Brooks paces Orioles to shutout win over Nationals; Harvey works out of jam; third straight victory for club - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Brooks paces Orioles to shutout win over Nationals; Harvey works out of jam; third straight victory for club

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

WASHINGTON—After some difficult outings, Aaron Brooks has become an effective pitcher for the Orioles.

On August 10, Brooks allowed nine runs in the second worst defeat in Orioles history, 23-2, to the Houston Astros. Two starts later, he allowed a run on seven hits in five innings for his first win as an Oriole.

Brooks followed that start with something even better — six scoreless innings and only two hits in the Orioles’ 2-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.

The win was the Orioles’ third straight. It’s their fourth three-game winning streak, and their first since July 26-28 at the Los Angeles Angels. They’re 44-88, and need just four wins to surpass last year’s total of 47.

It was their fifth shutout of the season.

The Orioles have won two of three from the Nationals, the National League wild-card leaders. Washington had won 12 of its previous 14.

“I just loved the way we pitched,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

“Yeah, it’s a great win. There’s no doubt about it. That’s a really good ballclub, a playoff ballclub that’s the hottest team in baseball right now and coming off a sweep on the road, scoring 10 runs a game. To be able to come in and put zeroes up for nine innings, it’s a testament to our pitchers.”

A waiver wire pickup last month, Brooks outdueled Patrick Corbin, who signed a six-year, $140 million contract in the offseason. Brooks had a 6.21 ERA entering the game while Corbin’s was 3.17.

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The Orioles handed Corbin his first loss in 13 starts. They began the game with all the offense they would need.

Hanser Alberto led off with a single. Trey Mancini was hit by a pitch, and Anthony Santander doubled to score Alberto. With one out, Jonathan Villar’s sacrifice fly to center brought Mancini  home in what would be the final run of the game.

After that, Corbin retired 15 straight until Alberto singled to start the seventh.

Brooks’ first hitter, Trea Turner, singled and stole second. Victor Robles singled with one out in the second.

His only inning with multiple baserunners was the fourth, when Anthony Rendon walked, and after Juan Soto struck out, Rendon moved to third on Asdrubal Cabrera’s grounder to second.

Matt Adams was hit by a pitch, and the inning ended on Robles’ foul popup.

Brooks’ six innings equaled his longest of the season.

“He’s more under control in his delivery,” Hyde said. “I feel like he’s not trying to overthrow his pitches. I think he’s making pitches instead of trying to generate arm speed or throw nasty sliders all the time.”

Brooks was replaced by Richard Bleier, who recorded two outs before Robles singled. Miguel Castro got Yan Gomes on a grounder to third.

Hunter Harvey gave up a one-out triple to Turner, struck out Adam Eaton and then walked Rendon and Soto, loading the bases before striking out Cabrera to end the eighth on his 32nd pitch.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Harvey said. “You don’t always want to put yourself in that situation. I trusted [catcher Pedro Severino]. He knows these guys pretty good. He played with them. I went with him, and I trusted him, and it worked out.”

Harvey was extended more than he had been in his previous three appearances.

“I didn’t want him to throw too many pitches,” Hyde said. “That was the problem. But I do want Hunter to experience major league baseball at the end of a game. Which is having to go through Rendon and Soto as the tying run and not giving in and able to compose himself. The last pitch he threw, the 32nd, was 99. So to be able to reach back and get Cabrera there is huge. It’s just going to give him confidence.”

Harvey’s debut came at Fenway Park, in a carnival atmosphere. He then pitched twice at home in front of smallish crowds. The Nationals Park attendance was 24,496, but in the midst of a tight game, they were excited.

“That was pretty fun, especially having the crowd going crazy,” Harvey said. “It really had the adrenaline pumping.”

After losing 13 of 14, the Orioles have won five of seven. The atmosphere showed Harvey what it would be like in late August games that are meaningful for the Orioles.

“I hope so. I’m sure we will be,” Harvey said. “Just getting this little taste. Everybody pitched here today, and that’s what we need to do if we want to eventually be a contending team, and that’s a good start.”

Mychal Givens pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Givens has thrown six straight scoreless outings and his ERA is 4.18, the lowest it’s been since mid-May.

Brooks had to sweat out the eighth to get the win.

“It was scary,” Brooks said. “I knew they had it.”

Rutschman’s first Delmarva homer: Adley Rutschman hit his first homer, a two-run shot for the Delmarva Shorebirds in their 7-0 win over Lakewood.

