Akin and Orioles continue to struggle in loss to Royals - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Akin and Orioles continue to struggle in loss to Royals

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Pitcher Keegan Akin wants to show that he can be a valuable part of the Orioles’ rotation. His performance, though, is what matters, and it’s been poor.

On Friday night, as the Orioles tried to start their second half of the season on a positive note, Akin struggled mightily in a 9-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals. He allowed six runs and eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts in just three innings. He  threw 74 pitches.

“You’re going to have your ups and downs,” Akin said. “You get your chance to go out there every five days as a starter, so you’ve just got to forget about them, take some positive things. Obviously, I’m not happy about it but confidence-wise I think I’m doing well.

“You’ve just got to learn from it. It’s a learning process. It’s my first full season up here, so it’s just day in and day out. I have to learn and get better and execute when it comes time for the game.”

He hasn’t been able to do that. Akin has given up 44 runs and 67 hits in 13 appearances, including eight starts (48 1/3innings). He has an 8.19 ERA. He is 0-5 this season and hasn’t won in his last 15 outings (10 starts) since his only victory on September 16, 2020, against Atlanta.

The Orioles continue to slide as well. They’ve lost eight of their past nine games and are 28-62. Only the Arizona Diamondback (26-66) have a worse record.

Friday’s game ended on a baserunning mistake by Anthony Santander, who tried to go from first to third on a hit by Pedro Severino with his team trailing by seven runs. Santander was thrown out at third. It was that kind of night for the Orioles, and it started to unravel early.

In the bottom of the first, Akin allowed an RBI single to Salvador Pérez. He then committed a balk that put Perez on second but managed to escaped further damage.

He started the second by walking Jorge Sole and giving up a double to former Oriole Hanser Alberto. Two batters later, Akin allowed a two-run single to Nicky Lopez, an RBI double to Whit Merrifield, and a run-scoring single to Pérez that boosted the Royals’ lead to 5-0.

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“Obviously not the start I wanted to the second half,” Akin said. “I’ve got some things to work on. Just got to execute pitches better. I feel like the strikes are there, just got to execute it and command the ball a little better.

“The execution part seems to be kind of a common theme lately. It’s always been the knock that I didn’t throw enough strikes, now they say I’m throwing too many good strikes. Just got to rewatch some of those outings and watch pitch locations and just learn from it.

“It’s just stuff that’s fairly new to me at this level. I always kind of got by on talent through the minor leagues and just threw the ball and threw fastballs and challenged guys, and it’s obviously a little different level up here.”

In the third, Akin allowed a leadoff double to Alberto, a walk to Michael Taylor and a sacrifice fly by Merrifield, who finished with four hits. Alberto is batting .364 (8-for-22) with four extra-base hits in his last nine games.

Akin has completed five innings only twice this season.

“He just got hit,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I didn’t think his command was really good. Very poor pitch selection. We all know that Alberto is an overly aggressive swinger. He gave him a fastball in the middle — it doesn’t make much sense — and a slider on the second pitch in the middle of the second at-bat doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. He had a tough night.”

The Orioles couldn’t get much going against Royals starter Danny Duffy, who limped off the field after taking a Trey Mancini line drive in the leg in the first inning. The Orioles scored their first run on a fielder’s choice by Mancini, who leads the team with 56 RBIs, in the fourth.

Mullins did increase his hit streak to seven games with a pair of hits, boosting his average to .317. Pedro Severino also had two hits, including his fifth home run of the year.

Duffy allowed one run on two hits, walked one and struck out three in four innings and 54 pitches. The Royals are being cautious with his workload after Duffy had a flexor strain earlier this season.

The Orioles did get an effective performance from reliever César Valdez, who threw three scoreless innings.

“César Valdez picked us up,” Hyde said. “It was nice to see him have a clean outing. He’s been grinding and has been disappointed in his performance for the last couple of months. For him to go three scoreless innings was huge for us.”

Lopez hit a two-run double and Merrifield singled off Shaun Anderson for a 9-1 lead in the seventh, which also included a throwing error by Mullins. Eight of the Royals’ nine runs were scored with two strikes.

