Series Recap: Orioles end 11-day win drought with sweep over Mets

QUEENS, NY — The Baltimore Orioles earned a two-game sweep over the New York Mets on Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon. Baltimore’s record moves to 19-41, 22.5 games back in the American League East. The Mets fall to 27-32, extending their losing streak to six games. They now trail the National League East-leading Braves (36-25) by eight games.

Game 1 (2-1 BAL): The Orioles plated two runs in the first inning, and that ended up being all they needed to win for the first time in 11 days, ending a seven-game losing streak.

Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, and Manny Machado got it going right away with three straight singles to begin the game. Mancini scored on Machado’s single, which simultaneously moved Jones over to third. Then, Danny Valencia flew out to left field, but Jones scored and awarded Valencia an RBI.

Machado stole second base after his single, but Mark Trumbo struck out and Jonathan Schoop flew out to end the top of the first inning.

Alex Cobb breezed through his first four innings, as catcher Kevin Plawecki drawing a walk in the second inning wound up being the Mets’ only baserunner in the first four frames. The Mets cut Baltimore’s lead in half in the fifth inning when rightfielder Jay Bruce scored on a flyout by former American League East-foe José Bautista. Bruce singled to begin the inning, and moved to third on a Plawecki double. But, Cobb pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning, and left the game after throwing 99 pitches, 61 for strikes. His effort earned him his second win of the season, lifting his overall record to 2-7.

Mychal Givens pitched the seventh inning and one third of the eighth inning. He walked one and struck out two. Richard Bleier got the final two outs of the eighth inning, and Brad Brach earned his ninth save of the season despite walking Bruce with two outs.

New York starter Jason Vargas lost his fourth game of the season after winning two straight games, dropping his record to 2-4.

Game 2 (1-0 BAL): Both starters – Zack Wheeler and Dylan Bundy – cruised through seven shutout innings. Each allowed just three hits and stuck out five. Bundy led in walks over Wheeler 3-1. Bundy threw 96 pitches (62 strikes), and Wheeler tossed 93 (60 strikes).

The Orioles scored their lone and winning run in the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Pedro Alvarez, batting leadoff, singled on a ground ball thrown by relief pitcher Jeurys Familia. Craig Gentry came into the game to run for Alvarez. Mancini lined out to Bruce, but then Jones singled to left field, advancing Gentry to third base. Machado drove Gentry home on another single, this one to centerfield. The score led to Baltimore’s sweep and gave Familia his third loss of the season, lowering his record to 2-3.

Once again in the ninth inning, Brach earned his second save in 24 hours. Leadoff hitter Todd Frazier singled to begin the inning, but Brach regrouped and retired the side to end the game. Bundy received the win, raising his record to 4-7.

Up Next: The Orioles head to Toronto for their first series at the Rogers Centre of the 2018 season. The four-game series versus the Blue Jays features 7:07 pm starts on Thursday and Friday, and 1:07 pm starts on Saturday and Sunday.

Image Credit: NY Daily News

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Series Preview: Orioles make quick stop in Long Island for tangle with Mets

QUEENS, NY — Sitting at 17-41, the Orioles continue to limp through the 2018 season with the worst record in the Major Leagues and currently a seven-game losing streak on the minds of both the players and the franchise’s fans. Those fans finally got some semblance of a rebuild late on Sunday when Jon Meoli‘s article from the Baltimore Sunrevealed recent comments from Orioles’ General Manager Dan Duquette.

According to Meoli’s post, Duquette acknowledged that the team is “not up to the competitive standards of previous Orioles clubs or the top clubs in the [American League East]”, and that the Orioles need to “put a little bit sharper focus on the future.” Given the non-existing message from Orioles’ ownership detailing the team’s plans for a rebuild, these particular comments from Duquette are a step in the right direction.

