Orioles' Hess falters in fifth; Castro unravels in eighth; Sucre pitches 1-2-3 ninth - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Hess falters in fifth; Castro unravels in eighth; Sucre pitches 1-2-3 ninth

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—The evening began nicely for the Orioles. David Hess sped through four innings, allowing just one baserunner. Although the Orioles didn’t score, it was a promising start.

However, things quickly came undone in the fifth. Hess allowed a three-run home run to James McCann to key a four-run inning.

The Orioles allowed four-run innings in the fifth, seventh and eighth as the Chicago White Sox pounded them, 12-2, on Monday night.

In Hess’ first start, exactly three weeks ago, he was removed after 6 1/3 hitless innings. He got the win, but has lost four straight. Hess was removed after five innings.

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Oriole starters have produced just three quality starts — that first one by Hess, one by Andrew Cashner the next night, and Dylan Bundy’s six-inning effort on Sunday.

The Orioles have lost 10 of 11 at home, and in five of those losses have given up 10 or more runs.

“I think everybody wants to go out and we want to win ballgames and, unfortunately, we’ve had some tough luck with that on this homestand and at home,” Hess said.

“We do have a really competitive group, but also a group of guys that’s working really hard, and I think the results aren’t there right now, but there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes.

“Seeing it on an everyday basis, the right things are happening and the right things are in place to where those things will turn around. Baseball is such a humbling game in a way, and then it can also be really uplifting at times. So right now we’re just in a little bit of that humbling time, and we’re looking ahead and we’re looking forward to when that shifts.”

Castro loses control: In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Tanner Scott pitched two perfect innings, striking out five of the six batters he faced. On Monday night, he allowed four runs, two of them unearned due to an error by Richie Martin, striking out two. Jose Abreu hit a two-run home run to right on a 2-0 fastball.

Miguel Castro, who entered the game with an 8.18 ERA, had a disastrous eighth inning when he faced seven batters and retired only one. He allowed four runs on four hits, two walks and threw three wild pitches. His ERA is now 10.80.

“Miggy’s trying. It’s not from lack of effort,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s not from lack of work beforehand. It’s not from how bad he wants it. It just didn’t happen today. He’s had some good moments. He’s had some moments he’d like to forget. His stuff is really, really good. Tonight, he had a tough time getting ahead of hitters. When every hitter’s 2-0, and sitting on stuff, it’s a lot easier to hit.”

Position player pitching madness: In the first 64 years of Orioles baseball, they used a position player to pitch nine times. In the first 24 games this season, they’ve used three.

Hanser Alberto allowed two runs in an inning in a 15-3 loss to New York on April 7. Chris Davis, who had been one of the nine position players to pitch, gave up in a run in the ninth inning of Saturday night’s 16-7 loss to Minnesota.

Catcher Jesus Sucre, who had five previous relief appearances to his credit, threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Sucre said that Hyde approached Alberto, who was playing third base about pitching after the eighth inning, and the catcher volunteered to throw instead.

Hyde didn’t want Sucre to pitch because he’s planning to catch him on Tuesday, but Sucre said he wouldn’t overthrow.

“It’s tough. We’ve been having tough games in the last few days,” Sucre said. “I’m here to help my guys. I kind of picked my guys up a little bit. I’m here to help them out and they need me, and they want me to do that. I’m going to be there.”

Hyde says he’s using position players to preserve more wear on his bullpen, and that the Orioles won’t be adding another reliever for Tuesday’s game.

“We’re going with what we’ve got,” Hyde said.

Martin’s tough night: In his first 19 games at shortstop, Martin made one error. He committed two on Monday night.

He made his first in the sixth when he muffed Nicky Delmonico’s ground ball, but his most glaring came in the seventh when Yonder Alonso, who was on second tried to take third on a grounder to Martin.

Two innings earlier, Martin threw out Ryan Cordell on a similar play.

Martin’s throw to Alberto was wild and reached the third base dugout, and Alonso was awarded home plate.

Offensively, Martin has had a tough time, which wasn’t unexpected because he’s making the jump from Double-A to the majors. He’s hitting just .167 (9-for-54) with an RBI.

Hyde isn’t concerned about Martin’s defense.

