Ynoa does it right against Tampa Bay: Throws strikes, works fast, goes deep into game - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

Ynoa does it right against Tampa Bay: Throws strikes, works fast, goes deep into game

It just seems so simple. We all know it’s not.

But what unheralded right-hander Gabriel Ynoa did Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Rays had to be met with a collective face palm from the Orioles’ fan base.

That’s what it takes to succeed in the majors. So simple. And yet apparently so hard to execute, especially for the Orioles’ beleaguered 2017 rotation.

Ynoa, 23, threw strikes, attacked the zone and turned in his best performance of his young big league career: one run in eight innings in a 3-1 Orioles victory.

Yes, the Rays are basically playing out the string, too. Yes, a performance like this was too little too late for an Orioles club that has won three of its last 15.

Yes, September outings can be deceiving. And, yes, this is the same Ynoa who was 6-9 with a 5.25 ERA in 21 starts at Triple-A this year, so he wasn’t exactly banging on the big league door for most of the season.

“So what do want him to do, pitch poorly? And say, ‘OK that’s an aberration, so he’s going to be real good next time.’ This is the thing that makes you go, ‘OK, can he continue to do that?’ As opposed to what? Tease us,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Sometimes the game plays better when guys are more aggressive or pitches around the plate more. That’s the equation you have to figure out. He did his part and he’ll get the ball again. See if it continues against another team.”

When a guy like Ynoa, acquired in February from the New York Mets for cash considerations, mixes pitches, throws strikes and keeps the pitch count low – he threw 94 in eight innings – well, it shows that it can be done.

“Command my fastball and then work on my breaking pitches and try to get the hitter out of balance. That was the game plan for today,” Ynoa said through interpreter Ramon Alarcon. “You have to be very efficient against this team. They try to swing early, swing hard. So, I just tried to manage my count, try to get ahead of the count. Try to get the hitters as quickly as possible.”



Now, before we anoint Ynoa as a member of the 2018 rotation, let’s be frank: We have no idea what the Orioles have in the Dominican Republic native.

Maybe he is the guy who allowed five runs in nine innings in his first two starts for the Orioles this month. Or maybe he is the guy who kept a solid Rays offense limited to five hits and two walks.

He’ll get a chance in spring training, I’d imagine, to show he can do it more consistently.

But, for a night anyway, what he proved is that a simple pitching formula – work fast, throw strikes, mix your pitches – really can work.

“Every game, I take it as it’s the last game of my career,” Ynoa said. “So, I’m just trying to take advantage of these opportunities and show that I can help.”



  1. TxBirdFan

    September 22, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Thanks for the quick article Dan, and Bravo to Ynoa! Its amazing how the game changes when we’re throwing strikes. It was also good to see Hays get a couple more hits, although the Davis/Trumbo tandem went back2back and left 5 men on base. Buck needs to split them up.

    Maybe there’s still some spark left!

    • Osfan73

      September 22, 2017 at 7:10 am

      They’re getting their money either way and most likely back next year so sit one or the other. Play the young guys, Alvarez etc…….

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 22, 2017 at 6:55 am

    What a pleasure it was to watch the game last night. (I’m trying to keep my word count low)

  3. Osfan73

    September 22, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Good job Ynoa! Now if only the few guys we have with, shall we say a little more natural born talent or ability would do the same thing, then that would make the starting staff so much the better!!

  4. Birdman

    September 22, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Pencil him into the starting rotation in 2018 … he cannot possibly be any worse than Ubaldo, Tillman, and Miley were this season

  5. Orial

    September 22, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Seen it before. Pitcher throws a gem,we get pumped,then boom. Gotta wait till Spring training. Now Hays 2 hits that perks me up.


    September 22, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Watching him pitch a game like that has to be an embarrassment for guys like Wade Miley. Of course, you can’t get too excited but it was nice to see a pitcher have a three-run lead and make it stand up.
    The Orioles broke their scoreless inning streak with three in the first inning and then they returned to their impotent ways.

  7. willmiranda

    September 22, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Not to challenge the individual ineffectiveness of our starters, but I wonder whether we are not being outscouted. Aside from the sign stealing of our competitors, might not our pitchers be tipping off their pitches? Similarly, the holes in our batters’ zones seem to be pretty well scoped out. There’s no book on Ynoa yet. One hopes the coaching staff is attending to this, but I wonder.

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