Oriole pitchers surrender five more homers; Bleier to IL; Davis optimistic - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Oriole pitchers surrender five more homers; Bleier to IL; Davis optimistic

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon


BALTIMORE—Oriole pitchers are struggling to keep the ball in the ballpark. In their 8-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, the Orioles gave up five home runs for the second straight game.

They set a franchise record by allowing a home run in each of their first 13 games and are three games away from equaling the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies’ major league record. The Phillies gave up home runs in their first 16 games.

Dylan Bundy, who allowed a major league leading 41 home runs last year, gave up four, including two to Khris Davis, who also hit a pair on Wednesday night. Davis leads the major leagues with nine home runs.

Bundy said location is the issue.

“Not throw the ball right down the middle,” he said. “That’s the biggest key. Get in counts that favor me, rather than them. That’s getting strike one or getting an early swing strike. Just got to do a better job in the later innings and get the counts I want to throw in.”

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Bundy has given up six homers in his first three starts.

“I thought this was Dylan’s best start,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I thought he had really good stuff — two good breaking balls, a really good changeup. He had more hop on his fastball. Just the long ball…pitch count was low.

“We were down three runs, and he pitched into the sixth inning. Right away, two homers knocked him out of the game. But I thought from the stuff-standpoint, it was the best I’ve seen him all year.  I thought his changeup was really good. He kept guys off-balance. It was just a few mistakes. They didn’t hit singles. They went deep.”

Mychal Givens gave up a home run in the ninth to Marcus Semien.

The Athletics hit 14 home runs this series, and the Orioles have allowed 37.

The Orioles trailed, 7-1, but scored four runs in the seventh to close to 7-5.

More pitching woes: Three Orioles pitchers have landed on the 10-day injured list in the last three days. On Thursday, Richard Bleier joined Alex Cobb and Nate Karns.

Bleier was placed on the 10-day IL because of left shoulder tendinitis. Though the move was retroactive to April 10, don’t expect Bleier back when he’s eligible.

He underwent lat surgery in June and has struggled in his return. Bleier has allowed seven runs in 7 1/3 innings for a 14.54 ERA.

“Throughout this entire process, there’s been various steps of progression, and I feel like I’m one step from being back to normal,” Bleier said. “I’m close, but not quite there, yet…If I can get rid of the shoulder tendinitis that I’m kind of battling through right now that flared up the other day and get back to a steady program, just kind of continue the rehab thing rather than compete in major league games, I think it’ll do me more good.”

Bleier will go to Sarasota, Fla., for rehab.

“I can pitch when I need to pitch and throw when I need to throw as opposed to big league games,” Bleier said.

“I wouldn’t call it a setback. I think I probably was overambitious with Opening Day. Spring went well, so it’s hard to say it was a bad idea. The way I felt and the way I was responding, I could tell that I needed more time.”

Bleier didn’t pitch in Grapefruit League games until relatively late in spring training because Hyde was being cautious with him.

“A lot of lat injuries are misdiagnosed as shoulder injuries so that I think it’s related to the lat,” Bleier said. “There’s no structural damage or anything like that. I think it’s part of the process where you don’t feel 100 percent. They say it was nine months, game-ready, but I think it takes a little bit longer than that for some people.”

Bleier acknowledged that the rehab will take time.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a 10-day thing,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be much longer. I’m hoping to get back here as quickly as possible. When I’m back here I need to be able and compete and pitch like I normally do. It’s hard to go out there…obviously, it’s not working out right now.”

Hyde wanted Bleier to prove he could come back from the injury, but in retrospect, that could have been overly ambitious.

“You want to give a guy who’s been around the benefit of the doubt,” Hyde said. “Rich worked his butt off to come back. It’s a pretty major lat surgery that he had.

“Should we have slow played it a little bit? Maybe. That’s why we made the decision on Mark [Trumbo, who is recovering from knee surgery]. It was obvious that Mark needed more time, and we’re going to give Mark as much time as he needs. I just  like talking to the veteran player and getting their standpoint and view on it. Now, we’ve got to take a little bit of a breather and hope they’ll be back in a couple of weeks.”