“Just a lot of balls that were on the plate with two strikes, just unable to put guys away,” Hyde said. “Keegan doesn’t have overpowering stuff and so the changeup has got to be a strike to below, the slider’s got to be a strike to ball. He’s got to be able to command his fastball. Just didn’t have his fastball command. It’s 89-92. You’ve got to be able to command in this league if you don’t have overpowering velo and balls in the heart of the plate with two strikes, you’re not going to have a lot of success.”

Severino homered off Jake Brentz in the eighth.

63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. Orial

    July 17, 2021 at 8:11 am

    That was God awful. Akin –“you’ve just gotta learn from this”. Yeah ok. 2B–Valaika vs Alberto. How’d that work out? 2 rebuilding teams on “similar” paths. KC TWEAKS their big league roster with Bennintendi,Santana. Balt IGNORES their big league roster. 2 rebuilding teams on “different” paths. Hyde post game take–“Valdez picked us up”. They keep performing like this and Hyde will have DJ back in LF and Stevie back at 2B. Again–God awful.

    • Baltcf3

      July 17, 2021 at 2:39 pm

      Nothing else to add but to be on pase to lose 120 plus games 3 yrs after losing 115 makes me question WTF are they doing?

  2. Tileman

    July 17, 2021 at 8:22 am

    Seems like Groundhog Day
    Remember no woka-cola – drink the red white and blue can

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 17, 2021 at 10:27 am

      2 thumbs up Tileman.

    • CalsPals

      July 18, 2021 at 5:57 pm

      Per Onesy, it was directed at you since you commented on it, done replying to you & all your childlike actions…go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        July 18, 2021 at 6:08 pm

        Same comment as you palsy and that’s the result of it from your boy!

  3. Nellie

    July 17, 2021 at 8:25 am

    So what’s your point? I don’t get it. KC isn’t much better than the O’s and play in a far inferior division.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 17, 2021 at 10:20 am

      His point is simple. You can try to win a few games while you’re rebuilding. They’re NINE games better than the O’s and climbing. So how is that not much better?

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        July 17, 2021 at 5:59 pm

        They’re only 9 games better than the Orioles BECAUSE they play in an inferior division. Case closed – move on!!!

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          July 17, 2021 at 6:12 pm

          Keegan Akin – another great 2nd round selection by Dan Duquette!!!

          On the good news: The Orioles signed outfielder Colton Cowser, their first-round selection and infielder Connor Norby, the second-rounder out of East Carolina. Saved 1.4 mill for other draft picks to sign.

          • Hallbe62

            July 17, 2021 at 7:30 pm

            That’s been the idea all along as far as our draft philosophy goes

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          July 17, 2021 at 9:34 pm

          Case closed?

          You do realize that of the 90 (91 if you count the current game) games they’ve played, only 35 games have been played against AL Teams…of course you do…you’re a baseball savant as well as a scout ‘eh? You know everything. WRONG AGAIN #1.

          That means they’ve only played 38% of the games in the supposedly superior AL East teams. DUH
          Conversely, they’ve played 62% of their games against teams from the inferior divisions. DUH

          Case closed? Really? Explain that to me one more time. Why are the O’s trainling the Royals by 9 games?

          Once again…your logic doesn’t stand up.

          Drink Pepsi!

          • OriolesNumber1Fan

            July 18, 2021 at 9:52 am

            Apparently you didn’t watch last night’s game. Orioles will be playing games against losing teams after the break. So again you’re wrong! And “trainling” are you just making up words now since no listens to your constant complaining.
            And let’s wait until the end of the season to see who wins the series between the Royals and Orioles.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            July 18, 2021 at 10:27 am

            It’s a very small man that can’t admin when he’s wrong.

            :”Trainling” was supposed to be trailing. That’s called a typo. Sorry you’re not bright enough to have understood that from the context of the sentence.

            So you didn’t attacke me? If you’re not attacking me, why are commenting directly under me on a thread? Again…that’s a lie. These are the types of statements that make you a liar. Mr. Liarpants.

            And didn’t you promise Rich to stop interacting with me?