“Richie just had a tough night defensively because he’s been so good all year long,” Hyde said. “Those games definitely happen, and he’s going to have another one like that. He’s going to have a couple like that. That’s just part of playing for six months. Those things happen. First weeks of the year, Richie’s defense has been spectacular, kind of a couple tough plays tonight. I wouldn’t let it…his confidence won’t be shaken by it. He’s been really good.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Ekim

    April 23, 2019 at 7:25 am

    Rich… Some things never change and Scott and Castro are good examples. They both fall into the same category of “potential”’

    • Ekim

      April 23, 2019 at 7:39 am

      that the O’s got hung up on with Wright. This is Scott’s sixth year in the O’s system and it’s still the same ole, same ole that’s been since the start… frustratingly inconsistent. At least he’s “ home grown”. Castro, in my mind was one of DD’s reject pick-ups. That high 90’s was the lure. But being able to count on him has been a crapshoot from the beginning and he’s regressing rather than progressing right at the time he needs to take a step forward. We’re stuck with both of them as the “cupboard” is basically bare. We’re not going anywhere so we might as well let them self destruct and hope the more time in the minors the kids have will prove beneficial.

      • VICTORTEE

        April 23, 2019 at 8:31 am

        But the new coaches are supposed to be great at player development. So let’s see them fix Scott and Castro.

      • Jbigle1

        April 23, 2019 at 1:16 pm

        Scott I have hope for. Still too young and a lefty. Way too much potential there. Scott also has options. I’ve seen enough of Miguel Castro. Is the next guy we call up going to be any better? Maybe not but his time has to be nearing an end. Scott has at least flashed some brilliance. Castro with his heat can’t even K major league hitters at a decent clip and walks about as many as he K’s. It’s time to move on

  2. CalsPals

    April 23, 2019 at 7:47 am

    No outs, try to bunt, thrown out, Nunez just walked back to third, didn’t get dirty until after he was thrown out, control what you can control, unacceptable…..

    • ButchBird59

      April 23, 2019 at 12:45 pm

      I agree. I’m one of the chief proponents of the new Oriole way and was happy to see bunts being laid down but, another head scratcher was bunting with the bases loaded. OUCH!

  3. Orial

    April 23, 2019 at 7:56 am

    The O’s pitchers have this knack for teasing you with a good outing followed by a series of disastrous ones(Ubaldo,Wright,Matusz,etc.) Starting to wonder are signals from bench to catcher to mound being stolen from opposing bench? There’s been bad pitching but this is beyond bad. Richie Martin,like Mullins,could use some AAA time but that can’t happen(Rule 5). I’m gonna repeat one of my Feb/March yearnings–Shields and/or Santana would have given depth. But–oh well.

    • Jbigle1

      April 23, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      Shields is still out there. If he still wants to pitch I’m sure it won’t take much to get him out of FA. Of course he’s made over 100 million dollars in his career and may just be done. Can’t say I blame him if 500K doesn’t get on him a crappy team.

  4. Fareastern89

    April 23, 2019 at 8:21 am

    As painful as this may be to watch, it should be the low point of the rebuild. Elias has been pretty open with O’s fans. The club is using the first part of this season to give extended auditions to guys who have succeeded at the Triple A level; if they fail, they either get cut loose or sent back down. Meanwhile, the better prospects are developing further in the minors — see Mountcastle’s recent hot streak, and Delmarva’s excellent start. Perhaps we’ll see a few younger players sent up in the second half of the season, but right now it’s just a matter of getting through this inevitable rough patch. And enjoy the enthusiasm of players such as Sucre, who is making the most of his playing time.

    • PA Bird Lover

      April 23, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      I agree with you, 89, it is called a 3 or 4 year re-build. As you wrote, FO is in full audition gear. They will continue to rid the cupboard of no chance players, like Wright and soon Scott. If the young SS doesn’t soon hit and play without errors, he’ll be history, too.

