Myriad O's Thoughts: Manny's mashing; Camden Yards rocked; Tillman's MRI - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Myriad O’s Thoughts: Manny’s mashing; Camden Yards rocked; Tillman’s MRI

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

I understand this feels like the Manny Machado Farewell Tour, so maybe this appreciation piece isn’t, well, appreciated.

But goodness is the Orioles shortstop putting on an offensive show right now.

Say it’s walk-year motivation or the enthusiasm associated with playing shortstop full-time or that he’s simply entering his prime, but I’m not sure the explanation really matters.

This is the time to enjoy it.

Machado was 2-for-4 with six RBIs in the Orioles’ 9-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night. He homered twice – a two-run shot in the first inning and a grand slam in the seventh – and is hitting .354 on the year.

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It’s his fourth multi-homer game of the season – and the season is 38 games old. And he has 18 multi-homer games, tying Andruw Jones for fifth most among all right-handed hitters aged 25 or younger in baseball history.

The grand slam was Machado’s 150th home run in his career – and that’s particularly impressive because he isn’t 26 until July. He’s the youngest Oriole to reach that milestone, passing Hall of Famer Eddie Murray.

Machado now has eight career grand slams, which ties him with Chris Davis, Cal Ripken Jr., and Chris Hoiles behind only Eddie Murray (16) on the Orioles’ all-time list.

No one expects Machado to climb up all the all-time lists in franchise history, given his pending free-agent status.

But what he is accomplishing this year is tremendous – and he looks primed for the best season of his young career.

“We’ve seen him at some pretty high levels, OK? It’s been sustained for a long time,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s been fun to watch him. He’s just been so consistent.”

Some real energy at Camden Yards on Friday

When Mark Trumbo homered to right in the seventh inning of Friday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, it struck me.

This is what 2018 Orioles baseball was supposed to be. This is what fans were expecting and the front office and ownership were hoping for when Opening Day neared – well before the club plummeted into last place, an acre away from the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Trumbo connected with a 91-mph fastball from Tampa Bay’s Jake Faria and the announced crowd of 28,170 erupted while fireworks – the rocket-red-glare ones — exploded in center field.

It gave the Orioles a 4-1 lead, which they eventually turned into a 9-4 victory, their third straight win and their longest such streak of the season.

Reality and 11-27 record aside, Camden Yards was rocking Friday night. The crowd was energized like it hadn’t been since Opening Day. It was also the second largest since Opening Day.

Part of the reason for the spike in attendance I’m sure was the goofy Star Wars promotion – in which fans dressed as Darth Vader and that ilk – and part of it was that it was a scheduled Fireworks Friday Night. Add in the fact it was finally a beautiful evening for baseball (80 degrees with a breeze at first pitch), and there was a shot it would be a good night for the fans.

Ultimately, the Oriole had to play well for the full effect. And they did, with a strong performance by Kevin Gausman (two runs in 7 1/3 innings) and a power display by Machado.

The club played pretty good defense, too, for most of the game.

When Machado’s grand slam left the park, it was downright loud at Camden Yards. That’s always good to witness, especially in a season that has started so dreadfully.

Tillman’s MRI shows strain

Showalter said after Friday’s game that right-hander Chris Tillman underwent an MRI of his back earlier in the day, and that showed enough of a concern to put Tillman on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain.

“He was in an MRI tube for quite a while today,” Tillman said. “I know what some of the findings were and the DL was obviously needed.”

No timetable is set on Tillman’s return, but certainly the Orioles won’t be pushing him to back until they are confident he can improve dramatically on his 10.46 ERA.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Eldersburg Enigma

    May 12, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Looks like that quote in the next-to-last paragraph should be attributed to Buck, rather than Tillman?

  2. Osfan73

    May 12, 2018 at 7:46 am

    FOUND….one offense and a winning streak, finally.
    Enjoy Manny while he’s here.
    Go Os!!

