Happy Orioles home opener turns sour - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Happy Orioles home opener turns sour

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—Perhaps fans had begun to think that the massive rebuilding process the Orioles have undertaken was going to produce instant results. If they did, the sixth inning of Thursday’s home opener may have changed some minds.

The Orioles came back to Oriole Park after winning four of their first six games this season in New York and Toronto, delighting their followers, many of whom would have been satisfied with just a win or two.

While the team won four in a row on the trip, equaling the longest winning streak in the disastrous 2018 season, it’s clear that this team is better than it was a year ago, but not close to being relevant.

The Orioles led, 4-1, through five innings, but after Alex Cobb, who still hasn’t won a game at home since he joined the team last year, allowed Gary Sanchez’s home run, Mike Wright imploded in the 8-4 loss to the Yankees.

Wright allowed each of the four batters he faced to reach, and after Gleyber Torres’ second home run of the game, a three-run shot, the happy crowd turned somewhat surly.

They began booing Chris Davis when he struck out to end a three-run first, and became louder when he was called out in the fourth and louder still in the sixth when he struck out yet again

Davis is hitless in 17 at-bats this season, striking out 10 times, and dating back to 2018, he’s without a hit in 38 at-bats. When Zack Britton came in, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde pinch-hit journeyman infielder Hanser Alberto for Davis in the eighth.

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Fans wonder how much longer the Orioles will be patient with Davis, who has just begun the fourth year of a seven-year, $161-million contract.

The answer isn’t known, but general manager Mike Elias, who watched part of the game from the stands, isn’t afraid to make decisive moves.

On Wednesday, with Pedro Araujo needing just 11 more days in the major leagues to allow the Orioles to freely option him, Elias designated him for assignment, unwilling to be patient with a Rule 5 draft choice chosen by his predecessor.

The previous regime was ever-patient with Wright, and Elias and Hyde may not be.

“It seems like the same song and dance even though it’s a different year, a different vibe,” Wright said. “Obviously, I feel way better and just one pitch makes it seem like it’s the same old Mike Wright.”

By the time Luke Voit hit a three-run home run against Miguel Castro in the ninth, the Yankees scored seven unanswered runs, and much of the announced crowd of 44,182 had departed.

The day started on a lovely note. Game-time temperature was 66 degrees, and the fans greeted the Orioles, especially Hyde and Trey Mancini, enthusiastically, though some booed Davis’ introduction.

Before the game, Hyde jokingly said he wouldn’t hurt himself running down the orange carpet.

“It’s a lot longer than it looks,” Hyde said about his run. “It was very, very special. The crowd reaction was phenomenal. It was everything I hoped it to be, and there was great energy in the ballpark today. Loved it, loved how the fans came out and were loud. I just thought it was a great environment today.”

Longtime broadcaster Joe Angel, who retired before this season, threw out the first pitch, and Cobb, who was scheduled to pitch last week’s opener at Yankee Stadium but didn’t because of a right groin injury, had a decent start, allowing the home runs to Torres and Sanchez in 5 2/3 innings.

“You really just cherish any time you can go out into a big league game and there’s that type of atmosphere,” Cobb said.

“Obviously, our goal is to get that type of atmosphere in the playoffs and in September when you’re chasing that playoff spot, but you learn from it because there’s a little more adrenaline added to it. You have to know how to handle those situations. It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed it. The crowd was great. They cheered us a lot, and I wish we could have given them a victory to go home to.”

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Ezrine Tire Award

    April 4, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    I was gonna be happy to have won four games all year. Scrappy team, like the D and aggressive base running. Is there any way to fix Crash Davis?

    • BirdsCaps

      April 4, 2019 at 9:15 pm

      Maybe going into the box blindfolded would give him a better chance. It couldn’t hurt. It would look like Vince Vaughn at the end of the movie Dodgeball: A true Underdog Story.