Davis’ woes continue: Chris Davis set a major league record for most plate appearances without a hit. After going hitless in three at-bats, as well as a walk, Davis has made 61 plate appearances without a hit. He’s 0-for-32 this season and extended his major league record to 53 at-bats without a hit.

Davis hit a fly ball to deep center that Ramon Laureano tracked down in the second and hit a ball into the infield shift in the fourth. He walked and scored in the seventh.

He’s been working on adjustments with hitting coach Don Long.

“It feels completely different,” Davis said. “I would hope it looks different, too. I feel like I’m seeing the ball a lot better. I feel like I’m putting good swings on the ball.

“…The last three days we’ve done kind of a drill series that’s new, something that Don came up with that I really like. I feel like it’s been very productive and I’m going to stay after it, I’m not going to give in, I’m not going to give up. That’s not who I am, that’s not what I’m about. And at some point it will turn around.”

Bullpen additions: To replace Bleier and Josh Rogers, who stepped in for Cobb, the Orioles recalled Tanner Scott and selected the contract of Josh Lucas, both from Triple-A Norfolk.

Scott allowed two hits and recorded one out, and Lucas pitched two innings, allowing an unearned run.

Lucas, who signed a minor league contract, was one of the later cuts in spring training. He had 13 games of big league experience with St. Louis and Oakland in 2017 and 2018.

“Lucas was right there at the end,” Hyde said of his spring training performance. “He threw the ball so well. We told him then, it’s probably not going to be very long before he’s called up, and third week of the season, he’s up.”

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Bhoffman1

    April 11, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    You forgot to write that with 1st and 2nd and a chance to get back in the game Davis struck out looking. Khris Davis has 9 homers and Chris Davis has no hits. I guess we got the wrong Davis

    • Camden Brooks

      April 11, 2019 at 8:49 pm

      Everyone is frustrated with the Chris Davis situation, but I don’t get the point of your post.

    • Bhoffman1

      April 11, 2019 at 9:50 pm

      My point Camden is that Rich wrote about Davis making good contact with no pressure even though they were outs but with a little pressure on him he gets his usual strikeout looking. Davis says he won’t give up would you if you were being paid 22 million a year to be the worst player possibly in the history of baseball. Hyde has to sugar coat the situation but believe me Elias who has a lot more experience than Hyde is fuming at what he inherited.

  2. Ekim

    April 11, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Quote from Brandon Hyde… “It was just a few mistakes” on Bundy’s four homer game. Taking that quote and applying it to the pitching staff for the 13 games played… “It was just 37 mistakes”, that’s all. YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING! This is turning out to be worse than expected.

    • Jbigle1

      April 11, 2019 at 11:17 pm

      We’re 5-8. This is better than expected. Did you objectively look at this roster and think it was anymore than a 60 maybe 65 win team? This is a terrible team on paper. Mancini and Villar are our only 2 consistently quality hitters. I could’ve told you that in February. I probably did say something like that in February to be honest. Even at that Mancini has been better than I anticipated. Dwight Smith looks like a big leaguer as well. The other guys? Well they are just that. I never liked Mullins and Richie Martin needs a lot of work at the dish.

      • Jbigle1

        April 11, 2019 at 11:27 pm

        Independent evaluators thought Mullins was more likely to be a fourth Ofer than capable starter and that Martin is more of a utility infielder than everyday SS. That’s just the reality of the situation. We’re hoping one or both of them is more than that. It’s much more likely they aren’t. We have to figure that out though. This year and the following is more of the same. Though next year I’m thinking will be a bit more exciting as Hays, Diaz, Sisco, and Mountcastle all figure to be on the squad. The W-L record still figures to be ugly but we’ll see what we have in our best prospects as I’m sure at least 3 of those 4 will be in the lineup very early next season.

    • Le Merlu

      April 12, 2019 at 12:44 am

      Bundy served up the most home runs in the league. I don’t know why would anyone expect him to fare much better. At current rate he’s not looking too mych worse. Just you average Dylan Bundy as we know him from 2018.

    • Ekim

      April 12, 2019 at 8:16 am

      Jbigle1… I wasn’t referring to the won and loss record. I was referring to Hyde trying to slough off the absolute horrible performance put on by Bundy. I mean, get real. Every homer given up is a mistake and Bundy is getting worse. I’m beginning to lose faith in Hyde with excuses like that. We’ve got eyes and ears and know what’s good and what’s bad… and Bundy was BAD! Tell it like it is and quit the BS!

