Orioles lose 5th straight; Zimmermann, Plutko roughed up; Hunter Harvey's rehab - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles lose 5th straight; Zimmermann, Plutko roughed up; Hunter Harvey’s rehab

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

WASHINGTON—The Orioles’ fifth straight loss and their 12th in the last 14 games wasn’t the fault of the offense. In the previous two losses, the Orioles had managed just three runs on six hits. They scored nine runs and twice had five-run leads, but their pitching undermined them in a 12-9 loss to the Washington Nationals before 15,440 at Nationals Park on Saturday.

Ryan Mountcastle’s first grand-slam and his fourth home run helped give Bruce Zimmermann a 5-0 lead before he took the mound, but he made it through just three innings.

Zimmermann, who threw 5 2/3 strong innings in relief of opener Adam Plutko last Sunday against the Yankees, threw 82 pitches in just three innings.

“My stuff was crisp against the Yankees,” Zimmermann said. “I thought it was crisp today. It was just the fact that I ended up going into those deep innings. I was up to 70 pitches in the third. I’m not going to lie. I did get a little tired there in the third inning.”

He rejected the idea that he’d be better as a reliever.

“I still believe very strongly that I’m a starter,” Zimmermann said. “I still think that’s my best opportunity here to give the team what I’m best at. It’s baseball. It’s the big leagues. Those innings, it can be a toll on the arm to go into those pitch counts.

“I believe I can be an asset as a starting rotation guy. I can pick up innings. If it’s needed, I’ll be in the bullpen, but as of right now, I still believe I’m definitely a starter on this team.”

Plutko (1-1) allowed four runs in the fourth inning, including a three-run home run by Ryan Zimmerman. Bruce Zimmermann gave up Josh Harrison’s grand-slam in the third, which erased the Orioles’ big lead.

Before his inning as an opener, where he allowed four runs, Plutko had a 1.27 ERA. On Wednesday, Plutko gave up two runs to the Tampa Bay Rays while retiring just one batter. After the four runs in two innings, the ERA is 4.74.


“You can dwell on negatives all day long, but in baseball, this game’s hard enough, so let’s look for some positives,” Plutko said.

Plutko cited his scoreless fifth inning, Cole Sulser’s scoreless seventh and Shawn Armstrong’s scoreless eighth.

“I know what my line was, and I know what my first inning was,” Plutko said. “What’s the point of beating up myself on that? That seems pretty pointless. What’s the point of dwelling on a lot of us maybe struggling for a hot minute? Let’s build on the positive.”

The Orioles (17-28) had 12 hits. In his second game since returning from more than a month on the injured list because of a sprained left ankle, Anthony Santander had three hits, including his third home run.

Tanner Scott allowed three runs, including an unearned run that scored on third baseman Maikel Franco’s error in the sixth when Washington took a 12-7 lead.

Pat Valaika had a two-run double in the eighth to cut the Nationals’ lead to 12-9.

Manager Brandon Hyde said that the team would consider making changes to the pitching staff before Sunday’s game.

“We did some nice things offensively,” he said. “We’re just having a tough time on the mound … Once again, we’re running on fumes, pitching-wise.”

Daniel Hudson (3-0) allowed a single to Cedric Mullins in the eighth but, with runners on first and third, retired Freddy Galvis on a pop to short and struck out Trey Mancini.

Brad Hand polished off the Orioles in the ninth for his sixth save.

Hyde is concerned about the string of losses.

“You want your guys to feel good,” Hyde said. “I do worry about that. It’s been a couple of tough years, and we’re not winning these games here the last couple of weeks. That’s tough. It’s not easy. It’s tough to lose in the big leagues. You want guys to feel success.”

Harvey rehab appearance: Hunter Harvey, who hasn’t pitched this season because of a strained left oblique, will make his first rehab appearance for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday.

The right-hander will make some rehab appearances until he’s eligible to come off the 60-day injured list during the Orioles’ next homestand that begins on May 31st, Hyde said.

“We’ve scheduled out his outings for the next eight, nine days,” Hyde said. “Then, hopefully, he’s ready to join us.”

