Oriole offense missing in 3-0 loss to Marlins; Zimmermann blames himself on bunt play - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Oriole offense missing in 3-0 loss to Marlins; Zimmermann blames himself on bunt play

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

For the fourth time this season, the Orioles had a chance to reach .500 with a win. Each time, they’ve come up short.

In the final game of their five-game road trip, they were shut out for the third time this season, getting just four hits and seeing just 99 pitches in a 3-0 loss to the Miami Marlins at LoanDepot Park in Miami on Wednesday.

Leadoff hitter Austin Hays grounded to third on the first pitch, setting the tone for an offense that showed little patience; Ryan Mountcastle had the lone walk.

Orioles starter Bruce Zimmermann matched Marlins starter Trevor Rogers through four scoreless innings, but the fifth was his undoing.

Catcher Sandy Leon, who had been called up before the game, led off with a single. Rogers then bunted the ball to the mound. Zimmermann was in position to field it, but third baseman Maikel Franco had the better throwing angle and cut in front of Zimmermann. He gave a look to second before throwing to first for the out.

Leon saw that no one was covering third and took the open base.

“Bunt’s in front of the plate there, Franco’s being aggressive, runner at first. We know they’re bunting,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Three guys converge. We need to communicate, and the catcher [Pedro Severino] needs to be at third base.”

Severino wasn’t, but Zimmermann blamed himself.

“You can’t deny that changes the entire [complexion] of that inning,” Zimmermann said. “It’s been a while since we had to run bunt plays like that, and that’s completely on me for not being at third base. Definitely would have made it a lot easier having [Leon] on second base.

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“In the grand scheme of things, a base hit is going to score him regardless from second or third. As locking in to the rest of the inning, that was the same, but it was just a mental lapse on my end. I’ve got to be better than that with the bunt plays.

“You don’t see a lot of those. Obviously, we’re playing an NL team, but still have to be aware of that and make that play.”

Zimmermann then came up big by striking out Jazz Chisholm for the second out with an excellent curveball. He walked Miguel Rojas on four pitches, bringing first baseman Jesus Aguilar to the plate. After lining a fastball foul, Aguilar powered another fastball to deep center, scoring Leon and Rojas.

“It’s a tough one to swallow, especially after battling back against Chisholm, and getting that punchout,” Zimmermann said. “I really want to get out of that, but I should have made a better pitch there.”

Cole Sulser replaced Zimmermann and allowed a run-scoring single to Adam Duvall, and the Orioles trailed, 3-0, on a day when the margin seemed even bigger.

Zimmermann, who’s 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA, allowed three runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking two.

“He just ran into trouble there in the fifth,” Hyde said. “Was one out away from getting out of that fifth inning, really nice punchout of Chisholm, then lost control with Rojas. I’m not sure what happened there.

“I thought he threw the ball well, kept us in the game. Zeroes up until that fifth inning, was a strike away from getting out of the fifth with another zero.”

Rogers (2-1) allowed just four hits in seven innings, and the Orioles got only one runner to second when Franco doubled to start the second. Rogers struck out eight and walked one.

“He’s been difficult on every team he’s faced, and you can see why,” Hyde said. “It’s a left-hander that throws from a tough angle. The ball jumps out of his hand. It’s mid-90s, but it plays up. He’s got command. He’s got good offspeed stuff. He was attacking the strike zone on us. You saw a lot of early outs. He had really good stuff today. We knew that going in.”

The Orioles were shut out for the second time in three games and are 8-10.

“What lost us the game was we didn’t score,” Hyde said. “We lost two games on the road trip and were shut out on both.”