      • Jbigle1

        April 12, 2019 at 11:55 am

        True. Honestly I don’t think Bundy is going to figure it out here.

    • Bhoffman1

      April 12, 2019 at 8:53 am

      Bundy will never be any good especially pitching in the Yards.He was drafted as a power pitcher who somehow lost his power . No matter how much his slider or change is working eventually he will throw a mediocre fastball down the plate that will be creamed.

    • VICTORTEE

      April 12, 2019 at 9:04 am

      It is Roger McDowell’s fault. Remember that was what posters said the last couple of years when the pitching was bad.

  3. Borg

    April 12, 2019 at 5:35 am

    I care less about the won-loss record than the fact that the Orioles to a man seem stuck in fantasy land once again. Hyde spouts the same BS Showalter did. Bundy throws another round of batting practice and it’s brushed off because he had “good stuff”. Davis says it will turn around because he is changing his approach. Wow-only 1000 ABs too late to be effective. I don’t expect this team to win more than 55 games or so, but they could at least be honest in their self-evaluations and stop with the snake oil show. People can see for themselves what is going on, denying it is happening is just standing in the way of any improvement. Let’s face it, Bundy is a bust, Davis is dead weight, the pitching staff is godawful, but if everyone only hears the sound bites coming out of the dugout it’s all good in Birdland.

    • CalsPals

      April 12, 2019 at 7:44 am

      Maybe have Bundy throw to Davis, that would cut our issues down by 1, someone would hit or strikeout….lol

    • Ekim

      April 12, 2019 at 8:07 am

      Borg… My post above was saying the same thing as you… only you were more blunt about it. I’m sick and tired of listening to absolute garbage when Hyde reviews the game. He’s trying to sugar coat a lump of coal. We all know we’re stuck with what we’ve got. We’ve got eyes and can see they have little to no talent. Don’t insult us by telling us Bundy is improving after giving up four home runs. That’s what I was inferring in my post, not the wins and losses.

    • Le Merlu

      April 12, 2019 at 8:31 am

      I don’t know what’s happenning in the clubhouse, but I’d never expect a reasonable manager publically lambast underperfomers. Talking all kinds of niceties is pretty much expected even after an atrocious outing. I’m perfectly aware that the dollars owed to Davis will perfectly cover the treament of his hurt ego, but the manager’s job is to protect his players.
      That said, I totally agree with your evaluations on both Davis and Bundy.

  4. Schwarzstop

    April 12, 2019 at 8:56 am

    WOW! It’s gonna be a long season here on Baltimore Baseball! Chris Davis hit the snot out of that ball in the 2nd. It took a nice running grab by Laureano to get the out. In the 4th, he hit into the shift, but it was a solid ball strike. In the 7th, he had a real good AB and walked to load the bases. But let’s focus on the K in the 8th! Bundy has 8 K’s in 5 innings. The first three innings were 3up3down except for an error in the 2nd. But he sucks! Let’s cut him loose, he’ll never amount to nuffin! I knew this rebuild to Oriole greatness was gonna take awhile, but many of you are making it last much longer, and it’s only been 2 weeks!!!!

  5. Bhoffman1

    April 12, 2019 at 9:24 am

    BTW Bowie got no hit last night. Sisco is not hitting and Hays is still in Florida rehabbing. It’s looks dismal all around

    • Jbigle1

      April 12, 2019 at 11:56 am

      We’re less than 2 weeks into the minor league season. Nothing looks dismal yet. These guys slow starts should’ve shown that they weren’t ready to be up in the big leagues but that already should’ve been a given. Except for Sisco, he needs to turn it around fast. No excuse for not hittting your 3rd time through AAA.

    • Bhoffman1

      April 12, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Hays was ready and we should have given Sisco a chance considering the spring he had which was awesome.

    • CalsPals

      April 12, 2019 at 6:42 pm

      Sisco probably dealing w/WTF, should have stayed no legit reason to cut him, millennials today are not very mentally tough, we’re raising a generation of marshmallows, now it’s taking him too long (for some fans) to get back where he was….climbing off my soapbox….lol

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