Oriole bats go quiet again in 5-1 loss to Braves; Hyde ejected; Mullins gets Gold Glove mention - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Oriole bats go quiet again in 5-1 loss to Braves; Hyde ejected; Mullins gets Gold Glove mention

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—Twenty-four hours after the Orioles’ 14-run outburst against the Atlanta Braves, their slumbering offense returned.

Last weekend, the Orioles scored just three runs in 33 innings in a four-game sweep at Yankee Stadium. Six Braves pitchers held the Orioles to four hits in a 5-1 win on Tuesday night.

It was the Orioles’ sixth loss in the past seven games, dropping their record to 21-27.

“I felt like we’ve been chasing a little bit,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Some guys are scuffling a little bit, and we’re kind of chasing hits and we’re expanding [the strike zone] a little bit too much.”

Thomas Eshelman got the start, and he allowed two runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings.

In the third, Atlanta scored on doubles by Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman. In the fourth, Adam Duvall, who homered three times in the Braves’ 29-9 win over Miami on September 9th, hit his 15th of the season, his 10th this month.

Huascar Ynoa started and pitched four scoreless innings. He allowed a one-out double to José Iglesias in the first and a leadoff single to Pedro Severino in the second.

“I think it’s just a combination of us not having timely hits,” centerfielder Cedric Mullins said. “We’re still putting good at-bats together and working our way on base. It’s just a matter of getting those runs in early.”

Severino’s hit was the last Oriole baserunner until Iglesias’ leadoff single in the seventh. Atlanta pitchers had retired 14 straight Orioles. Mullins doubled with one out in the ninth, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Iglesias’ infield out.

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“We’re definitely a streaky hitting team, and we struggle with guys that can expand the strike zone on us,” Hyde said. “And that is something we need to get better at as a club, and we’re inexperienced and young. I think it’s pretty common for young hitters to chase out of the strike zone, and I think when we’re not swinging the bat well, that’s what we’re really doing.

“Tonight, I would give credit to the Braves’ pitching staff. I thought they were really excellent, but going forward we all need, top-to-bottom, to zero in on the strike zone and understand what pitches we can handle and what pitches we can drive because the nights we score a bunch of runs, we get good swings on strikes. When we’re scuffling is when we’re trying to do a bit too much and leaving the strike zone.”

Atlanta scored three runs in the ninth against Asher Wojciechowski.

Hyde ejected: Hyde was ejected for arguing a checked-swing call on Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña in the fourth inning. First base umpire Brennan Miller tossed Hyde, who was in the dugout. He came out to argue after the ejection. Fredi González managed the Orioles after Hyde’s ejection.

“Pretty quick for sure,” Hyde said. “We had a few disagreements on a few checked swings. I guess he didn’t like what I said there out of the dugout on the third checked swing that we disagreed with. Pretty quick hook, but it’s so quiet out there. It’s definitely the weirdest ejection I’ve ever been a part of.”

It was Hyde’s first ejection of this season, fifth in his career and fourth as Orioles manager.

“I think I yelled out there, and he didn’t like what he heard, and then I had to keep my distance when I was out there,” Hyde said. “It made me pause. I wasn’t thinking clearly, and I got a little too close, distance-wise.”

Mountcastle plays first: For the first time in the major leagues, Ryan Mountcastle played first base. Mountcastle’s only embarrassing moment came when a pop fly by Atlanta’s Austin Riley fell between rightfielder DJ Stewart and Mountcastle for a single in the eighth.

“I’ve been really happy with the defense he’s played in left,” Hyde said before the game.

“He’s done a really nice job since he’s been here. Credit goes to him, and the coaches in Bowie because he has improved a lot in the outfield.

“He’s played the infield his whole life. It’s not like he’s never been on the infield dirt … It’s somebody who has played the infield, who has taken reps at first base, and I’m ready to try it.”

O’Day returns: For the first time since he was traded by the Orioles to the Braves on July 31, 2018, Darren O’Day pitched in Baltimore.

O’Day retired the Orioles in order in the fifth to pick up his fourth win without a defeat. His ERA is 0.64.

A month short of his 38th birthday, O’Day went to the Braves along with Kevin Gausman in a deal that brought Evan Phillips, minor league catcher Brett Cumberland, third baseman JC Encarnacion and pitcher Bruce Zimmermann.

It was his first appearance in Baltimore since June 26, 2018. O’Day suffered a season-ending hamstring injury.

Life in the bubble: Major League Baseball announced its postseason schedule. The new wild-card round, which features the top eight teams in each league, begins on September 29th in American League parks and September 30th in National League parks. It’s best two-of-three, and all games will be played in the homes of the higher seeds.

The American League Division Series will be played at Dodger Stadium and San Diego’s Petco Park and begin on October 5th. The National League Division Series, to be played at Arlington’s Globe Life Field and Houston’s Minute Maid Park, starts on October 6th.

The AL Championship Series starts in San Diego on October 11th, and the NLCS begins in Arlington on October 12th.

The World Series will be played in Arlington beginning on October 20th.

“This is an unusual year,” Hyde said. “Everybody’s been making sacrifices for a while now. I know that the NBA has been successful. I think the NHL, with what it’s been going through, has been successful. I think what we’ve done has been successful.

“I think everybody has made sacrifices to finish this season and stay healthy.”

Mullins for Gold Glove?: Hyde is clearly taken with Mullins’ play in center field.