    • Eldersburg Enigma

      May 12, 2018 at 8:09 am

      Manny is going to cost this team a top three draft pick next year if they don’t trade him soon.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 12, 2018 at 7:48 am

    In regards to Manny Machado …. how exactly does this “gofundme” thing work?

  4. Orial

    May 12, 2018 at 8:31 am

    How does not signing Manny cost the team a draft pick(Enigma)? Losing Manny will hurt being that he’s approaching his prime but with Mountcastle,Hays,Stewart,and whoever comes via trades future possibilities may fill the gap(3 good players vs 1 great player).

    • Eldersburg Enigma

      May 12, 2018 at 8:47 am

      Not TRADING Manny early enough costs them a top three pick next year. They’ll pick somewhere between 5-10 if they hold onto him too long and win too many games. Tanking at this point makes much more sense.

  5. Ben1

    May 12, 2018 at 8:34 am

    So in Tillman’s case .. his body might be saying “enough” … or maybe it is the echo from the MRI technician that is an O’s fan.

  6. Schwarzstop

    May 12, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I know I’m in the minority, but I continue to think the O’s are going to re-sign Manny! STOP Laughing! They are not going to get any player(s) near the production and draw that Manny gives us and no one is going to offer them a deal we can’t refuse for a rental when they can wait 3 months and give up only a draft choice. If we are moving into a rebuild (partial or complete), you have to rebuild around something. Chris Davis? Now I’m laughing! I know everyone complains that ownership is cheap, but they’ve opened the purse when they should and even when they shouldn’t and Manny is definitely worth opening the purse! I think the O’s will Pay the Man!

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 12, 2018 at 8:57 am

      So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

      I don’t doubt you my friend. It’s possible however in-probable it may be. The problem would be that you would then have 50+ million per year committed to only 2 players. Over one third of their current payroll.

      • Delsym

        May 12, 2018 at 9:51 am

        Maybe Chris will take a pay cut with performance incentives?? He’s cutting at everything else, but it beats watching all the strikes go by!!!

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          May 12, 2018 at 10:02 am

          And “maybe” you’d like to buy some swamp land in Florida?

          • Delsym

            May 12, 2018 at 12:26 pm

            I wouldn’t take ocean front Florida property other than to sell it. Been married too long to start over. Heat’s not her thing and humidity even less so. I sure would like to keep em both though. I like Chris, but this is getting really old. Shorten up and just get on base!

    • Schwarzstop

      May 12, 2018 at 10:19 am

      As I think I have mentioned before, the O’s need to make that offer to Manny NOW to see where he stands (here or somewhere else). While I think he’s here, if he’s not, the O’s need to know so they can act accordingly.

  7. Creatively09

    May 12, 2018 at 11:38 am

    It’s incredible how much better defense Manny plays when Schoop is at second. It makes you wonder if Schoop will eventually follow Manny wherever he goes. They are something to watch, and I think we’ll all miss it when it’s gone.

    • Delsym

      May 12, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      Yes, but winning makes it more satisfying…

  8. bats in the blefary

    May 12, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    28000 is a pathetic crowd with a Star Wars promotion.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 12, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      Well maybe that’s because a “Star Wars Promotion” is in itself pathetic.

  9. mlbbirdfan

    May 12, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Schoop and Trumbo return:
    * Offense improves
    AND
    * DEFENSE improves;
    SO
    * Pitching improves;
    AND
    * Bullpen improves
    THE NEW GOAL IS:
    10 games below .500 as of June 1.
    I find it impossible to support a team that tanks with this kind of talent.
    You all want Manny to come back after this season? You have to demonstrate a willingness to pay what you must pay in order to win the pennant !

  10. OsFanStuckInNY

    May 14, 2018 at 7:47 am

    I believe Machado is the youngest MLB player to hit slams, beating A-Roid by several weeks (he hit his 8th 22 days before he turned 26.)

    • OsFanStuckInNY

      May 14, 2018 at 7:50 am

      Oops — to hit 8 grand slams…

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