Mark Trumbo homered for Norfolk in a rehab game.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Fareastern89

    August 28, 2019 at 7:22 am

    Despite the O’s woeful team ERA, I hope Brocail gets some credit for helping some individual pitchers turn their performance around this year. Means has pitched better than many (including me) expected, Bundy appears to be reinventing himself, Wojo has done well at times, and now Brooks. And I saw a replay of Rutschman’s home run — he absolutely crushed that ball.

  2. SpinMaster

    August 28, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Last night sure looked like a glimpse of the future back end of the bullpen. If Dillon Tate continues to progress, we just might have the shutdown bullpen that other teams have. Throw-in Blier, Fry and Castro and we might have something.

  3. Orial

    August 28, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Most impressive aspect of last night’s game,other than Brooks, was Harvey’s ability to pitch out of the jam(though he created it). Will help in his maturing process. Is it possible he pitched around Rendon,Soto(of course he had to load the bases to do it)? Alberto at 3B better than Alberto at 2nd? Starting to think so.

  4. Ekim

    August 28, 2019 at 8:31 am

    An observation on Harvey… I lost count but they fouled off close to half of his pitches… most of them four seam fastballs at between 97 and 100 mph. If he can’t put them away with that kind of “heat” it looks like a looming problem. I remember Tillman being unable to put batters away and ending up with 25 to 30+ pitches per inning and that’s not good. Just saying…

    • Orial

      August 28, 2019 at 10:45 am

      Good observation. Thought the same thing. A good slider/off speed combo.

      • Bancells Moustache

        August 28, 2019 at 12:29 pm

        I’m not too concerned. I mean, the guy is still figuring out where the men’s room is in Camden Yards, never mind how to pitch to Rendon and Soto in a high pressure situation. If it continues to next years All Star break, then I’ll sweat a little.

    • CalsPals

      August 28, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      I don’t remember Tillman throwing that hard when he couldn’t put away hitters, I thought he struggled to get to 90-91…go O’s…

    • Ekim

      August 28, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      Cal… Tillman never got over the lower 90’s… the point I was trying to make was he didn’t have a put-away pitch and batters just fouled off pitch after pitch running his pitch count way up. A 100 mph pitch should be a put-away pitch.

    • CalsPals

      August 28, 2019 at 8:35 pm

      Totally agree…go O’s…

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 28, 2019 at 8:49 am

    So I’m thinking next year might not be as bad as we’re expecting. Add a pitcher or two to the rotation and I’m not sure that a .500 record would be out of the question?

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 28, 2019 at 9:22 am

      I would think that’s wildly optimistic, Boog. They’re on a pace to win 54 games, seven more than last year.

      Next year may be a little better, but it’s still going to be challenging.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 28, 2019 at 12:55 pm

        Yeah, I know Rich … but I’m just so tired of being pessimistic.

    • Camden Brooks

      August 28, 2019 at 6:04 pm

      I don’t see you being pessimistic, just realistic. I don’t think .500 is possible, but a 15 game improvement from this year would be solid 2nd year in a rebuild.

      • Jbigle1

        August 29, 2019 at 1:36 am

        69 wins next year? Where the hell are we gonna pick those wins up? That’s a monumental improvement. We’re going to be playing w largely the same team. Plus maybe a Mountcastle or Hays. And a Kremer or Akin in the rotation. Think that would be wildly optimistic to think that those 4 rookies would make us that much better. I’m not concerned at all with the W/L record at this point.

        I’d rather see individual improvement from our young guys. If we win 69 games because guys like Cobb, Givens, Villar, and Bundy have career years it wouldn’t mean a whole hell of a lot to me. Well, other than the fact that we’d probably have more trade chips.

  6. AZ ORIOLES Fan

    August 28, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Since July we have been solid but we still take a pounding at the hands of the Yankees so my hope for this year was more than 47 wins. Next year a goal is not to lose 100 games, I am buying in that 2021 .500 or better and in 22 we are competing again for the post season.

    The reconstruction of the organization is setting us up for prolonged success, not just a few years

    • willmiranda

      August 28, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Since they already have 44 wins, would you consider revising your hopes, or are you expecting a total collapse? I know I’ve been called an optimist here, but if they only win 48 on the season, I don’t think I’ll be the only one dismayed. Actually I think they will finish at a better pace than Rich projects and certainly expect next year to be more than “a little better.”

  7. cb

    August 28, 2019 at 10:03 am

    I like Tate’s stuff. He has good movement on his fastball. I think he can replace Givens if he is traded.

  8. Le Merlu

    August 28, 2019 at 11:41 am

    That’s good to have such kind of morale boost every once in a while. Gives a warm feeling the only way is up, and that this journey has already begun.

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