Orioles' bullpen allows 6-run 8th in 7th straight loss; Means gets no relief after another strong start - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ bullpen allows 6-run 8th in 7th straight loss; Means gets no relief after another strong start

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Since John Means threw a no-hitter on May 5th, the Orioles have played 16 games. They’ve won just two of them. Means hasn’t won any of his three starts since then, though he’s pitched well enough to win each of them.

On Monday night, Means gave up two solo home runs and, after a 45-minute rain delay and a two-run home run by DJ Stewart, he had a 3-2 lead and an excellent chance for his fifth win.

In the bottom of the eighth, Tanner Scott, César Valdez and Tyler Wells allowed six runs, and a winnable game turned into a seventh straight loss, the 14th in 16 games, 8-3 to the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

The loss to the Twins (18-29) leaves the Orioles (17-30) with the worst record in baseball.

“After a loss like that, it’s pretty quiet,” Means said about the clubhouse. “We approach every day with a lot of energy. We come to the field with a lot of energy, ready to win, ready to compete. I still think this team’s in a good place … We just can’t get that one win to get us going.”

Stewart hit his third home run against Jorge Alcala (1-1) with Trey Mancini on base for a 3-2 lead in the eighth.

Scott (2-3) walked Andrelton Simmons to begin the eighth, and Simmons moved to second on a wild pitch. Nelson Cruz struck out. Kyle Garlick singled, and Simmons took third.

Valdez replaced Scott, and Josh Donaldson’s sacrifice fly scored Simmons to tie it at 3. Alex Kiriloff singled, and Mitch Garver doubled to score Garlick and Kiriloff, and the Orioles trailed, 5-3.

Miguel Sano singled to score Garver, and Tyler Wells came in with the Orioles trailing 6-3. Wells allowed singles to Rob Refsnyder, a single to Trevor Larnach that scored Galvis, and Simmons singled to score Refsnyder — and it was a six-run inning.


“It’s really disappointing,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We’re really struggling out of the bullpen. We’ve got one guy that’s throwing the ball well right now, Paul Fry, and he was down today. We need some dudes to step up and get some outs for us.”

Scott pitched well 2020, appearing to finally gain control of his slider and high-90s fastball. But he has regressed this season, walking 17 batters in 18 1/3 innings. Valdez had batters off-balance early in the season with his assortment of changeups but has allowed six runs in his last 5 2/3 innings. In short, the bullpen isn’t providing relief.

“We threw the ball really good out of the bullpen the first month of the year,” Hyde said. “We’ve just had a really tough May.”

Fry threw two innings at Washington on Sunday, so Hyde didn’t want to use him on Monday.

“Hopefully, these guys can turn it around and get some outs like they were the first month of the year. Right now, it’s very, very challenging.”

Means allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings. He struck out five without walking a batter. It was the fifth time Means has pitched seven innings or more and the fourth time he didn’t walk a batter.

“I felt OK. I wasn’t getting ahead as much as I hoped,” Means said.

Larnach hit a 446-foot home run in the third. Garlick homered in the sixth.

“Two solo homers in seven innings. He was awesome,” Hyde said. “You win those games when he pitches like that, and we didn’t.”

The Orioles’ first run came in the first when Anthony Santander’s double scored Cedric Mullins, who was walked by Matt Shoemaker to begin the game. Mullins stole second.

In the seventh, the Orioles had their next best chance to score. Mullins singled with two outs and tried to score on Freddy Galvis’ double to right. A perfect relay from Garlick to Nick Gordon to catcher Mitch Garver nailed Mullins.

Hyde appealed the play because he thought that Garver didn’t allow Mullins a path to the plate. The call was upheld.

Shoemaker (3-5) allowed one run on six hits in six innings.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Battleshipbill

    May 25, 2021 at 7:21 am

    Scott is the embodiment of what is wrong with pitching in baseball. I watched him for years in the minors….100 mph!…..and no idea where it is going.
    Our only good pitcher is someone who wasn’t considered a prospect! Maybe that says something about those who evaluate pitchers.

