Orioles' weak offense leads to doubleheader sweep for Marlins; Stewart optioned - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ weak offense leads to doubleheader sweep for Marlins; Stewart optioned

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—After their three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend, the Orioles were 5-3 and appeared to have an advantage over their next opponent, the remade Miami Marlins.

Three games into a four games series, the Orioles have just 10 hits and one run—scored in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s second game.

On Wednesday, they played their first seven-inning doubleheader and were the visiting team in the second game, which they dropped, 2-1, to the Marlins, who had 18 new players because most of their team had tested positive for Covid-19.

The Orioles lost the first game, 1-0, getting only three hits.

The Orioles have missed third baseman Rio Ruiz, who is out with shoulder inflammation, and limited use of the team’s hottest hitter, José Iglesias, who hasn’t been able to play shortstop since July 29 because a left quad injury.

“They’re a big part of our club,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “And a big part of our defense on the left side, and Rio has been off to such a good start offensively. He’s been a run producer for us. Iggy not being healthy for a few days. Nice to get him back out there today. That’s a loss. Hopefully, both of those guys will be healthy soon, and you’ll see them out there regularly.”

Iglesias was the designated hitter in both games of the doubleheader while Andrew Velázquez (1-for-17, .059) was at short.

“It was a very positive day for me, moving around, pain-free,” Iglesias said. “[Thursday] we’ll see what skip wants to do, maybe DH me another game or so.”

Hyde benched slumping first baseman Chris Davis (1-for-19) in the second game.

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He gave a second-game start to Cedric Mullins, who has shown improved skills in the outfield and on the bases but hasn’t shown growth at the plate (1-for-12, .083).  DJ Stewart, who’s hitless in 14 at-bats, was pinch-hit for in the fourth inning by another scuffling outfielder, Austin Hays (.158).

After the game, Stewart was optioned to the Orioles’ alternate site in Bowie. That gets the Orioles to 28 players as they were required to by Thursday. Earlier in the day, starting pitcher John Means was placed on the bereavement list.

Hays drove in the Orioles’ only run in three games in the sixth when his chopper bounced off the gloves of third baseman Eddy Alvarez and shortstop Jonathan Villar.

Five Marlins pitchers limited the Orioles to four hits in seven innings. They’re 5-6.

“I don’t know if we’re trying too hard,” Hyde said. “I’m not sure what it is, to be honest with you. It’s one of those little funks that we’ve gone through in a couple of days. We swung the bat good against Tampa just a couple of days ago, had the offday and had a tough time putting a rally together or scoring a run these last three games.

“We’re not driving the baseball. Guys are trying to do too much and carrying too big of a load instead of just trying to get the next guy up, try to win every pitch. We’re having a tough time just getting on base to start a rally.”

Second-game starter Asher Wojciechowski was effective, giving up two runs in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Jesus Aguilar and an RBI single by Brian Anderson that was nothing more than a weak ground ball that avoided the shift. But Wojciechowski had no run support.

“I really like the way we’re pitching,” Hyde said. “I think our offense will come around. I don’t think we’re going to be scoring one run in three games. We’ve proven that we can score runs and we have swung the bat against really good pitchers.”

Wojciechowski allowed two runs on four hits in five innings.

“I threw the ball well other than [to] the leadoff batter,” Wojciechowski said. “I threw four noncompetitive pitches there, and I have to do a better job there.”

Because the Orioles weren’t able to play the Marlins in Miami last week, the second game of the doubleheader and Thursday’s game are designated as Marlins’ home games.

With Miami batting last, there was no fifth-inning stretch, as there was in the first game. Marlins hype videos and walkup songs were played.

“It was strange to have your home whites on and be the visitor in your home ballpark,” Hyde said. “But that didn’t have any [impact] on the game. We just didn’t swing the bat, we didn’t score runs. We pitched great today, both games, we just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Bhoffman1

    August 6, 2020 at 7:44 am

    Sterward optioned one down two to go. Yes I like Mullins speed but he has never hit and looks the same as

    last year. Smith jr was released by Toronto for a reason he is a one dimensional player at best. Diaz and Mountcastle cannot stink it up worst then these guys with their eyes closed. Williams will get on base and play defense but he wasn’t drafted and he’s old at 29 so he doesn’t count. I do agree with Hyde that Alex and Asher looked good. Why is Hess still on this team? Why was Sisco taken out of the first game and sat for game two. Is he resting him for today ?

    • Jbigle1

      August 6, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Diaz didn’t really hit very well in AA last year. He might not be ready. He also isn’t on the 40 man yet. I wouldn’t expect to see him until the very end of the year, unless we get some sort of outbreak like the Marlins did. I suspect Mountcastle will be up shortly. Probably after the orioles believe the super 2 cutoff will be.

      If we focus on the positives of this 11 game stretch: Rio Ruiz is making a case for sticking around for awhile. The bullpen has looked about 100x better. And Alberto is off to a solid start.

