through May 23, they could not have been more wrong.

Cobb (1-6) struggled again as the Orioles dropped the third game of a four-game set in Chicago 11-1 against the White Sox on Wednesday evening. Cobb went just 3.2 innings giving up six earned runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out three. Cobb saw his season ERA rise to 7.32 in the process.

After the Orioles got the lead in the top of the second on a Jace Peterson single that plated Danny Valencia, the White Sox responded with 11 straight runs to rout the Birds.

Yoan Moncada started the White Sox parade to the plate in the bottom of the third inning when he launched a three-run homer to center field to put the White Sox in front 3-1. It was Moncada’s seventh home run of the season. The trouble for Cobb continued in the bottom of the third with two outs when Daniel Palka hit a single to center, scoring Jose Abreu and extending the White Sox’ lead to 4-1.

After the Orioles were retired to start the top half of the fourth inning, Cobb continued to unravel. After inducing a Jose Rondon popout and a  Tim Anderson lineout, Adam Engel drew a two-out walk. Engel stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Cobb. Cobb then walked Moncada and issued back to back RBI singles to Yolmer Sanchez and Abreu to extend the White Sox lead to 6-1.

The Orioles relievers didn’t fare much better as Pedro Araujo and Tanner Scott combined to give up five runs over the next 3.1 innings before Mike Wright Jr. pitched a scoreless eighth.

The Orioles’ offense continued to struggle as they could only muster six hits off of White Sox starter Dylan Covey. He went seven innings, striking out eight and walking one to pick up his first career major league win. Covey (1-1, 3.46 ERA) was able to settle in after the Orioles were able to get to him in the top of the second.

The Orioles got just one base runner to second base after the second inning. In the fifth frame, Jonathan Schoop hit a two-out single, advancing Trey Mancini who had led off the inning with a single of his own. Unfortunately for the Birds, Chris Davis struck out looking to end the threat.

Davis continues to be a story early on this season. After last night’s 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, Davis saw his average drop to .154 on the season. That average ranks him tied for last in baseball among qualified players with Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun . Baltimore’s first baseman has struck out 65 times in just 162 plate appearances to date in 2018.

The four-game set wraps up this afternoon in Chicago as the Orioles look to salvage a split with the White Sox. The Birds will send Dylan Bundy (2-6, 4.70 ERA) to the mound who will be looking to rebound from a 6-3 loss to the Red Sox in his last outing. The White Sox will counter with right hander Lucas Giolito who is 3-4 on the season with a 6.42 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10pm.

Image Credit: MLB.com