Minor Matters: Right-hander Mike Baumann, who has been slowed by a forearm injury last fall, is moving up to Double-A Bowie from Low-A Delmarva. Baumann threw five hitless innings in two starts for the Shorebirds, striking out six and walking three. … Kyle Bradish, who was one of the four pitchers Orioles obtained in the December 2019 trade for Dylan Bundy, is being promoted from Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk. Bradish was 1-0 in three starts and didn’t allow a run in 13 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits, struck out 26 and walked five. … The Tides will allow full-capacity crowds at Harbor Park beginning on May 28th.

Coming up: Matt Harvey (3-4, 5.93 ERA) will face Patrick Corbin (2-3, 6.10) on Sunday afternoon at 1:05.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. CalsPals

    May 22, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    I’m guessing the teams we’ve played pitchers are doing ok, must be how this staff approached things in spring training, awful early on the season for this happen, hopefully Hyde has learned something from this nightmare…go O’s…

    • Ekim

      May 23, 2021 at 6:31 am

      Isn’t it time to start looking at the coaches? Just saying…

    • CalsPals

      May 23, 2021 at 8:04 am

      Agree, doesn’t it start at the top though, unfortunately someone said that months ago…but 100% accurate….go O’s…

  2. Ekim

    May 22, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    … and the beat(ings) goes on (and on and on)… Just saying…

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 22, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    Another tough one. But at least today, we got a peek of what this offense it can be with both Mountcastle & Santander hitting. Add Mullins and Hays to the equation, and there really is a nice start to the core of a lineup for next couple years. That was fun to watch.

    But my god this pitching staff is just awful.

    • CalsPals

      May 23, 2021 at 8:05 am

      Very fugly pitching…go O’s…

    • Papagreen

      May 23, 2021 at 1:55 pm

      To call the pitching now awful is really an insult the other awful pitchers in mlb

  4. remarky

    May 23, 2021 at 8:25 am

    Hyde’s management of this particular game was really screwy. I turned the radio off. This is very 1st msg here. I expected comments here on Hyde. I felt compelled to write.

    • CalsPals

      May 23, 2021 at 9:18 am

      Welcome aboard:)…go O’s…

    • mlbbirdfan

      May 23, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      Remarky- I comment on Hyde from time to time. I have lost confidence in him. His decisions are inconsistent. He has very little talent to work with. But he does not get the most out of what he has.

  5. Tileman

    May 23, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Interesting article about Don Mattingly prior to the Marlins game. Said todays baseball is unwatchable due to all the moneyball analytics. With launch angles and ball speed it’s no wonder MLB has had a string of no hitters. Everyone trying to launch 3 run homer’s

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 23, 2021 at 9:21 am

      Absolutely. It’s all about the long ball.

  6. Balt mp

    May 23, 2021 at 9:35 am

    It’s a no brainer that Hyde’ or Gonzalez’s style was going to fry this bullpen they’ve had two bullpen games he has fried Plutko and this is not the first year this has happened .

    Zimmerman and to some extent the other starters are either inept or just plain dumb . You have John Means who gives you a clinic on how to PITCH . Zimmerman nit picked early in the count throw strike one get ahead then you can throw your pitch when your up 5 runs you can’t nitpick again if your not following what the coaches are telling you bye bye back to the minors .

    I know people will say you can’t do that b——-. When you have the lowest payroll that’s exactly when you can install discipline and accountability which this organization has lacked for years .

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 23, 2021 at 10:43 am

      I hear you BMP … but I don’t think Z nit picked early in the count yesterday … I just don’t think he had any control. He was all over the place. Things like this happen occasionally , but especially with 1st year players. Does no good to send him down. I understand that you think they should send a message to the team, but it’s not effort and attitude that can help you get your fastball over. It’s experience and reps. Hopefully, it’ll be the next game.

  7. Hallbe62

    May 23, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    Don’t worry too hard Bird’s fans. The Big Bad Ravens will be in Camp in a few weeks. Soon after that , Baltimore will enjoy a winner again

  8. Crazyhend

    May 23, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Can we please trade Galvis, besides terrible starting pitching and a super overworked bullpen, we don’t need a horrendous fielding shortstop, his sometimes good batting, doesn’t make up for how many extra runs he allows, especially with how the pitching has been.

    • CalsPals

      May 23, 2021 at 3:09 pm

      His range is nonexistent, heaven forbid he get dirty…go O’s…

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