Kremer dazzles in debut to lead Orioles to third straight win; 25th anniversary of 2131; Hyde protects Iglesias - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Kremer dazzles in debut to lead Orioles to third straight win; 25th anniversary of 2131; Hyde protects Iglesias

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—Ever since the Orioles traded Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 18, 2018, fans have been waiting for tangible returns from the five players the team received in return.

Suddenly, the trade looks much, much better.

Dean Kremer, who wasn’t even the centerpiece of the Orioles’ haul, made his major league debut on a glorious Sunday afternoon and pitched brilliantly, allowing a run on just one hit in six innings in a 5-1 win over the New York Yankees at Camden Yards. It was the Orioles’ third straight victory over the Yankees after 19 consecutive losses.

Kremer, who found out about 10:30 on Saturday night in a phone call from executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde that he’d be the starter, struck out seven and walked three.

Elias indicated that Kremer might be getting a call, but Kremer wasn’t expecting it.

“I try not to read too much in the moves and play GM in my head,” Kremer said in his video conference call. “I just focus on my work and my pitching, and not the business side.”

Elias and Hyde got on speakerphone and asked Kremer if he wanted to pitch on Sunday.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, absolutely, I’d love to pitch.’ I was pretty excited. I got enough sleep, but my mind was racing late at night. I’m happy my body held up, and I could still perform.”

The postgame call featured several Israeli journalists, who seemed even more excited than the pitcher that Kremer became the first Israeli citizen to pitch in the major leagues.

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“It’s awesome being able to hold the torch, so to speak,” Kremer said. “Even though I was born in America, I have been to Israel every year.”

The day began with Cal Ripken Jr. throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to his son Ryan in a prerecorded spot to mark the 25th anniversary of the Iron Man’s surpassing Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played streak of 2131.

Then Kremer, who was born four months after Ripken’s historic day, had a brilliant one of his own.

He struck out D.J. LeMahieu and Luke Voit to begin the game, and fanned Clint Frazier to end his first outing.

Other than the second inning, when he walked two, and allowed his only run, Kremer allowed only one other baserunner when he walked Voit in the sixth.

DJ Stewart, who began the season hitless in 17 at-bats, hit home runs in his final two at-bats on Saturday night and a two-run homer in the first on Sunday that scored Hanser Alberto, who singled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.

Kremer walked Frazier to begin the second. With one out, Miguel Andújar singled, and Mike Tauchman walked. Frazier scored on Erik Kratz’s force play.

The 24-year-old right-hander retired 15 of his final 16 batters, throwing 88 pitches.

“I think you saw stuff and composure on the mound,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I was really impressed with that second inning. He hit adversity for the first time. He had a little bit of a command issue in that second inning, and to be able to wiggle out of it and only allowing a run, that showed a lot about his character and his poise.

“He settled down after that and really pitched well the next four innings.”

Kremer became the fourth Oriole pitcher to work at least six innings in his first game and hold an opponent to a single hit. Chris Waters was the last in 2008.

In the sixth, the Orioles added two runs when Pedro Severino reached on Andújar’s error to begin the inning. With one out, Rio Ruiz singled against Masahiro Tanaka, and Pat Valaika singled when Luis Cessa came into the game.

With two outs, Cessa walked Bryan Holaday to score Severino, and Andrew Velazquez singled home Ruiz for a 4-1 lead.

Holaday, who has caught in the major leagues since 2012, was chosen by Hyde to catch Kremer.

“We’ve got a tremendous amount of guys that can go out there and beat you with their pure stuff,” Holaday said. “That’s what they’re doing down there, refining that stuff, using it to be able to compete in the strike zone.

“As Dean showed us today what that can do … You wouldn’t be able to tell that that was his first time out there.”

Tanner Scott, Hunter Harvey and Cole Sulser combined for three scoreless innings.

Ryan Mountcastle’s sacrifice fly scored Stewart with the fifth run in the seventh.

On Saturday night, Keegan Akin threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings. After Kremer followed it up with his performance, there is hope that the team is beginning its turnaround.

“I just think you’re seeing young talented guys,” Hyde said. “You look around the field this series, and there’s not a whole lot of major league experience on the field, and you’re seeing youthful energy and talent. They played well this series, no doubt.”

The Orioles won three of four from the Yankees, and they’re 19-21. They’ve won three straight for the first time since August 7-13 when they won six in a row.

“I want to believe I’m an optimist, but I do think about all the games we should have won out of these first 40,” Hyde said. “I’m trying to turn the page on those.

“I’ve really said all along, I want to win as many games as possible, as many series as possible and not look down the road too far, and so I’m really happy with this series.”

