For one night, the Orioles' perfect formula occurred: Pitching, defense and the home run - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

For one night, the Orioles’ perfect formula occurred: Pitching, defense and the home run

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

What happened Thursday night in a 7-5 victory against the Boston Red Sox is what has to happen for the Orioles to be a contender all season.

What happened Thursday night is the blueprint for this team’s success.

The Orioles hit four homers – one each by Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop – to account for all seven runs.

They received a strong, deep performance from starting pitcher Wade Miley and the defense did its part.

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That’s how it is supposed to work when it works well for the Orioles.

“Everybody knows what this offense is capable of doing. It definitely takes a lot of pressure off the pitching staff, but we still have to go out and do our jobs,” Miley said. “That’s when you get on a roll, when the pitchers are pitching good and we’re swinging the bats like we’re swinging right now. I mean, the opportunity is there.”

OK, so there was a hiccup in the ninth when Mike Wright and Donnie Hart combined to allow four runs and make the game much closer than it should have been.

The bottom line, though, is the Orioles won again against a division rival, upping their record against the AL East to 20-11.

“We gotta win these games to play in the postseason. These games are very important,” Miley said. “Obviously, you want to get up for every game, and yeah, these are extra important.”

Yes, you’d prefer more manufacturing of runs overall, but hitting them were they can’t be caught – as manager Buck Showalter says – is perfectly fine when you do it four times, and a couple of those come with runners on base (Trumbo’s was a two-run shot and Schoop’s a three-run homer). All seven Orioles’ runs scored via the homer.

“It’s not necessarily where you draw up home runs. It’s just you’re going to have to score runs in our division,” Showalter said. “We were 6-4 in our division in May. 20-11 for the year. There’s not a recipe every night. It may sound that way when you take the body of work. That’s the way it may look over the course of a season, and rightfully so, but it doesn’t always work that way.”

It worked that way Thursday. And, somehow, some way, the Orioles have now won three out of four after their sky had fallen last week and they appeared to have forgotten how to hit or pitch.

That’s baseball. And pounding the baseball over the wall is Orioles baseball. We’ve seen it before. And when it works, when the pitching and power come together, it’s a combination tough to beat.

“It kind of reminds me of last year a lot. We obviously did pretty well,” Trumbo said. “When everyone is kind of in a good place, that’s the kind of offense you’re going to see.”

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 2, 2017 at 7:55 am

    And what makes it that much sweeter in the short term, is that it was done against an old farmhand that we potentially will be regretting letting get away for many years to come. But not this time! Take that Red Sox nation! Bwahahahaha!

    • Bancells Moustache

      June 2, 2017 at 8:30 am

      I don’t sweat the Rodriguez deal, cost of doing business. No Rodriguez deal, no Andrew Miller. No Miller, no 96 win season or ALCS. Reflecting back now though, do you realize the O’s had Andrew Miller and Zach Britton in the same Pen? Should they continue their current career trajectories, that could be remembered as the most fearsome back end ever.

      • Creatively_19

        June 2, 2017 at 8:51 am

        There’s no denying how excellent Miller was down the stretch in 2014 and against Detroit, but yeah, I do regret giving up Rodriguez for him. Maybe he didn’t play the part last night, but ER is a solid MLB pitcher who I would have rather been running out every 5 days last year than Wright or Wilson. I don’t honestly think that Miller himself made as big of a difference as did the fact that we went out and got a good player for the push to the playoffs helped energize the team and keep it moving forward.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 3, 2017 at 1:13 am

      He is a solid major leaguer. But Miller helped get the Orioles to the playoffs and was a huge reason they advanced to the ALCS. Rodriguez has huge upside but also a chronic knee problem. It was a role of the dice.

  2. Bancells Moustache

    June 2, 2017 at 8:32 am

    I’m pessimistic. The 7 runs are great. The 5 on the other side are the problem. Were it not for that rare species, the three run homer, we might be lamenting that the bullpen coughed up another one.

    • Paul Folkemer

      June 2, 2017 at 9:28 am

      If you took away the three run homers, the Orioles still would’ve won, 4-2.

      Besides, if the Orioles hadn’t already had such a big lead in the ninth, we would’ve been seeing Brach, not Wright and Hart, and it’s very possible the bullpen wouldn’t have allowed any runs at all. Lower-tier relievers giving up late runs in garbage time isn’t something to get too upset about.

  3. bigdaddydk

    June 2, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Runs scored with two outs points to good situational hitting. The O’s have been great with RISP on the season, but not good with two outs. Getting the big hits was the offensive key. Not just that they were HRs, but that they were timely hits.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 3, 2017 at 1:14 am

      Sure. But it certainly didn’t hurt they went out of the yard.

  4. Wade Warren

    June 2, 2017 at 9:35 am

    was a great game the only thing that could be better was a video of Rich getting slaped
    signed rubber arm

    • Dan Connolly

      June 3, 2017 at 1:15 am

      Haha. No, we won’t slap Rich. He’s a good guy.

  5. karks

    June 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

    It was a fun game for sure. The main thing that troubles me is watching Schoop in the field lately. He just looks lost out there.

    But any time you get a solid start like Miley had and an offense that can mash the ball, good things will happen. This lineup is too talented to stay in any sort of season-long funk.

    • bigdaddydk

      June 2, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Overall, I don’t have worries about the offense. They’ve had their collective slump, and I hope we’re past that. I’d rather get it out of the way now than in July/August, and arguably into September, like last year. To have as poor a production as they had in the 3 -5 slots (excluding Trumbo’s very solid May) and still be as close as they are says a lot about how good the team can be.

      The starting pitching is more concerning to me. Miley pitched a real gem yesterday, and he’s been pretty good all year, allowing for his ability to strand runners, especially with his insane walk rate. Bundy is becoming an ace and I think they need to look at negotiating a long term deal before he hits FA, or they’ll lose him to the friggin’ Yankees or Red Sox and get trashed by him five times per year. Gausman is just a shade off of being dominant, but he needs a good out pitch and has to work on location with his hard stuff. He can be as good as Bundy if he can get another pitch across for strikes in any count. Tillman concerns me. I know he’s basically in extended spring training mode now having come off of the DL recently, but his velocity is way down. He’s like a finesse pitcher with no finesse at the moment. The fifth spot is such a question mark. I hope Asher becomes the guy (heaven help us if Ubaldo is the answer.) If not, the staff needs help.

      The thought of Miley and Bundy both able to go 6+ every outing is huge though. The bullpen might be pulling it together at the right time as well. Wright looked good the last two nights, 9th inning last night notwithstanding. The two hits he allowed in the 9th were off of good pitches. Ramirez hit a broken bat single off of the fists and Vazquez hit a seeing eye grounder that shifting put Schoop out of position to get. Nothing wrong with anything Wright did. I’d have let him pitch to Bradley myself. I see Wright kind of like a Sammy Stewart style of middle reliever. O’Day has regained his edge and Brach is starting to pitch with intensity that reminds me of Goose Gossage. He’s starting to show a closer’s mentality, which makes the thought of he and Britton as a two-headed bullpen monster very appealing. Watching him completely blow Aaron Judge away on Wednesday night was incredibly gratifying.

      Right now, it feels like if the rotation comes together this team could be firing on all eight very soon, and if they are they’ll be hard to handle. I’m not going to hold my breath just yet, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 3, 2017 at 1:17 am

      They haven’t come close to putting all the aspects together for an extended period. We’ve seen one aspect get on a roll. And we’ve seen collapses. It all tends to even out in 162 games. And this is a solid team overall.

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