“I’m going to go on record here and say you have start considering Cedric Mullins a Gold Glover,” Hyde said. “He’s played Gold Glove-type defense this whole entire season. I can’t remember a play … he didn’t make. He’s made so many great plays and, not only that, but run-saving plays, big plays in big spots. He makes the tough play look easy. Some of those plays on balls over his head that he just glides and gets to, those are really difficult plays that a lot of guys don’t get to.

“I knew he was a good defender. I saw him a little bit last year. I [saw] him in spring training, but this has opened my eyes. This is an elite center ielder that should be in the Gold Glove consideration.”

Coming up: Keegan Akin will face Cole Hamels in the last of the three-game series Wednesday night. It will be the Orioles’ final game against a National League East team.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Orial

    September 16, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Morning all. The inconsistency continues. The O’s hitters definitely feed off each other whethrr good or bad. Must be a hitting coaches nightmare. I know he can’t/won’t but I wish Hyde could state his main culprits when it comes to “chasing” pitches. Alberto,Nunez Severino? We can guess but who knows? Wondering if moving Mountcastle from LF to DH to 1B is actually such a good idea when he’s just getting himself acclimated to ML pitching? A little too much to concentrate on in your first 20 games. A shame a good problem(too many good young OFers) could again have players(Mountcastle) bouncing around. My God Mullins is brilliant in CF. What happened to Wojo? We knew there was nothing great about him but THIS bad? Last week and a half of his lackluster O’s career coming up. All in all they’ve but a joy to watch.

  2. Tony Paparella

    September 16, 2020 at 9:16 am

    I personally like putting Mountcastle at first base as this could be his position for the immediate future, thus let him go at it and get the reps he needs to really acclimate himself at the position. Mullins excellent at running balls down no doubt but wonder if his arm will hinder future voting for him at that position? Sees like this batting inconsistency has haunted the team for the past 2-3 years but then again maybe more noticeable as an everyday fan as other teams may suffer the same.Team still needs consistency fro starting pitching but mainly are in need of a couple more starting candidates which should come in the near future. Jury has to be still out on a lot of the guys but for some judgement day may come sooner than later as the “Birds have a lot of talent in the wings”. ( Get it?, Lol)

  3. CalsPals

    September 16, 2020 at 9:40 am

    From what I saw on TV, Hyde shouldn’t have barked about the last checked swing, saw other times (games) he could’ve/should’ve argued & said nothing…experience…go O’s…

  4. Bhoffman1

    September 16, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Wojo has been terrible lately . Game was still in reach he should not have pitched in the ninth. Let’s win today

  5. willmiranda

    September 16, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Hyde talked about “distancing” from the umpire. Did he forget to put on his mask before going out to cuss him? Take note, young fans. Aren’t umps getting a little too sensitive when they’re afraid of being shown up in front of a bunch of empty seats? Now, if the O’s had cardboard fans in the seats, I could see their need to maintain their dignity.

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 16, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Totally off topic from last nights game, but I’ve been wondering about something all year, even going back to last year I believe, and I’m hoping somebody can answer a question …

    When our players get on base with a base hit, most all of them look back into the dugout, and make a strange motion / 2 handed gesture. The best way I can describe it is to say it looks like they’re pleasuring an elephant over their shoulder? Can anybody tell me the significance of this motion? This has been driving me nuts!

    • spwagner44

      September 16, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      I’m curious too! It might be a cultural thing?

  7. B.C. Bird

    September 16, 2020 at 10:58 am

    with the sudden emergence of outfielders why is Mountcastle the sacrificial lamb in the equation. I thought long term Mancini was the first baseman of the future so what gives with Hyde saying he would like to give Mount reps at first and see what he can do. To me that is counterproductive to development, something Oriole management excels at.Let the kid play one position and see how well he does long term
    Keep the faith

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 16, 2020 at 11:03 am

      Terry, unlike Stewart, Hays and Mullins, Mountcastle played first last year for Norfolk. He wants to see Stewart, Hays and Mullins play in the outfield; in fact, Hays is playing left for the first time. There’s no long-term committment here, but including Santander, they have a possible bottleneck in the outfield.

      They don’t have a natural first baseman on the current active roster, either.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 16, 2020 at 11:07 am

      I disagree. 1st base is his future position. Much as we all love Trey, and as cold hearted as it is to think this way, he’s going to be 29 before he steps in the batter’s box again, and frankly, I believe his days are numbered. Speculation of him being traded has been going around for over a year now.

      Mountcastle is a born infielder and that’s where his future lies. Especially with the glut of good young outfielders the O’s seem to currently have. And more are on their way.

    • Bancells Moustache

      September 16, 2020 at 11:27 am

      We know nothing about anything yet. We still don’t know whether Trey comes back at 100% and Mountcastle needs to keep raking before anointing him the savior, though the early signs are magnificent. I agree Mancini is my first baseman, but rotating he and and Mountcastle at first and DH while they figure out who is the long term answer isn’t exactly a terrible scenario. Both have shown they can play multiple postions at the Major League level. This is not a bad thing.

  8. Bhoffman1

    September 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Rich add Diaz to the bottleneck . He should be ready sometime next year. Kremer who has been his teammate said this is nothing he can’t do and the ball explodes off his bat.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 16, 2020 at 1:43 pm

      Right you are, Bruce, but if all these guys are still on hand at the beginning of April, I can’t see how he makes the team to start the season. He and Ryan McKenna are both in the mix.

    • CalsPals

      September 16, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      What about Kjerstad, talk about a logjam…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 16, 2020 at 5:24 pm

        And in 2 years we’ll be talking Kyle Stowers and Hudson Haskins … both outfielders and high draft picks.

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