Kevin Gausman, who was one strikeout away from matching a career-high (10) in Saturday’s 8-5 loss to the New York Yankees, exited the game with one out in the sixth. And what transpired prior to his exit shouldn’t be a surprise considering how Baltimore’s 2018 season is going.
In the top half, Gausman induced a grounder following Giancarlo Stanton’s single — an easy double play ball, right?
Well, Manny Machado fielded it cleanly, flipped it to Jonathan Schoop who threw the ball past Chris Davis at first, resulting in Gary Sanchez reaching second. The next batter, Didi Gregorius, recorded an RBI single which skipped past Adams Jones — the team’s second error of the inning — advancing Gregorius to second. And, like clockwork, Aaron Hicks singled up the middle, scoring Gregorius — the Yankees’ sixth run of the game. On that play, Hicks reached second on the Orioles’ third error of the inning.
“There’s a lot of things that happened in that game, but those are some things that we know it’s been a challenge, especially against a good team, you can’t do those things,” Showalter said Saturday evening. “I’ve said many times, you look out at the error column at the end of a game, it usually tells who won the game.”
Gausman added, “It comes down to execution of pitches, and after that, it kind of seemed like I really had a hard time throwing my changeup and my split down in the zone and I got in some counts where they battled and put together good at-bats and I just didn’t execute my pitch.”
He continued, “We go out there and shut the door, I go out there and shut the door in that sixth and we might win that ball game. That’s where it comes down to being more consistent.”
Gausman didn’t help himself early on. He gave up a two-run homer in back-to-back innings. Making matters worse: They both occurred with two outs.
In the second, the right-hander gave up a two-out single to Hicks. Miguel Andujar then sent an 0-2 pitch over the wall in left center.
An inning later, Gausman struck out Aaron Judge and Greg Bird following Brett Gardner’s double — his second of the game. Stanton then laced the first pitch he saw into the right-field bleachers.
“Kevin was holding good stuff. He’s trying to go in on Stanton and jerked it, middle-middle where you don’t want to get the ball,” Showalter said. “Just like all hitters, if you can follow a certain approach to them you can really — greatly — multiply your chances of getting them out. You get the ball into some places you know it can’t go, you’re going to pay the price.”
Five of New York’s six runs against Gausman were earned.
The Yankees tacked on two more runs in the eighth in a game that was delayed one hour and 44 minutes before the first pitch due to the threat of inclement weather.
Revolving door at leadoff continues
The Orioles used three different leadoff hitters this past series against the Washington Nationals.
Combined, Joey Rickard, Jonathan Schoop and Jace Peterson, went 1-for-11.
“We’ve been talking about that for awhile,” said Showalter, regarding quality at-bats. “(In the past) we’ve been able to make a pitcher really grind all the way through the batting order and we haven’t done that this year.”
Peterson hit in the No. 1 spot Friday as well, going 0-for-4. But Saturday, Rickard’s name was called again.
In five at-bats, the right-handed hitter had one hit — a solo shot to left field on a 3-2 pitch.
Adam Jones and Manny Machado also went deep, but runs have been hard to come by.
“We’ve got to grind it out. We have to make the pitcher work, try to get a good pitch to hit,” Jones said. “Try to grind it out. … I feel like we are, we’re just not getting the results.”