  2. CalsPals

    May 25, 2021 at 7:21 am

    It took a perfect relay to get Mullins at the plate, as fate would have it Mancini was on deck, led off the next inning with a hit, curious how many guys have been thrown out at the plate, a lot it seems lately, Valdez was a great story, you can’t manage/coach a team with your heart, he needs to be cut loose, or at worste, not pitch in games that matter, Means hr to 24 yr old lefty, teammate of Rutschman in college was surprising, glad to see him have a CHANCE…go O’s…

    • TPhoebus

      May 25, 2021 at 2:58 pm

      Trevor Larnach is a year older than Adley Rutschman and was drafted in 2018, Adley was drafted in 2019. If Adley follows the same time line as his college teammate, he should be in the MLB next year. But who knows, maybe the Orioles will bring Adley up later this season, though they would have to make room for him on the 40 man roster.

    • CalsPals

      May 25, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      Nice to see him get a chance, I’d like to see Rutschman play soon, not who I was referring to since they won’t bring him up until it fits their agenda…go O’s…

  3. TheGreek

    May 25, 2021 at 7:49 am

    need the starting pitching to step up a give the bp relief. pitching staff is terrible aside from means and a one or 2 others in the bp

  4. BarstoolSleeper

    May 25, 2021 at 8:11 am

    I think all of us were reluctantly applauding the O’s pitchers in April riding the wave they were on. The wave has since crashed like most of us have suspected it would. Zimmerman and Kreamer need to keep throwing and learn through taking their lumps, Harvey as your #2 starter is a red flag. The bullpen is worn out and a mess. I don’t think Hyde does them any favors with how he manages them but they need to be better. You’ve got to use this year to develop the staff you have as best you can and see who’s worth keeping and who’s worth moving on from.

  5. Orioles20

    May 25, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Scott got squeezed in the at bat to Simmons. Sisco didn’t help matters when he failed to block the ball in the Cruz at bat. Then Valdez came in and put gas on a fire. Teams now have a scouting report on Valdez. What he was doing at the beginning of the year was unsustainable anyway. He should not be getting high leverage situations anyway. Hays is starting to fall into the injury prone category. Can’t help the team and show why you deserve to be part of the future from the training room and bench.

    • Shamus

      May 25, 2021 at 11:55 am

      Valdez may be gone when Hunter Harvey returns, if it happens

      • Orioles20

        May 25, 2021 at 1:06 pm

        Either him or Armstrong. Tate will be back soon too.

    • TPhoebus

      May 25, 2021 at 3:11 pm

      Austin Hays started 28 straight games from 4/20 to 5/21, then Hyde gave him a day off 5/22. Yesterday might have been part tight hamstring, part benching for bunting when not given the signal to bunt on 5/23. Hopefully he will be back in the line up tonight and start another 28 games in a row.

      Definitely agree there is a “book” on how to hit Valdez now, he has a 14+ ERA over his last 5 appearances. Hope to see some younger pitchers given a chance instead 36 year old Valdez. Maybe Waddell (soon to be 27) will be given a look soon.

  6. Orial

    May 25, 2021 at 8:40 am

    One question–WHERE IS CHRIS HOLT? Your team needs ya. Then of course that might not even make a difference. I missed the end,saw the box score where the O’s went ahead in the 8th,and knew that Valdez/Scott had something to do with this debacle. Sure enough. A Valdez release should now be in the cards. The game has caught up to him. Nice story but he’s done. AND for the millionth time–PLEASE break up the Severino/Sisco catching tandem. Is Elias watching this? Is Hyde’s job still solid? Is the O’s performance just an afterthought in the Warehouse? Do they look the other way? Word of warning for them–full capacity is upon us and organizations will no longer be able to blame Covid for small turnouts. 7,000 crowds will NOT be capacity from here on out but instead a disturbing statistic.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 25, 2021 at 8:50 am

      I say try putting Valdez back in a as a starter.

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 25, 2021 at 8:45 am

    So I go to bed during the rain delay, and wake up this morning to the news that the O’s are now the proud owners of the worst record in baseball. Thank you Mike Elias. It is indeed a process.

    I wonder how ownership is going feel about the current Tank Job when OPACY opens back up to full capacity and they’re still only drawing 6,000 people a game?

    This lineup isn’t that bad. Find a pitcher or 10!! Bring a couple up if you have to! Waaaaaahhhhhhhh!

    • CalsPals

      May 25, 2021 at 8:54 am

      What’s the worste can happen, they get hit, they get hit now, the best, you may find someone who can pitch….go O’s…

  8. foodman

    May 25, 2021 at 8:52 am

    I give you folks a lot of credit. I must admit that I found reading a book much more entertaining after leaving the debacle of a 1-10 RISP. When I awoke this morning, I realized I had made the correct decision. After reading the recap of the game, I see that AGAIN the O’s bullpen walked a leadoff hitter after the team had taken a lead. I’m quite sure my frustration would have come to the surface again. Instead, this morning, my blood pressure is in a good place and the O’s are in a well deserved place also.