Hyde watches Iglesias: Last month, before shortstop José Iglesias was placed on the 10-day injured because of a quadriceps muscle injury, Hyde said that he would have to be “managed.”

Since Iglesias’ return, he’s been the shortstop and the designated hitter. On Sunday, he was rested.

“José Iglesias, what he’s playing through, I give him a ton of credit,” Hyde said.

“This is something that we are going to manage the rest of the year. This is something that if it was over the course of a full season, he’d have to take significant time off, but because we’re in this short, sprint season, and what he means to our team, and he knows what he means to our club.

“He wants to be around, he wants to be in the lineup as much as possible. I think that there would be a lot of players that would cash in and Iggy has been the ultimate pro, and I give him a ton of credit for playing with something that’s bothering him, and he needs rest to recover.

“I talk to him every day. We go through the next few days of how we’re going to manage it, and we communicate on a daily basis, and he’s always upfront and honest with me. He wants to be in there as much as he possibly can. I want him in there. We’re a totally different team with him in there.

“We’re just going to continue with this mindset throughout the rest of the season. What he’s doing, I think, it’s a great example for our young players … of really showing a grind mindset of getting through a season banged up.”

Wojciechowski to bullpen: Asher Wojciechowski, whose place Kremer took in the rotation, is in the bullpen.

“Asher’s still going to be in a swing role,” Hyde said. “I think a lot can still happen over the next few weeks, so I wouldn’t totally dismiss him not making any more starts for the rest of the year.

“There’s going to be opportunity to make more starts, possibly. Right now, Dean is on regular rest. We wanted Dean to make this start. We want to see what he can do in September this year. We’re excited  about how he’s been throwing the ball at Bowie. We look forward to him finishing the year here and making some starts.”

Hyde on Ripken: Hyde can not fathom another player besting Ripken’s streak.

“I’ve seen guys play every game early in their career for a year or two,” Hyde said. “What he did is mindboggling. We’re trying to get through a two-month season. We’re having a hard time staying on the field for a two-month season. I’m trying to give guys breaks.

“We’re playing with strained quads and hamstrings and all sorts of things. I can’t even imagine what that’s like. It will never be duplicated. I can see it short-term, very, very short-term, but not over a period, close to the period of time that Cal did that amazing feat.”

Odds and ends: Renato Núñez is day-to-day because a sore hamstring … Cedric Mullins is also day-to-day because of an undisclosed injury … John Means will pitch against the New York Mets on Tuesday at Citi Field. The Orioles haven’t named Wednesday’s pitcher, and New York hasn’t named its starters … Carson Fulmer, the right-handed pitcher the Orioles claimed on waivers from Pittsburgh on Saturday, must go through Covid-19 protocols before he’s cleared to join the Orioles … The Orioles’ doubleheader against Tampa Bay on September 17th will begin at 4:35 p.m., a half-hour earlier than scheduled.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Bhoffman1

    September 6, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Wow what a debut. With Akin yesterday if Means gets it back, along with Harvey , Tate, Scott, Fry and our slowballer we suddenly have what looks like a good staff and next year might not be so challenging with hopefully Mancini back.

    • OriolesNumber1Fan

      September 6, 2020 at 7:18 pm

      YES!!! Awesome debut!!! He was absolutely dealing today outside of that bogus second inning where I thought some pitch calls went against him. Otherwise, his pin point control was spot on. And you’re absolutely right on with John Means. If he can get back to where he was last year, this team has what it takes to make the playoffs!!! The bullpen is also looking pretty awesome as well!!! The future is looking very bright and even more talented players are coming!!! Keep the faith Boffman. This team is going to be good, really good!!!

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 6, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    DANG!! I missed the game! Arrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh.

    • dlgruber1

      September 6, 2020 at 7:20 pm

      You didn’t miss much. Just another HR by DJ Stewart, a great defensive play at 2nd by Hanser Alberto and, oh yeah, the best debut by an Orioles starter since, well, I’m getting old and my memory is short so I really can’t remember. He threw a very easy 95-96 consistently with a terrific cutter and a wipeout curve. Don’t worry tho, I’m guessing there’s more of that coming next season with Grayson and DL. That light at the end of the tunnel looks much brighter now and if these guys continue to develop and Rutschman is the real deal, it just might be a freight train coming.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 6, 2020 at 8:07 pm

        No way we see Grayson Rodriguez next year. Hall is kind of a long shot as well. Maybe a September callup. I’m all for taking your time with the pitchers and building up their arms before throwing them to the wolves.

    • Hallbe62

      September 6, 2020 at 8:28 pm

      Damn… I did too. 2nd game in a row. They certainly aren’t suffering due to my absence

  3. Bancells Moustache

    September 6, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Magnificent baseball today. Kremer was worth the wait. While I won’t pretend one outing portends future success (Mike Wright anyone?), watching Akin and Kremer these last two days were a breath of fresh, youthful air.

