Orioles avoid another rain delay but drop afternoon game against Phillies 4-1

BALTIMORE — The Orioles’ two-game interleague series against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies was cut short after a rainout on Tuesday. With the threat of another storm on the horizon, Wednesday’s game was moved up to a 12:05 start. Some showers hit the stadium in the sixth inning but didn’t stop the game as the Phillies went on to win 4-1.

After getting an extra day of rest early this week, the Orioles didn’t waste any time getting on the board. Adam Jones put the O’s up 1-0 in the first inning when he launched a home run to center field on the first pitch he saw. The homer extended Jones’ hitting streak to eleven but ended up being the only bright spot for the O’s offense.

Phillies starter Nick Pivetta settled in after the solo shot and allowed just two more base runners through the next seven innings. Pivetta also racked up eleven strikeouts in the stellar outing to tie his career high.

Andrew Cashner took the mound for the Orioles after being slated to throw in Tuesday night’s game. The rainout allowed manager Buck Showalter to push Cashner back and avoid the spot start that Miguel Castro was scheduled for. Cashner was seeking his first career win in his new home ballpark. Despite getting off to a great start, this win continued to elude Cashner.

The O’s starter breezed through the first five innings, striking out six and giving up just two hits in the process. Cashner really hit his stride in the fourth and fifth innings when he retired the side on less than ten pitches.

The sixth inning would be his downfall. After giving up a leadoff home run to Cesar Hernandez, Cashner never regained his composure and allowed three more baserunners and a run before being replaced. Richard Bleier entered the game but couldn’t get the final out without allowing a third run to score.

Philadelphia picked up a fourth run the following inning and would go on to hold the 4-1 lead for the remainder of Wednesday afternoon’s game. The O’s offense woke up in the bottom of the eighth to load the bases with just one out but the top of the order failed to bring anyone home. Jones popped out to center but it was too shallow for the lead runner, Pedro Alvarez, to score on a tag. Manny Machado followed Jones and grounded out to short to end the potential rally and cap off an 0-for-4 afternoon at the plate.

The O’s lineup failed to recreate a similar scenario in the bottom of the ninth as Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo led off the inning with a pair of strikeouts. Chris Davis came up for the final at-bat of the afternoon and grounded out to second base. It was a rough afternoon all around for the Orioles’ bats, marking the tenth game this year where they scored one run or less and the ninth game where they picked up less than five hits.

Up Next: The Orioles hit the road for an 11-day, 11-game road series, with the first two series of the trip each being four games. Starting Thursday, the O’s will play four games in Boston, then four games in Chicago versus the White Sox, and finally three games in Tampa.

Image credit: Patrick Semansky / AP


Series Preview: Orioles see first interleague action of 2018 against Phillies

BALTIMORE — This past weekend saw some encouraging signs from the Baltimore Orioles, who took three of four from the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, and Triple-A Norfolk call-up David Hess posted quality starts. The Orioles scored double-digit runs twice, something that they had previously not accomplished this season.

Winning five of the first seven games of the current nine-game homestead, the Orioles look to wrap up on a high note against the Philadelphia Phillies. This marks the first interleague series of 2018 for the Orioles, and the first two games of a four-game season series with the Phillies. The final two games take place July 3-4 at Citizens Bank Park.

Led by first-year manager Gabe Kapler, the Phillies (23-16) come into Baltimore with a second-place spot in the National League East division, 1.5 games behind the Braves (25-15). The Nationals (24-18, 2.0 GB) and the Mets (19-18, 4.5 GB) have put together solid efforts so far this season, but the Marlins (14-26) find themselves in a situation very similar to the Orioles (13-28). The Birds currently find themselves 15.5 games behind the Yankees (28-12) and the Red Sox (28-13) for first place in the American League East.

Last meeting: The last time the Orioles and Phillies met came in 2015 with the Orioles taking the season series 3-1, including a 19-3 win at Camden Yards in June. In that game, Manny Machado and Chris Parmelee homered twice, with Parmelee going 4-for-6 at the plate overall. Jimmy Paredes, Chris Davis, and David Lough, and Ryan Flaherty also homered. Chris Tillman earned a win in six innings, allowing three runs on four hits, three walks, and three strikeouts.

Baltimore leads the all-time series against Philadelphia, 29-23.

Problematic weather in forecast: It’s supposed to be stormy and rainy in Baltimore all week, so the grounds crew could be busy before the O’s depart for Boston. As of this writing, Tuesday night’s forecast calls for heavy thunderstorms with possibly over one inch of rain on the way. On Wednesday, storms are not expected, but it will likely rain throughout the day.