As the front office begins to supposedly prepare for the future, the present ice-cold Orioles embark on a six-game road trip, with the first two games of that stretch in New York against the Mets. Like the Orioles, the Mets (27-30) come into Tuesday on a four-game losing streak of their own featuring a troubled offense. The Mets are losers of four straight with four or fewer runs scored in five straight games. The Mets left May with a 17-9 record, but have since played 10-21 baseball and now rank fourth in the National League East while the Braves (35-24), Nationals (33-25) and Phillies (31-26) duke it out in the top of the division.

Last Meeting: This marks the first time in three years that the Mets and Orioles face off. In 2015, the teams played two games at Citi Field and two games at Camden Yards. The same goes for this season as the teams will reconvene on Aug. 14-15 for a two-game set in Baltimore.

In 2015, the Mets won the season series 3-1, including a 2-0 sweep at Citi Field, 3-2 and 5-1. Bud Norris and Ubaldo Jimenez started those games for the birds, and Kevin Gausman was still pitching out of the bullpen. Machado and Chris Davis both homered in the first game of the series, with Jimmy Paredes driving in the lone Baltimore run in the second game on an RBI single that scored Travis Snider.

READ: Orioles must change offensive approach to end losing ways 

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1: Tuesday, Jun. 5, 7:10 pm – Alex Cobb (1-7, 6.80 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (2-3, 8.53 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan  

Game 2Wednesday, Jun. 6, 1:10 pm – Dylan Bundy (3-7, 4.46 ERA) vs. Zach Wheeler (2-4, 5.14 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Orioles:

  • The Orioles promoted catcher Austin Wynns from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Andrew Susac, who hit .115 with three hits in 26 plate appearances. With the Tides this season, Wynns hit .265 with three home runs and 14 RBI. Wynns, a 10’th round draft selection by Baltimore in 2010, will make his major league debut in his first Orioles appearance. With Wynns, the Orioles now have two rookie catchers on the major league roster.
  • Manny Machado has more home runs (18) than the Orioles have wins (17). Machado is on pace to hit about 54 home runs this season, which is more than the amount of games the Orioles currently project to win this season (51).
  • Zach Britton will continue his rehab assignment tonight for Triple-A Norfolk in Columbus. The tentative return date for Britton is Jun. 15 during the Orioles’ next homestead against the Marlins, but that’s subject to change.

Notes on the Mets: 

  • The two pitchers the Orioles will face in this series – Jason Vargas and Zach Wheeler – carry an interesting backstory. In the early stages of spring training, the Mets inked Vargas to a two-year deal, despite the fact that the Mets carried nine pitchers in camp with starting potential. At the time, Wheeler was competing for a spot in the rotation, and he took exception to his team’s decision to sign Vargas. Both pitchers have struggled this season with Vargas also dealing with an injury. To put it lightly, the Orioles are lucky they are missing Jacob deGrom (4-0, 1.49 ERA, 12 starts), and Noah Syndergaard (4-1, 3.06 ERA, 11 starts) this week.
  • Against left-handed pitching this season, the Mets are last in the major leagues with a .203 average and nine home runs.

Image Credit: Heavy

Podcast Episode 2: Yes, we talked about hockey

Welcome to Episode 2 of the new Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell and editor Nolan McGraw.

We don’t normally talk hockey here on the podcast, but we would be remiss if we didn’t kick off the show by discussing the Washington Capitals 3-1 (2-1 during recording of podcast) lead in the Stanley Cup Finals over the Vegas Golden Knights. After years of coming up short, will Alex Ovechkin and the Caps finally bring the cup home to D.C.? Nolan and Jake discuss.

The Orioles are now 17-41 and on a seven-game losing streak. Over the weekend, Dan Duquette said that the team needs to “put a sharper focus on the future.” Will the ownership actually go for it, even with Duquette and Buck Showalter’s contracts expiring after the season? The CCBW crew dive into this ever-important debate.

There’s not much new to report on the Ravens front this week, but Nolan and Jake spent some time digging into OTA nuggets and contemplating the potential starting offensive line combinations. Hear who the guys see winning the spots at left guard, center, and right tackle.

Last but not least, we debut our second newest segment in as many weeks, What an idiot! And guess what? There are multiple culprits this week!

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