  5. Bancells Moustache

    April 23, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Well boys, this is that sequence a the beginning of the season in “Major League”, where balls are bouncing off Roger Dorn’s face, Jake Taylor is bombing the damn ball into the outfield and Willie Mays Hays is falling down dejected as shallow pop flies drop between three defenders. It would be nice if we could just montage through this but, alas, real life isn’t edited that way. Any possibility we could just get Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer to set up shop in the booth in Salisbury from here on out? I mean Rich, if you and the beat guys all just started writing about the Shorebirds instead of the big league team would anyone even notice the old switcheroo?

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 23, 2019 at 10:29 am

      Bancells, a five-hour daily commute to and from Salisbury would cut into the time I have to respond to your witty comments.

      • Bancells Moustache

        April 23, 2019 at 10:52 am

        That bridge traffic in the summertime is a killer. Damn, guess I’ll just have to cross my fingers that Bowie turns the corner sometime soon.

  6. 33d St

    April 23, 2019 at 10:24 am

    How far away are we, really, from not having enough pitchers to record the outs required to end a baseball game on a nightly basis?

    • Ekim

      April 23, 2019 at 11:58 am

      Having lived through the days of the “Amazin Mets” and many of Casey Stengel’s supposed quotes, there’s one that sticks with me… in the clubhouse after another unbelievable loss he was quoted as saying “Can’t anyone here play this game?” Paraphrasing it to the current O’s… “Can’t anyone here pitch?” (Other than Sucre)

  7. willmiranda

    April 23, 2019 at 10:25 am

    One has to ask: If they weren’t all “doing the right things,” with desire, hard work, and great effort, how much worse would they be? Sucre, out of position, strolled to the mound, promising not to throw too hard, and had a one-two-three inning. Maybe if they did all the “wrong” things with less intensity, they would do better.

    • Camden Brooks

      April 23, 2019 at 10:29 am

      Exactly how George Constanza got his job with the Yankees…

  8. mindless1

    April 23, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Well, we knew there would losses, but, I wasn’t expecting to be blown out so frequently.
    I saw that Gio Gonzalez has opted out of his minor league deal.
    Could he help us?

    • PA Bird Lover

      April 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm

      Gonzalez is slightly better than Sucre. Sign him

    • Jbigle1

      April 23, 2019 at 1:22 pm

      I doubt Gio would sign with a loser when he has options. He also is going to get somewhere north of 5MM. Which would be over 5x as much as we’ve spent on any player this offseason. Miguel gonzalez is still a FA. I think he’s a lot more likely if we go down that route.

      • OsfansinWV

        April 23, 2019 at 1:37 pm

        What’s his options at the end of April? Fishing, golfing, taking his family to the local carnival?

      • Rich Dubroff

        April 23, 2019 at 4:52 pm

        Miguel Gonzalez had surgery and may not even be ready to pitch now.

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 23, 2019 at 4:53 pm

      He’s more likely to sign with a contender than here, mindless.

    • 33d St

      April 23, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      Gio could sign here if the idea is: no contender wants him right now but if he pitches well here, he will definitely be flipped to a contender in July. It’s not like we’d keep him as part of the rebuild, and none of the bad teams are trading for him at the deadline so it could be a win-win.

      Assuming he’s not total garbage of course. But if he is, well … still might be an upgrade for us.

  9. OsfansinWV

    April 23, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    It seems like the 4th or 5th inning is the wall for these starters. How about just going with the bullpen “openers” for the first 3-4 innings and then bringing in the starters, hopefully have a lead when starters enter. They’re gonna use the pen regardless! As mentioned before there is still a few veteran arms out there that can’t do any worse on 1yr deals and probably pretty cheap at this point… Gio, Shields, Kuechel

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 23, 2019 at 4:54 pm

      Dallas Keuchel would cost the Orioles a draft choice if he signed with them now, and that’s not happening, WV.

    • 33d St

      April 23, 2019 at 6:22 pm

      What’s the statute of limitations on that, Rich? How long does a FA have to sit out there before he doesn’t cost a draft pick any more? Or is there never a time?

  10. BirdsCaps

    April 23, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Does anyone else think that the bandbox of a ballpark that the birds play in does not help this team. There are a lot of largely untalented flyball pitchers and hitters who have as much power as my house does during an electrical outage.

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 23, 2019 at 4:55 pm

      It’s also why it’s difficult to sign free agent pitchers here, BirdsCaps.

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