Orioles experience another bullpen meltdown; Hays makes outstanding catch; King Felix says goodbye - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles experience another bullpen meltdown; Hays makes outstanding catch; King Felix says goodbye

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—Through six innings, the Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays played a crisp, even game that was tied at 2. In the seventh, the Orioles experienced yet another one of those nightmare innings in a season that’s thankfully nearing its end.

Less than 24 hours after allowing six runs in the ninth to lose a game they thought was in hand, came another six-run inning as the Orioles lost their fourth straight, to the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-4.

Gabriel Ynoa retired the first batter of the seventh and left after Randal Grichuk’s double.

Tanner Scott walked his only two batters, Reese McGuire and Rowdy Tellez, to load the bases.

Dillon Tate walked Derek Fisher to put Toronto ahead, 3-2. After Bo Bichette struck out, Cavan Biggio, who went 8-for-16 with eight RBIs in the three-game series, singled on an 0-2 pitch to drive in two. Lourdes Gurriel singled for another, and Vladimir Guerrero doubled for two more, and the Orioles were suddenly behind, 8-2.

“It’s just young guys that are really inconsistent,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Our lack of command out of the ‘pen this year has been a struggle, and some nights we have it and some nights we don’t. You’re never really sure what you’re going to get.”

Ynoa was credited with a quality start and the loss.

The Orioles’ four-game losing streak is their 11th of four or more, and they were swept for the 13th time this season. Their record is 49-104 with nine games to play.

“It was really tough, but you know, things like that happen and it’s a learning experience for our guys,” Trey Mancini said.

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“We have had a lot of games kind of slip away from us and hopefully after it keeps happening we can find ways to limit the damage in those innings. Like I said, we’ve got a lot of guys just learning some valuable lessons here in September.”

Hays makes spectacular catch: Thanks to two double plays in the first three innings, Ynoa faced the minimum nine batters. With one out in the fourth, Biggio, who hit for the cycle on Tuesday, hit his 15th homer followed immediately by Gurriel’s 20th.

Guerrero nearly hit the third straight homer, but Austin Hays leaped and caught Guerrero’s ball as it was heading over the fence. Guerrero tipped his helmet to Hays.

Hays thought he’d been playing in his initial Arizona Fall League games this week but instead got to make a sensational play in front of a modest Camden Yards crowd. Hays pounded his chest three times, then pounded his glove while Ynoa exulted by throwing his arms in the air.

“It’s kind of the catch you dream about playing in the backyard, playing Wiffle Ball and all that, so that was pretty cool,” Hays said. “That might be the first time since I was in high school that I robbed a home run. Definitely a cool experience.”

Ynoa was relieved and excited.

“Spectacular play,” he said through a translator. “It was going to be three home runs in a row, so he saved me big time there.

“I wanted to run to center field, hug him, jumping up and down because it was an amazing play.”

Hays, who was at home two weeks ago when he found out the Orioles had made him a late addition to their September roster, smiled when asked to describe his reaction.

“It’s just raw emotion,” Hays said. “You don’t get to do something like that every day. It’s few and far between when a play like that happens. That was just my excitement coming out.

“I saw some guys tipping their caps, so I tipped my cap back. I saw Vlad Jr. kind of take his helmet off, kind of give me recognition for making the catch, just a lot of excitement from all the guys reaching up and making that.”

The Orioles scored a run in the third when Austin Wynns singled against Anthony Kay, Toronto’s “featured pitcher.” Wilmer Font opened with two scoreless innings.

Wynns scored on Mancini’s double. Anthony Santander struck out, but Kay’s pitch eluded catcher Ryan McGuire, and runners were on first and third.

The Orioles tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the fifth when Hanser Alberto scored on Santander’s fielder’s choice.

Mancini, who equaled a career-high with four hits, doubled to score Wynns in the seventh, and Hays homered with two outs in the eighth to cap off his evening.

In the first three months of the year, Mancini’s average was consistently over .300, then dipped to .270 on August 23. It’s now .286.

“Overall I feel good up there and trying to stay committed to my plan,” Mancini said. “I think we all want to finish strong and put good at-bats together, so that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Coming up: Richard Bleier will start for the Orioles on Friday as they begin a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners. It will be the Orioles’ final home series of the season.

It will be Bleier’s first start of his major league career, and it’s expected that Aaron Brooks will follow him. Bleier will be the 18th starter used by the Orioles.

He’ll be opposed by Felix Hernandez, making what’s expected to be the penultimate start of his sterling career.

The 33-year-old Hernandez will pitch for the ninth time in Baltimore, and just the second since 2011.

The Orioles will close the season with three-game series in Toronto and Boston.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 20, 2019 at 7:18 am

    Nice catch by Hays. Shades of Brady & Devereaux. Hopefully it’ll just be the 1st of what turns into many.

    Tanner Scott … how disappointing this cat has become. KaZillion $$ arm, but still can’t find the strike zone. What do y’all think .. he’s 25 years old already … will he ever figure it out?

    • CalsPals

      September 20, 2019 at 9:13 am

      What did Crash Davis say, million dollar arm, 5 cent head…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 20, 2019 at 11:10 am

        Meat

    • SpinMaster

      September 20, 2019 at 9:44 am

      Boog: Love Hays in center. Am getting excited for next year with 3 bona fide outfielder roaming the outfield. As for Tanner Scott, I said this yesterday about Castro, who will Tanner Scott be playing for when he learns how to pitch and not just throw. Unless we have a pitching academy over the winter where these 2 guys can learn how to control their best pitches, they are destined to be released.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 20, 2019 at 11:12 am

        Hate to agree with you, but I do. What I’ve never understood is why the O’s gave up so quickly on the idea of Castro being a starter? In the very least … couldn’t they have tried the opener thing with him?