    • TPhoebus

      May 25, 2021 at 3:14 pm

      Woof, wow sir hope you are happy about everybody being in their proper/deserved place…thanks for sharing

      • foodman

        May 25, 2021 at 8:05 pm

        TP…no not happy. Just a realist who sees what he sees. A futile pair of catchers, failures to turn double plays, not hitting with men in scoring position, running into outs, walking leadoff hitters after your team has taken a lead. How much more proof do you need that they are deserving of their last place predicament? BTW, these are only a few of the things that happen with this club. I guess I’m just a fan who remembers when the Orioles were the class of baseball instead of a bunch of people who look like they haven’t been taught fundamentals. Sorry if this upsets you or others TP but 5 consecutive losing seasons and no WS in 38 years does make a fan base want more.

  9. foodman

    May 25, 2021 at 9:05 am

    BTW, folks. I’m sure this alert crew didn’t miss it, but I’ll post it anyway. As long as attendance is being brought up, is everyone aware the this “organization” is still mandating that no outside food or drink is allowed inside? MAJOR BLUNDER!!!! NYY Chicago Cubs, and others are allowing food in. Safety concerns can no longer be considered an issue. Greed….?

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 25, 2021 at 9:39 am

      Few people commenting here go to the games. Several of those commenting about the attendance live hundreds of miles away.

      • foodman

        May 25, 2021 at 10:09 am

        Understood. My point is that the O’s continue to amaze. The worst team in MLB (going on three years now), haven’t been to a WS in THIRTY EIGHT years, are worrying about gouging the public for concessions. I understood when the pandemic was roaring along, but things have seemingly settled down. Why not encourage the people to come to OPACY and enjoy the food whether it be sandwiches from their local deli, etc or good old stadium food? At least give the folks an option. To me, especially with some of the big boys allowing outside food and beverages in, it would seem like a great PR move for the O’s to move in the same direction.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 25, 2021 at 11:24 am

        Or Thousands.

        One thought on food…a day at the park cries hotdogs and beer(s). And not those fancy schmancy dogs with grilled onions & peppers…give me the simple steamed dog sitting in the tin foil baggie please, and point me towards the mustard stand.

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 25, 2021 at 10:18 am

      Until now, the Orioles had a liberal policy on bringing in food, and I think it’s unfortunate it’s been abandoned.

  10. Phil770

    May 25, 2021 at 9:12 am

    This pitching decline began when Chris Holt left the team, so BP coach covers for him and BP Assistant Coach covering. It’s not working. Can’t have every coach and the manager over their head with developing talent and competing. Hope is not a plan.

    • TPhoebus

      May 25, 2021 at 3:18 pm

      I read somewhere Coach Holt left a while back for undisclosed personal reasons. Hope everything turns out well for Coach Holt. Seems he may have had a unique positive influence on the Orioles pitching staff. Hopefully when he returns to the club he can help out other Orioles coaches learn to be as effective as he was earlier this season.

  11. Bman

    May 25, 2021 at 9:26 am

    #5 pick this year, #1 pick next year? One can dream. breath birdland, things will get better. The farm is looking good.

    • sportscoper

      May 25, 2021 at 9:55 am

      How is that #2 pick from last year working out?

      • TPhoebus

        May 25, 2021 at 3:28 pm

        From Roto Wire Service “Orioles general manager Mike Elias said Kjerstad (illness) is gradually getting back into playing shape and remains without a clear timeline to make his professional debut…” Hopefully he will make his pro debut at Delmarva soon!

  12. AZ ORIOLES Fan

    May 25, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Agree with several of the comments regarding pitching; Scott needs to harness the talent and throw strikes.
    Valdez got one batter out and allowed three runs, his ERA has jumped to almost four runs a game. He isn’t a closer 18+ Innings and 23 hits, four walks; opponents are hitting .295 against him.
    Give him a start, heck start Scott might help fix them. All I know is I hope Chris Holt is back soon and if not might need to go to the farm and get a pitching coach.