  2. garyintheloo

    April 4, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    No, Tire Wizard there is neither treatment nor cure. Got me to thinking about the exemption issue with the attention deficit medicine he was (is?) taking. Davis just doesn’t look focused at all and just going through the motions on some at bats.

  3. BirdsCaps

    April 4, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    I think they finally found the winning (losing) formula to guarantee that the birds will be in last place and claim the no.1 pick: Mike Wright. Every time they’re up in a game, put in Wright and that will cancel out all of the over achievement that preceded. In all seriousness, best of luck to Wright, but it’s players like him(under achieving and too old to be considered a prospect with upside) that will make watching the ’19 birds excruciating.

    • Ekim

      April 4, 2019 at 10:32 pm

      For me, the bright side of Wright’s performance over his last two outings is that he made me $25. A friend of mine is a Wright fan and when we were watching the game the other day I blasted him when he was put into the game drawing a protest from him. I told him that if he didn’t give up at least a run I’d give him $5. He told me he was so sure he wouldn’t he’d give me $5 for each run he gave up. I made $10. Fast forwarding to this afternoon… he had tickets for the game for he and his son… I told him that if Wright got in the game I was willing to offer the same deal and he took me up on it. I haven’t seen him yet but he better have $15 for me.

  4. Hallbe62

    April 4, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    “It seems like the same song and dance even though it’s a different year, a different vibe,” Wright said. “Obviously I feel way better and just one pitch makes it seem like it’s the same old Mike Wright.””

    Duh……..that one pitch killed your team’s chances today. You may feel better but your results aren’t any better. So yeah, IT SURE SEEMS LIKE THE SAME OLE MIKE WRIGHT

    Here’s to hoping Elias has little or no patience for Mike Wright this year.

    • BirdsCaps

      April 4, 2019 at 9:43 pm

      Hey Hallbe62,
      Amen to that! I wish Wright the best, but it is painful.

    • Bhoffman1

      April 5, 2019 at 11:19 am

      What a stupid comment by Wright. It’s the same old Mike Wright and he should be pitching in Norfolk not here

  5. BirdsCaps

    April 4, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Did anyone catch that popup slide that took out the Yankees 2b. It might have been the highlight of the afternoon. That was old time baseball (or Maybe just pre-Manfred baseball).

    • CalsPals

      April 5, 2019 at 9:58 am

      Good thing it wasn’t machado, everyone woud be claiming dirty baseball…

  6. ButchBird59

    April 4, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    A bright note: An opening night win for the Delmarva Shorebirds when 3rd Basemen Jean Carlos Encarnacion hit a big home run in the 10th inning. He came over from the Braves in the Gausman/O’Day deal.

  7. Wisconsin O's Fan

    April 4, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    The hardest thing to swallow about this loss is the fact that Wright only needed to get ONE out to get out of the inning… But the O’s are definitely more fun to watch this year so far… And I’m really hoping Davis can turn it around at the plate, because he is a huge asset as a defender. I would put Davis real close to the top of the list as a defensive first baseman, and I think that goes under appreciated a lot.

    • Bhoffman1

      April 5, 2019 at 11:20 am

      Wisconsin keep on dreaming

  8. Ekim

    April 4, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    If anyone wanted to take the time to go back to the beginning of Spring training and research any posts concerning Mike Wright and how well he was doing you would find that I wasn’t buying it and would post that as soon as the season started he’d revert to his old ways. I couldn’t believe that after four seasons of disappointing performances and a promise of a complete “rebuild” that he was still with the team when ST started. How many times do you have to fail before someone notices? He is a joke… and a bad one at that. He may be a nice guy outside of baseball but he’s not a major league pitcher. He’s had almost 100 chances and the only memories he’s left are bad ones. Be gone with him and give one of the kids a chance!

  9. Raymo

    April 4, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    I keep hoping that we’ll get some value out of Mike Wright, and I keep wanting his detractors (Ekim and Boog) to be wrong. But I’m ready to come over to their point of view.