Notes: The Orioles begin a seven-game homestand on Friday night against the Oakland Athletics. Jorge López (1-2, 8.56 ERA) will face Cole Irvin (1-2, 4.60). The Orioles haven’t named their pitchers for Saturday or Sunday. Oakland is scheduled to start Chris Bassitt (1-2, 4.43) on Sunday. … Cedric Mullins was rested for the first time this season. Hays started in center. … The Orioles are 3-14 in Miami.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    April 21, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Again defense surrounding the catcher doesn’t help the O’s, having a snow day today was awesome allowing me to watch the game, I think Zimmerman is going to be ok, but defensively, yikes…didn’t get any help from video replay, loosing the first challenge cost them to challenge the steal of 2nd were they got the runner out…go O’s…

  2. Bhoffman1

    April 21, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Again if I was Diaz I would be pissed not getting the call up. I got to watch the game today a rarity as it was televised in Miami. Zimmerman a nice pitcher but Rogers is a stud. I don’t follow the Marlins but they have some better athletes on their team then us. Yes the defense not covering third was a embarrassment but Zimmerman was right Aquilar was creaming all his pitches today and he was lucky to escape damage earlier.

    • VICTORTEE

      April 22, 2021 at 8:15 am

      So far Diaz is all hype. He has never had an outstanding year in the minors as far as power or average.

  3. garyintheloo

    April 21, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    An awful lot of 4 2/3 inning pitching “performances” when we need seven innings even in a double header. Long way to go means more than just games.

    • CalsPals

      April 21, 2021 at 7:00 pm

      Totally agree, at this rate we need to carry 25 pitchers…lol…go O’s…

    • Shamus

      April 21, 2021 at 7:15 pm

      Yeah , when did 4 2/3 innings by a starter become a strong outing?

  4. dlgruber1

    April 21, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Rich, I love that you began the article by saying for the 4th time this year they had a chance to reach .500 and didn’t do it. I honestly believe that for teams that are rebuilding and haven’t been close to .500 for a few years now that that can become a psychological barrier. If they start to win those games, then they’ll know they can and it will become easier. Then it’s getting over .500, 2 games over, 3 over and so on. It may sound silly but I’ve always felt that for teams in that situation in any long season sport, baseball, basketball, hockey, getting over the .500 barrier is the first big accomplishment and does wonders for their confidence. I’m not expecting it to happen this season but once it does it may be a while before they’re looking up at .500 again.

    • CalsPals

      April 21, 2021 at 7:49 pm

      We can only hope…go O’s…

  5. CalsPals

    April 21, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    I’m quite sure if Rutschman sees any of these games he’s gotta be questioning when he might be called up, our catchers are horrific & they’re involved with more plays than any other player, see the Marlins moved their 23 yr old 2B to the lead off spot…go O’s…

    • Birdman

      April 22, 2021 at 6:41 am

      Marlins 2B (Chisholm) had 315 games of professional experience in the minor leagues before reaching MLB … Rutschman has 37 games.

    • CalsPals

      April 22, 2021 at 7:30 am

      Have you seen our catchers play, what does it matter at this point…go O’s…

  6. dlgruber1

    April 21, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    I think I’ve got the answer to the O’s problem at 2nd base. While many players over the years have flourished after leaving Baltimore there is one guy who I believe would love to “come home”. Jonathan Schoop was fantastic here and hasn’t even come close to performing like he did in Baltimore in either Minnesota or Detroit. He’s still young and they could get him back cheap now I’m sure. I say go for it!

    • Icterus fan

      April 21, 2021 at 9:00 pm

      Good to see that Hyde called out Severino for not covering third base on the bunting fiasco. Even though Zim seemed to fall on the sword.

    • CalsPals

      April 22, 2021 at 7:54 am

      Yep, this needs addressed, Zim should’ve been covering home while Severino was at 3rd, hard to do it was never discussed….go O’s…

  7. dlgruber1

    April 22, 2021 at 12:11 am

    I just caught the highlights (?) of A’s 10 inning win last night. Um, I think we might wanna temper our criticism of the O’s infield defense. If you haven’t seen it ya gotta look it up.

  8. NormOs

    April 22, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    It looked to me as if Zim was in position to handle the bunt and the 3rd baseman cut in front of him leaving 3rd base unmanned. It seemed to be a simple sac attempt for the pitcher to handle. So it seems The O’s are not ready to spend money on any MLB infielders, why am I not surprised?

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