Myriad O's thoughts: Gausman's night; chasing bad history; powerless bench; Granddad Buck - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

Myriad O’s thoughts: Gausman’s night; chasing bad history; powerless bench; Granddad Buck

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Perhaps the bar is too low right now. That’s what happens when one of your best pitchers enters the evening with a 6.60 ERA through 16 starts and your rotation as a whole is struggling.

Still, Orioles’ right-hander Kevin Gausman, who has sputtered most of the season, showed some much-needed improvement Wednesday night in a 5-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

His fastball command was spot-on for much of the evening and his split-fingered fastball was dipping and diving, allowing Gausman to pick up a season-high nine strikeouts while walking two.

“Kevin was good … I thought his command was better,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “It just looked like he was getting down the mound more confident. That’s a good-hitting club, too, that he gave us a chance (against), especially the first four innings.”

Gausman, who had yielded four or more runs in his past three starts, gave up three in 5 2/3 innings Wednesday. He allowed all of those runs in a three-batter span, getting to two strikes on each hitter before allowing a single, a RBI double and then a two-run homer to Francisco Lindor.

“I’m trying to throw a fastball really high. Every single one of those right there. I had three chances to do it, and I didn’t do it,” Gausman said. “Obviously, these guys are the best in the world for a reason. You make mistakes against them like that, they are going to make you pay for it, especially this lineup.”

Before the fifth, Gausman cruised, retiring 13 of 16. He rebounded by fanning two more to end the fifth, and retired two of three in the sixth, but, at 112 pitches, Showalter pulled him.

ADVERTISEMENT

He needs to go longer – that has to be the endgame for Gausman. However, it’s hard to fault him for Wednesday’s performance. The results weren’t spectacular, but it stands as one of his better outings in a trying season.

“You take the positives and try to forget the negatives. I think one of the huge positives to take out of this is I’m throwing the ball really good right now,” he said. “Some things kind of went my way tonight. I felt like I was in a lot of 0-1, 0-2 counts. It’s one thing to get to those counts, now I’ve just got to be a little bit better at throwing pitchers’ pitches in those counts rather than pitches that are too good with two strikes.”

Dubious streak continues

The Orioles looked like they might break their dubious streak of allowing five runs or more in 17 games. And then the ninth inning Wednesday happened.

Their shot at history is still alive.

Trailing 3-0 in the ninth, reliever Miguel Castro retired the first batter he faced and then allowed five consecutive singles. Two scored, making it 18 straight games in which the Orioles have allowed five or more runs.

According to baseball-reference.com’s database that goes back to 1913, only one team, the NL’s Philadelphia Phillies in 1924, has endured a longer streak: 20 games. The Orioles hold the AL record at 18 and counting – at least going back as far as 1913.

In those 18 games, a streak that began June 3, the Orioles have been outscored, 133-71. They’ve actually won six of those, strangely.

Castillo not available, bench suffers

With the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh, nasty lefty Andrew Miller was brought in to face the bottom of the Orioles’ lineup. Right-hander Joey Rickard pinch-hit for lefty Hyun Soo Kim and grounded out. Caleb Joseph struck out and then Ruben Tejada pinch-hit for Paul Janish and struck out. The Orioles didn’t score at all in the inning. Craig Gentry pinch-hit for lefty Seth Smith in the eighth, and he also struck out swinging against Miller.

It’s obvious that the Orioles don’t have much of an offensive bench right now. And it was worse because Showalter said he wasn’t going to use catcher Welington Castillo, especially before the ninth. Castillo is dealing with a sore shoulder and Showalter said he didn’t want Castillo to have to catch an inning.

“He needed a day off. I wasn’t going to broadcast it,” Showalter said. “Especially going in to catch. Might have taken a shot at him with (Craig) Gentry there, but not when he had to go in and catch.”

In one sense, you wonder if the Orioles would be better served with a better hitting option on their bench while Chris Davis is injured. At least someone with power, like Pedro Alvarez. But, let’s face it, left-handed-hitting Alvarez’s chances against Miller wouldn’t have been good either. And Showalter likes having Gentry’s speed and defensive ability late in games.

Showalter’s becoming a granddad

Showalter will miss Thursday’s game to be with his daughter, Allie Showalter Robinson, who is scheduled to give birth to a son in Dallas on Thursday morning. It’s her first child and the first grandchild for Showalter and his wife, Angela.

Showalter will meet the team in Tampa on Friday. Bench coach John Russell will serve as the Orioles’ acting manager Thursday against the Indians.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 22, 2017 at 7:07 am

    “Ruben Tejada pinch hit for Paul Janish” …. that says it all Dan.

  2. Osfan73

    June 22, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Much better effort by Kevin Gausman last night, hopefully for him this can be something to build on. But while Carrasco pitched well for Cleveland, this one’s on the offense. 1/8 with risp and 8 left on base wont produce much against anyone especially a good team with many players still there from a world series appearance last year.
    Then we get the bases loaded with no outs late and not even a single run. That can’t happen. We Os fans know better than most how tough/good Andrew Miller is, but still, have to have something there.
    Hoping for the split tonight.
    Congrats grandpa Buck! GO Os!!!

    • Dan Connolly

      June 22, 2017 at 9:49 am

      Agreed. Miller is great. But bases loaded and no outs, you have to score even if Cy Young (in his prime, not now) is on the mound.

  3. Strovel

    June 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    MLB is so less fun to watch with 12/13-man pitching staffs. What is more fun to watch, the endless parade of Quad-A relievers or the chess moves when the offense can have a Dwyer, Ayala, Roenicke, or Lowenstein to counter the pitching move? Hell, I’d settle for a Joe Nolan right now.

  4. Steve Cockey

    June 22, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Shall we add a numbers-on-the-warehouse graphic to the homepage, unveiling the new number each night? 16. 17. 18. 19?

    • Osfan73

      June 22, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Lol classic. Be even funnier if somehow some one could manage to do that on the real wharehouse!

  5. garyintheloo

    June 23, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    All right we’ve bled our orange dry. Time to make a different future. You’re not going to get much in trade at this deadline that will make 2018 better. BTW, I haven’t been enamored with our scouting, drafting and development efforts of the past six years either. We have enough suspects in our system to do a revival of “Dragnet.” Release Tillman, Jimenez and Miley. Nothing more to see here. Trade Machado, Britton and Brach for some upside but wait until the off season if you have to. Those guys don’t belong in a fire sale. Might as well give Kim every at bat you can since he won’t be here next year. Have a heart-to-heart with Jones and Trumbo about their futures. Actually spend money on the international front. Offer two-for-one Tuesday and Thursday tickets. Show Earl Weaver’s greatest rants during the seventh inning stretch. Send the Norfolk Shuttle to the off ramp as that is no way to develop a long-term pitching staff. Fire Duquette and ask Showalter where he wants to be next year. Thank everyone for caring and promise to actually do better even if it takes until 2020 — the year not the vision. Believe that this too shall pass.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login or Register Here

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2016 BaltimoreBaseball.com | BaltimoreBaseball.com is an unofficial site that is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Baltimore Orioles. Partner with USA Today Sports Digital Properties.

To Top