    • Jbigle1

      April 4, 2019 at 11:44 pm

      Guys who throw 97 get to fail over and over again. It sucks to watch but if a guy like that ever put it together he’d be a damn good pitcher. Sadly, I don’t think we will ever see that happen. I’d give him a month and if he’s still the same guy then say goodbye. We have nothing to lose right now and I’m not sure anyone we call up right now for the pen is any better.

      If you’re just gonna call up arms like Wotherspoon you might as well be 1million percent sure Wright won’t hack it as a big league pitcher because guys like that definitely won’t. Maybe just keep him out of tight games for now, eh?

  10. Borg

    April 5, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Davis is 0 for his last 38 ABs? That is so bad it isn’t even comprehensible. Jeez, just cut him already and be done with it. The money is lost money no matter what, just eat the salary and get somebody up here who might actually get a hit once a week.
    As for Wright, why anyone in the world would think he was going to turn effective is beyond me. He is a pitcher who throws one good outing and then follows it with four really awful ones, but the good outing makes everyone think he’s finally figured it out. That has been his pattern every year he’s been in Baltimore. There must be better arms in Norfolk or Bowie than Wright.
    That being said, the Os this year are certainly more entertaining than last year’s bunch and they weren’t winning the division anyway, so yesterday;s loss doesn’t mean all that much big picture.

  11. Boog Robinson Robinson

    April 5, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Only “ONE” bad pitch? Ummmmmm….didn’t FOUR out of FOUR batters he faced get on base? Not only is this buffoon a terrible pitcher, but me thinks he must have flunked 3rd grade math as well.

    So far I’m not too impressed with the new regime. What are they waiting for with Wright & Crush? These 2 are proof positive that baseball is a thinking man’s game. Oh wait .. that’s right, the very purpose of the season is to tank. Very clever Mr. Elias.

    • Jbigle1

      April 5, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      I don’t know if you saw the guy we just called up but he’s less impressive than mike wright. I’m sending down Wotherspoon before wright.

  12. Bancells Moustache

    April 5, 2019 at 9:57 am

    $9.25

    A single, 16 ounce can of domestic beer will now set you back $9.25 at Camden Yards. That would be exactly $0.74 less than a 12 pack of National Bohemian at my local store. All for honor of seeing the immortal Hanser Alberto in the flesh.

    Seriously?!

    • Raymo

      April 5, 2019 at 10:55 pm

      BanMo, you are a brilliant wordsmith. You crack me up every time.

  13. willmiranda

    April 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Not to excuse Davis, but as the Yankee announcers wondered, “Why start him against Paxton?” Maybe because it’s opening day. But a tough lefty is not going to build any confidence. It’s OK, I guess, to dump on Davis, but it detracts from other problems. I see they cut Araujo to cover up Hyde’s blunder Monday, expecting him to complete a no-hitter. In all, bullpen use has been abysmal, only saved by our opponents’ ineptitude in finishing off rallies. Hyde seems to have no clue about his pitchers’ abilities, taking the attitude, “Let’s put him in, and see what happens.” It doesn’t take Great Analytics to know what happens when Wright goes in.

  14. Tony Paparella

    April 5, 2019 at 10:33 am

    I don’t think you could have expected the Orioles to win every game but after one loss everyone gave up the hope of winning the pennant that they had the day before.It does seem to be the same old thing with some of the guys and Wright especially. He supposedly has developed another pitch but I don’t really see much different. Fact is the relievers get 2 strikes on a guy and then forget how they got the 2 strikes. That happened more than once as was the turning point in the game.I know it is still early but in my opinion guys like Wright have a short rope because of past history. He throws the ball with great velocity when needed but someone has to teach him to pitch. I think they will eat Davis’ contract at sometime this year if things continue and I don’t see anything changing.It is sad from my standpoint as I know Wright and Davis are devoted caring players. They may mislead you with a frustrating statement occasionally but I know they want to be successful. I think this new regime will be making the necessary decisions for the betterment of the team in the near future and the Arajou move is an indication.

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