    • Bhoffman1

      September 6, 2020 at 8:00 pm

      No comparison to Mike Wright spelled Wrong. He had no head on his shoulders , Kremer pitched smart with his arm and head.

  4. Birdman

    September 6, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Two games behind the Yankees, with one-fifth the payroll.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 6, 2020 at 8:09 pm

      Wow…think of that. Maybe I’ve been too hard on Hyde.

      DJ Stewart … 0 to .174 in less than 24 hours. Giddyup!

    • BirdsCaps

      September 6, 2020 at 11:50 pm

      Two games out of a wild card spot with a few weeks to go! This might be the only bright spot in 2020 if they somehow get in!

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 6, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    DJ Stewart … 0 to .174 in less than 24 hours. Giddyup!

  6. Bman

    September 6, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    The future is now!!

  7. BirdsCaps

    September 6, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    Kremer was spectacular. With that said, over the years there have been many pitchers that look electric for a few starts and then fall back to earth. Let’s hope he continues and Diaz turns out, but I’m not convinced yet. Oh yeah it is early September and the birds are 2 games out!

  8. Rob IsraOsFan

    September 7, 2020 at 3:10 am

    Rich, thanks for yet another great piece! Daily reader on this site since 2016, first time writing. Born and raised in Silver Spring, MD, I’ve been an O’s fan since attending my first game on 33rd street at the age of 7 against the Yankees. Moved to Tel-Aviv, Israel at the age of 30. Fast-forward 20 years, here I am still rooting for our boys in Black and Orange.

    Been following Dean Kremer since the 2017 World Baseball Classic when he played for Team Israel. Knock on wood (here in Israel we say, in Hebrew, “TFU, TFU, TFU”), I believe Dean Kremer has what it takes to be an excellent pitcher in the big leagues. With the Jewish + Orioles linkage, I can’t help but think of Steve Stone. I am really rooting for this kid and hope that in the near future he will be able to produce a 1980’s Cy Young version of Mr. Stone. Definitely too soon to make this comparison…wishful hoping I guess.

    Rich, I felt I had to come out of the woodwork after all of these years when I read your remark about the Israeli journalists. Even though baseball is not a popular sport in this neck of the woods, the press always loves to cover Israeli-born athletes, or athletes with very strong Israeli ties (like in this case with Mr. Kremer), who play at the top level of any major sport (Deni Avdija and the upcoming NBA draft is a HUGE daily story over here).

    Don’t know how much I will post in the future, but in the meantime, I will continue to read and enjoy your daily articles.

    Needless to say, I will also continue to relish the entertaining and informative commentary from BRR, CalsPals, BanMo, and all the others!!

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 7, 2020 at 7:59 am

      Shalom, Rob!

    • CalsPals

      September 7, 2020 at 8:12 am

      Thanks Rob, feel free to join us ANY time, sorry Onesy, you didn’t make the cut…couldn’t resist…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 7, 2020 at 3:32 pm

        🙂 You made me laugh today CPs

    • CalsPals

      September 7, 2020 at 3:42 pm

      Glad to make someone smile…go O’s…

  9. VegasOriole

    September 7, 2020 at 9:08 am

    Great broadcast as well last night, I liked Ben McDonald’s story of Phil Regan trying to send him to Rochester, which would of meant he would have missed Cal’s historic day.

  10. mmcmillan1123

    September 7, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Elias may just have a plan! Bring the young ones along slowly and keep loading up the pipeline. The best young prospects are still to come. Should have gone for a long bike ride today instead of yesterday. Didn’t find out Kremer was pitching until after I had started. Great game by the kid. Go Kiddie Corps! Speaking of Cal, I was at the 2131 game. That game and the last game at Memorial Stadium were the two most emotional moments that I have ever experienced at a game. That’s why I love baseball. Speaking of Ben McDonald, I went to the first professional game he pitched in Frederick and caught a foul ball that was the first ball that he used in the game. Years later I got him to sign it at a charity event at the old Hecht Company store on Hillen Rd. I thought he was going to cry when I told him the story. Memories are what makes baseball great!

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 7, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Dang MMCmillan ….pretty awesome personal experiences you’ve had there! You’ve got me all choked up! Haven’t been this emotional since the last time I watched Field of Dreams!

      And yeah .. baseball is great!

  11. NormOs

    September 7, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Rich, it looks as if my days of saying “When does the REBUILD start? ARE OVER!! Beat the Yanks 3 in a row and 2 beautifully pitched games by rookie pitchers…”Ain’t the Beer Cold?”

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