      But it’s only been 11 games. In a normal season that’d mean nothing. It’s tough to really evaluate.

    • CalsPals

      August 6, 2020 at 4:53 pm

      Ruiz, agree somewhat, for a while it was all or nothing, now the health issue…go O’s…

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 6, 2020 at 7:51 am

    “Benched” Chris Davis? Funny Rich, but I thought he had already been relegated to being a backup. I’d be more inclined to say they gave him a start in lieu of (insert name here) in the 1st game, rather than benching him in the 2nd. This guy is an embarrassment to the team. And what’s more embarrassing is the decidedly 3rd world ownership that refuses to eat his contract.

    AND WHERE IS CHANCE SISCO in the 2nd game? What the heck is Hyde thinking? One of the few players that isn’t “scuffling”, and he’s riding the pine. I’m starting to think Hyde has some awfully odd marching orders when in comes to setting a lineup. If you’re playing for the future, this boy needs to be getting at bats every single day. Something smells funny about this situation.

  3. Orial

    August 6, 2020 at 8:28 am

    An old,redundant subject but this lack of development is rearing it’s ugly head again. Stewart,Mullins-now do we have to start worrying about Hays? Given the CF position and now he’s pressing? Can SOMEBODY please step forward? At this point why not—put Mountcastle/Diaz out there and let it ride. First pitch swinging–my God. Same thing every year. Is it conceivable that Davis’ funks have a way of trickling through the lineup–kind of a bad vibe thing? Two days ago I said “I have nothing negative to say”. Well things are finally back to normal.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 6, 2020 at 8:34 am

      To me, Hays seems to be coming out of it lately. I know he only went 1 for 5 yesterday … but it’s baseball. I’m not worried about him. Yet.

    • Jbigle1

      August 6, 2020 at 10:08 am

      Guys in the grand scheme of things. Neither DJ stewart nor Cedric Mullins was considered a “very good” prospect. Hays was the only one with the expectation of being a major league starting outfielder. Prospects like Mullins and Stewart flop all the time.

      That’s the nature of prospects. Particularly the ones w/ pedigrees like Mullins and Stewart. There will be more flops in that regard to come. Tough to watch but you have to run through a couple DJ Stewart’s to find a guy like Anthony Santander. Just the way it goes.

      Odds are at least one of Diaz, Mountcastle, and Hays will disappoint you as well. That’s pretty much a uniform Fact across every team in baseball. Some obviously do it a little better than others but some of these guys we’re very excited about are going to turn out to be zeroes.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 6, 2020 at 10:26 am

        I guess I got hung up on Mullins from his AA performance a couple years back. Besides, when is the last time the Orioles had someone on the roster faster than a slow drip? I’m not saying I’m giving up on him ….yet… but I keep going back to a comment our boy Jim Palmer gave on MASN last season stating the Mullins simply can’t hit a major league fastball. Maybe Jim Palmer knows baseball?

    • Bhoffman1

      August 6, 2020 at 11:33 am

      Watching Diaz and Mountcastle flop if that were the case will be a lot more interesting then Smith jr and Mullins. At least Hays looks fluid up there and hustles. Steward looked like he was on drugs. There was a shot of him last night laughing in the dugout at the marlins pitcher great movement on his splitter. Atleast he enjoyed himself here I certainly didnt.

  4. Jim-Considine

    August 6, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Rich, I imagine that I am seeking “normal” as much as the next guy. So, the Orioles messing with thdir uniform protocol (Friday = black jersey and Saturday = orange jersey) is a pet peeve. I guess wearing the gray in the second game would have been too conventional. The Marlins could improve the visuals by wearing their home unis. Their road uniforms are pretty dull, especially when the games are dragging.
    Plus, what happened to the ivy? Not that I couldn’t guess why it was removed (rhymes with bats).
    I could wail about the outfielders batting a combined .129, but why bother?

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 6, 2020 at 10:44 am

      Jim, the Marlins probably didn’t bring their home uniforms with them. They’d been on a road trip. On many clubs, the starting pitcher picks the uniform tops, and I think the Orioles have now allowed them to do that.

  5. Birdman

    August 6, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Yesterday, Brandon Hyde said that Chris Davis is “a little bit late on the heater right now.” – I guess “right now” means the last 3 years.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 6, 2020 at 11:34 am

      Did I miss it? Did he swing?

      • Phil770

        August 6, 2020 at 4:48 pm

        yep, hit a grounder down the 3B line, backhanded and thrown out.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          August 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm

          Baby steps. At least he didn’t K looking.

    • WorldlyView

      August 6, 2020 at 2:26 pm

      Rich, If CD were to be released and signed by another team, would the O’s be off the hook for having to pay the remaining millions of his contract? Would his new team inherit any of his current salary obligations? If not, I would think another team would take a chance on a change of scenery restoring at least some of his ability to hit a baseball.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 6, 2020 at 2:35 pm

      Professor Cohen, if he were released, the Orioles would have to pay everything left on his contract but the minimum salary for a major leaguer. His new team would pay the minimum.