    • CalsPals

      May 25, 2021 at 11:00 am

      Totally agree…go O’s…

    • Birdman

      May 25, 2021 at 5:05 pm

      No knock on Chris Holt, but the Orioles already had a pretty decent pitching coach in Doug Brocail, who they fired in order to save a couple hundred thousand bucks. During Brocail’s two seasons, the Orioles’ pitching staff lowered its ERA by a run, with the bullpen giving up almost two less runs per game.

    • CalsPals

      May 25, 2021 at 6:46 pm

      Agree with you on this B-man, think we discussed the cost cutting measure in depth when it happened…go O’s…

  13. willmiranda

    May 25, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    I wonder whether Chris Holt may have had a greater role assisting Hyde than merely working with the pitchers. I also wonder why a team with Stevie Wilkerson needs Valdez in the bullpen. And how can you carry fourteen pitchers and have them overworked?

    • AZ ORIOLES Fan

      May 25, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    • Massmonster

      May 25, 2021 at 2:29 pm

      LOL Excelent question that implies players.manager., coaches and ELIAS’S. incompentance

      • TPhoebus

        May 25, 2021 at 3:31 pm

        Good prank comment with lots of spelling and punctuation errors while accusing just about everyone of incompetence. You almost had me for a second there!

    • CalsPals

      May 25, 2021 at 3:46 pm

      Wow, wonder who the “newbie” is…go O’s…

    • Orial

      May 25, 2021 at 4:48 pm

      My favorite line of the week–“how can you have 14 pitchers and they’re all over worked?”.

    • Icterus fan

      May 25, 2021 at 6:03 pm

      Yeah. I was thinking the same thing. No matter how many pitchers we have, they are overworked as a result of the collective lack of offense and bloated ERA.
      No surprises there.

  14. WorldlyView

    May 25, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    It can be argued that the latest addition to the O’s pitching staff, Brandon Waddell, epitomizes the sorry state of our team’s talent pool. He’s another waiver wire wonder consistent with management’s over-dependence on other teams’ rejects to fill out a roster. As Rich noted a couple of days ago, Waddell’s MLB ERA this year is 11.25 with a 0-1 record in 4 innings with the Twins. The latter acquired him when he was waived by the Pirates. The unshakeable optimists will probably express hope for sudden magic in Waddell’s pitching arm, urge patience with the rebuild until recent draftees are Big League ready, blame previous O’s management for a desolate farm system, and dare hope that the team can score 7-plus runs a game to offset what might turn out to be one of the worst pitching staffs in recent decades. The realists can and should express outrage at what’s become the contemporary version of the Oriole Way. (My frustration spiked after recently watching a repeat of Ken Burns’ documentary on baseball. There was a segment lauding the baseball genius and success of Earl W.)

    • CalsPals

      May 25, 2021 at 5:05 pm

      Couldn’t agree more WV, when I saw his pitching stats I wondered out loud “why?”…all I keep coming back to is try some of our own younger guys, WTH, givem a chance, they may surprise us…go O’s…

  15. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 25, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    I can’t believe that so many of you really think that Chris Holt’s absence is the reason for this staff’s failures. This staff lacks major league talent.

    Alex Cobb is looking a lot better right about now, isn’t he boys?

    • Beachdogs

      May 25, 2021 at 6:00 pm

      Starters need to go 6-7 innings!!! Unfortunately ours outside of Means cannot accomplish this. Bullpen is overworked and shot before Memorial day . We will see what Elias is up to when we see the who is on the 40 man roster after the season ends. I can’t think of too many players on the current MLB roster I would want back next year . Especially the two so called catchers!!!

    • Icterus fan

      May 25, 2021 at 6:09 pm

      If Chris Holt was with the club during Means’ no hitter, was his presence a contributing factor to Means’ success? Conversely, is his absence the cause of the recent slide?
      Is Hyde pressing for Holt’s immediate return so the club can end this swoon?
      Inquiring minds search for a correlation.

    • Phil770

      May 25, 2021 at 6:50 pm

      Oh, you mean the pitcher who never won even one game at OPACY. Yeah, miss him a lot.

    • Icterus fan

      May 25, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      I guess you’re referring to Cobb, I mean who cares? I’m sure he will enjoy a career resurgence (like all the rest) now that he’s moved on from Bmore. But ultimately he sucked here, so wish him well and wave it buh bye. It’s so much spilled milk at this point…..

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 25, 2021 at 9:14 pm

      Shoot guys … Cobb is Cy Young compared to all but one starter on our staff. I’d take him back and pencil him at #2 in the rotation in a second.

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