The 12:35 start on Wednesday will give the teams plenty of time to get the game in, but both squads must hit the road without an off-day for their next series. Having played a doubleheader on Saturday, the Orioles could see another one land on their schedule if Mother Nature does not cooperate.

Game times and pitching matchups: 

Game 1Tuesday, May 15, 7:05 pm – Nick Pivetta (2-2, 4.15 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (1-4, 4.84 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2Wednesday, May 16, 12:35 pm – Vince Velasquez (3-4, 5.05 ERA) vs. Miguel Castro (1-1, 3.55 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Phillies:

  • According to Sports Info Solutions, the Phillies have the lowest percentage of hard contact allowed (19%) as a team. Individually, former Oriole Jake Arrieta (16.8%) ranks third in the majors, Aaron Nola (16.9%) ranks fifth, and Velasquez (17.3%) ranks seventh. That could be a challenge for an Orioles lineup full of power bats.
  • Center-fielder Odubel Herrera ranks first in the NL and second in the majors in batting average (.360), only behind Mookie Betts (.362) of the Red Sox. In 139 at-bats, Herrera has posted 50 hits, eight doubles, one triple, six home runs, and 24 RBI.
  • Left fielder Rhys Hoskins ranks fourth in the majors with 30 walks.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Prior to Tuesday night’s game, injured closer Zach Britton (achilles) threw batting practice, marking the next ‘big step’ in his recovery, which is progressing ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, Darren O’Day (hyperextended elbow) should come off the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday or Thursday. He will not need a rehab assignment.
  • The Orioles’ offense has scored just 94 runs for their starting pitchers so far this season, which ranks fewest in the AL and fourth-fewest in the majors.
  • Against reliever Richard Bleier (3-0, 1.17 ERA), opposing hitters are 2-for-24 (.083) with runners in scoring position and 7-for-40 (.175) with runners on-base.

A tweet that will make you cringe:

Plug time: For any Phillies fans possibly reading this post, please check out the work of a Bloomsburg University classmate of mine, Tim Kelly. Tim is the Managing Phillies Editor at Sports Talk Philly, and he also writes Eagles columns for the same company. Recently, Tim was hired by 94 WIP which, like 105.7 The Fan, is owned by Entercom.

Image Credit: Zimbio

Orioles acquire Jeremy Hellickson from Phillies

BALTIMORE — After weeks of waiting to see what the Orioles would do at the trade deadline, it looks like we’ve received our answer. Friday night, news broke that the Orioles would receive Jeremy Hellickson from the Phillies in exchange for Hyun Soo Kim and minor league pitcher Garrett Cleavinger.

Hellickson made his debut in 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays and showed a lot of promise during the first few years of his career. In 2011 he won the American league rookie of the year award. He followed that up with a gold glove in 2012.

Since then, Hellickson has experienced a lot of inconsistencies. The 30-year-old pitcher accumulated a record of 67-63 and an ERA of 3.98 in his eight-year career. This season, he boasts a 6-5 record and 4.73 ERA. If you compare basic stats, he is having a better season than most of the O’s rotation, but not by much.

With Hellickson entering free agency following this season, the Orioles are dealing another prospect for a rental player. In years past, Dan Duquette and company have acquired rental players to help with a potential playoff push. Some of these players, like Andrew Miller, were a success. Others, like Gerardo Perra, were a clear waste of a good prospect.

With the Orioles currently sitting over six games back in the wildcard race, it is unlikely that Hellickson’s presence will be enough to make the O’s winners. Another possible motive for the trade would be that the O’s simply need a pitcher to eat innings in the closing months of the season. This would allow the Orioles to remove at least one weak link from the rotation. With all this in mind, fans are already adding this to the list of questionable moves committed by Duquette.

“Jeremy Hellickson is a solid, dependable, veteran Major League starter who knows how to win in the American League,” Duquette said after the deal was made. “He should provide some quality innings for the Orioles.”

The trade will also end Hyun Soo Kim’s brief career with the Orioles. Kim came to the O’s from the KBO last year and racked up a .302 batting average in 346 plate appearances. The left fielder never got substantial at-bats in his time with the O’s but remained a fan favorite. Kim is hitting .232 in 2017 with just one home run and 10 RBI’s.

Garrett Cleavinger was drafted by the Orioles in 2015 and was a part of the teams AA affiliate in 2017. Cleavinger worked his way to a 2-4 record and a 6.28 ERA with the Baysox this season. He has yet to start a game in his minor league career.

Image Credit: CSNNE