      • Birdman

        August 6, 2020 at 3:30 pm

        I’m not being sarcastic when I ask this. Are there any other MLB teams who would want to put Chris Davis in their starting lineup, even if they only had to pay him the major league minimum salary?

        • WorldlyView

          August 6, 2020 at 5:56 pm

          I wouldn’t bet big on another team signing him. But it’s certainly possible that a team hurt by injuries and/or illness in need of a low-cost body would take a chance. I cannot shake the feeling that a change of scenery would restore at least some of CD’s inexplicably diminished skills. Kind of a Hanser in reverse.
          BTW, if there is no change in CD’s status or BA, maybe we could start a GoFundMe page to ease the hit the Angelos family would take on a buyout.

    • CalsPals

      August 6, 2020 at 4:55 pm

      Not batting.05/something, I’d be really surprised…go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      August 6, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      As Rich pointed out, if Davis is released any team that signs him would only have to pay him the minimum. The Orioles would be on the hook for the rest. Which is probably why the Orioles are reluctant to cut him loose. Nightmare scenario for the Orioles-they release him , he signs with the Yankees for the minimum and rediscovers his stroke. Not that far fetched as I suspect most of Davis’s problems are above the neck. Without the pressure of a 23 million dollar contract, he can relax and be himself. Again, imagine Chris Davis hitting 40HR’s for the Yankees, making the minimum, while the Orioles are paying him over 20 million a year. That would be quite embarrassing. So my fear is that the Orioles and Davis are stuck with each other.

    • CalsPals

      August 6, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      Agree, but they don’t have to play him, this isn’t pay to play, is it?…go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      August 6, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      What good is having Davis sit on the bench? Not only would he be taking a spot on the active roster, but also the 40 man roster. Basically the Orioles have 2 choices-play him or release him. Having him be the highest paid cheerleader ever isn’t a viable option

  6. musicmanjr

    August 6, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Rich, how is it possible to play three games against the depleted Miami Marlins and score one run? D J Stewart, Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, and Dwight Smith all are way south of the Mendoza line. I know we’re supposed to trust the rebuilding “process.” But 35 year old Adam Jones and 36 year old Nick Markakis are vastly superior TODAY to this bunch of under performers. O’s could use a veteran outfielder to provide some leadership.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 6, 2020 at 11:36 am

      Thumbs up Junior.

    • CalsPals

      August 6, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Totally agree Jr…go O’s…

    • Bhoffman1

      August 6, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      Music man Willams is a veteran at 29 did everything the O’s asked him to do in the minors, last year in his brief appearance before he got hurt hustling into the wall and this spring hitting 375 and playing every position in the outfield but since he’s not a prospect he doesn’t play. I watched Diaz and Mountcastle this spring and they should be here now. It’s all politics in this club. Lose now for next years draft and Hyde is just a yes man for Elias. Go 0’s

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 6, 2020 at 1:34 pm

        2 Thumbs up BHoff … I used to believe in Hyde, but it’s becoming clearer each day that he really doesn’t call the shots.

    • CalsPals

      August 6, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      Having coached 40 yrs under 3 different administrations it’s tough when they want to micro manage, I think that’s exactly what’s happening to Hyde, wouldn’t find it hard to believe if SOMEONE had input on his last three lineups because they were doing too well, sad…go O’s…

      • Phil770

        August 6, 2020 at 5:10 pm

        I don’t see conspiracy here; I see a manager that is scuffling and who may be over his head. The team was lethargic the last two days – didn’t seem prepared. Not sure I agree that we need a veteran outfielder. The team may be better off growing together. The last three games exposed the fact that the O’s have too many one dimensional position players. Nunez can’t play 3rd and doesn’t play 1B all that well; when he plays the field, it affects his hitting so mainly a DH. I think Sisco is not a good catcher, so need to find position for him – if he can hit, part of a C-DH-1B rotation. I think CD has created some tension on the club, even if it is only with Hyde, it is a drag. At this point, I would try to convince CD to opt-out the rest of the season, maybe via 60-day DL – everybody saves face. I would then DFA Smith, if he clears waivers, then to Bowie; replace him with Williams as 4th OF. I would put Mullins in LF with the intent to leave him there. Same for Hays in CF and Santander in RF. Put RM at 1B. Could rotate RM, Sisco and Nunez at DH and 1B, with RM trying LF. The O’s would still not be very good, but… folks would be less upset with any losing, and maybe with the pressure off, players will be both more relaxed and productive.

    • WorldlyView

      August 6, 2020 at 7:52 pm

      You don’t get it. No additional veterans are wanted or needed. The master rebuilding program is based on the irrefutable logic that by stockpiling and playing prospects, a new Oriole dynasty is inevitable and just a couple or 3 years away. Never mind the high failure rate of high round draftees. In the meantime, prepare for and accept mediocre play for as long as it takes. The future is somewhere out there in the future.

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