    • Bhoffman1

      September 20, 2019 at 11:17 am

      Crash Davis should never refer to anybody as five cent head. Since he is the founder of that club.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 20, 2019 at 12:34 pm

        You’re confusing Crush with Crash.

  2. Ekim

    September 20, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Same ole, same ole… Just saying…

  3. deqalt

    September 20, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Rich,

    Any idea what the expectations are for 2020? I realize they will not compete, but is it just assumed more player development and 100 loss season?

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2019 at 8:50 am

      We’ll be hearing from Mike Elias soon about what he thinks, deqalt.

      I think you’re right about player development and perhaps slight improvement in the record, but a third straight 100-loss season is a possibility.

  4. Fareastern89

    September 20, 2019 at 7:59 am

    It was actually fun to watch Toronto’s young guys play with talent and enthusiasm — and now the O’s are heading that way with the arrival of Hays and Harvey. Looking forward to seeing Mountcastle at some point next year, and maybe a pitcher or two (Lowther? Kremer?) by the end of next season. Thanks for all the hard work this year, Rich.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Thank you, Fareastern.

  5. Orial

    September 20, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Agree with posters it is getting hard to follow these games up with any productive thoughts anymore. But I’ll try. Hays please don’t come back to the”Orioles Way”. Stay on that plateau your on. Why do our 2 lefty specialists(Scott,Fry) struggle so much against lefty hitters(they’re actually not bad against righties). Ynoa with 77 pitches,a one out double and you pull him? Really. Knowing this bullpen is both awful,and burnt out why not let him ride it out a little? 77 pitches? A double? Relief pitchers lament–” hit the target,what’s a target?”

    • CalsPals

      September 20, 2019 at 9:15 am

      Unfortunately it’s just the way he has run his bullpen all year, we send players down that need development, maybe he needs sent down…go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      September 20, 2019 at 11:46 am

      Ynoa’s pitch limit last night was probably around 75 pitches. They got the maximum they could expect from him-and maybe a little more. Disagree that the bullpen is burnt out and awful. Awful-yes, burnt out-no. There are plenty of arms available for Hyde to use out of the pen. Just very few that are consistently effective. Hess, Phillips, Taylor Scott, and Eades he will only use if the game is out of reach or he’s completely run out of pitchers. But getting back to Ynoa, the Orioles aren’t going to overextend someone in a September game with no playoff implications. If the Orioles were battling for a playoff spot, he might have kept Ynoa out there longer. Then again, if the Orioles were contending for the playoffs, Ynoa probably wouldn’t be on the team.

  6. Bancells Moustache

    September 20, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Kinda curious about the Arizona Fall League placement of Hays. I always viewed it as a place to polish High A and AA guys who were maybe a year or two out on the farm, whereas Hays looks like he’s just about MLB ready. Also seems like folly to have a guy you want on the roster next spring who you know has had injury trouble play even more games.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2019 at 9:32 am

      Bancells, the idea was for him to go to the AFL to get additional at-bats because he’s missed so much the time last two years.

      You are correct, it’s generally a way to polish the HIgh-A and Double-A guys, but there are exceptions. Perhaps they’ll rethink the decision at the end of the season, especially with Mason Williams missing time and Hays getting more at-bats.

  7. willmiranda

    September 20, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Toronto swept the Birds because they’re a losing (91 big ones) team that hasn’t given up.
    They’ve maintained focus and intensity. I think the O’s actually become complacent with
    a lead or even a tied score. They stop fighting and go into cruise control, not realizing their
    cruising speed is a stall speed. This goes for the bench as well as the players. The front office
    is in their own world, pretending the games aren’t real and results don’t matter while they
    move and remove players and staff just to prove they can do it. Anyway, the team has a week
    to suck it up and leave a good taste in all our mouths.

    • CalsPals

      September 20, 2019 at 11:02 am

      Agree, teams need to learn to put their foot on their opponents throat & end it, if you don’t have the ability to do that, then they shouldn’t be at this level…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 20, 2019 at 11:17 am

      I’m not so sure that they stop fighting or go into cruise control, I think it’s more a matter of a really lousy set of relievers and a manager that missuses them.

      I do however think a few of these guys may be a little too happy just to be in the big leagues. Understandably, collecting a MLB paycheck could make up for a lot of losing. Many of these guys simply are not surefire MLB quality players.

      • Bancells Moustache

        September 20, 2019 at 12:17 pm

        Toronto is better positioned than the O’s because they have young talent on the roster, something the O’s are bereft of. Blue Jay fans can actually look forward to 2020 with some measure of hope, whereas I fully expect next year at Camden Yards to be as bad as this one. I hate to say ‘I told you so’, but had a certain third baseman been dealt at the 2017 deadline the Orioles would be a much more enticing proposition in 2020.

        • Birdman

          September 20, 2019 at 5:16 pm

          Agree that O’s mishandled Machado – once it was clear, by 2017, that they were not going to extend him, they should have dealt Machado …. an example of the lack of any long term strategic plan under PA and DD, as the team just lurched from season to season … Elias may or may not ultimately prove successful, but at least there is a sense that he has an actual long term plan.

          • Bancells Moustache

            September 20, 2019 at 8:01 pm

            Just imagine this team with Alex Verdugo in center and Walker Buehler in the rotation.

    • ClayDal

      September 20, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      That would have been great except one problem. Corey Seager was healthy in 2017, so the Dodgers wouldn’t have been interested. The Dodgers needed Manny in 2018 because Seager was out for the year.

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