          • OriolesNumber1Fan

            July 18, 2021 at 11:45 am

            Can’t “admin” when I’m wrong. Seems to me you can’t take constructive criticism when YOU MAKE A MISTAKE!
            And after criticizing me, calling me a liar when you should look in the mirror. And I’m a way a bigger, stronger man, mind and size, then you.
            Because I stated I “scout” players and you took it the wrong way because of my winning fantasy teams I’m a liar? Look in the mirror if you want to see one.
            And name calling starts with you with anyone that disagrees with you. So, this shows me you’re not an adult but a 10 yr old.

          • OriolesNumber1Fan

            July 18, 2021 at 11:54 am

            And comments under your thread are not “attacks” just different opinions. You do this all the time. So if that was the case you’d be a flagrant attacker on this site. So just practice what you preach. And btw, you started this again with one of my postings a few days ago so again practice what you preach.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            July 18, 2021 at 12:05 pm

            You’re a funny boy #1.

    • Baltcf3

      July 17, 2021 at 2:41 pm

      I don’t know what you’ve been seeing but KC was crushing balls all night long. I think they’re better.

    • CalsPals

      July 17, 2021 at 6:33 pm

      Wow…agree Balt…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      July 17, 2021 at 9:36 pm

      Ditto you Boog…go O’s…

    • BarstoolSleeper

      July 17, 2021 at 10:33 pm

      The Os have the most difficult strength of schedule in the majors BRR.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 17, 2021 at 10:51 pm

        Did I say otherwise BSS? That has nothing to do with the division they play in does it? They’ve been playing largely out of division so far. Make no difference. They’re still 9 or so games behind the Royals.

        Excuses are like #[email protected] … every loser has one.

        But to get back to the original point before it got skewed (by Os#1 attacking me every chance he gets) …. the Royals try to put a decent team on the field while they’re rebuilding. AND THE O’S PICKUP THEIR REJECTS TO BOOT! How funny is that? The Royals are not throwing 2,3,4 however many seasons away for draft position. And their attendance compared to the “greatest ballpark in history” shows it.. 28,000 vs. the pitiful Orioles, with no hawaiian shirts or bobbleheads being given away. What do you think the O’s would draw at home vs. the Royals? I’m will to wager it’s not going to be near 28.000.

        • Baltcf3

          July 18, 2021 at 2:44 am

          You got that right!!

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          July 18, 2021 at 10:00 am

          No one “attacked you” brr. Just a difference of opinion which you can’t handle.

          • OriolesNumber1Fan

            July 18, 2021 at 11:28 am

            Orioles record against the AL West teams this season:
            Astros 3 wins and 3 losses
            Angels 3 wins and 0 losses
            A’s 3 wins and 3 losses
            Mariners 4 wins and 3 losses
            Rangers 1 win and 2 losses
            Orioles record against the West
            Wins 11 Losses 14
            Pretty competitive. And with more games played if they were in this division would be quite competitive as well. Closer to .500 ball than what they’re playing right now.
            Teams in AL East
            Red Sox 6 wins 4 losses
            Yanks 6 wins 4 losses
            Rays 6 wins 0 losses
            Blue Jays 6 wins 3 losses
            Orioles record against the East
            Wins 11 Losses 24 win pct .314
            Overall win pct .319
            Take the Orioles out of the AL East and put them in the West they’re winning pct goes to .440. Not great but better than they’re currently showing.

    • CalsPals

      July 18, 2021 at 10:02 am

      WTH is “trainling”?…go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        July 18, 2021 at 12:02 pm

        Quote from your boy: “”Trainling” was supposed to be trailing. That’s called a typo. Sorry you’re not bright enough to have understood that from the context of the sentence.”

        • Baltcf3

          July 19, 2021 at 12:15 am

          That’s a very good point about the AL East. I’ve been hoping they’d move to the Central Div for about 20 yrs. I think it sucks to play 2 of the richest baseball franchises in all of MLB 38 times per year. In ’18 what was their record; something like 5 and 33 against them? Add TB who discovered what a winning formula was about 10 yrs ago and sticks to it. Look at their success in the draft year after year. Add Tor who never seem to have a losing year and you have very little chance of ever being a consistent winning club, at least with current ownership.

    • CalsPals

      July 18, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      Just thought it was another of your great spellcheck mistakes, you’re the worste, I am bright enough, but you say you never attack people, WTH is that, what a jerk…you’re #1 in my book…lmao, go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        July 18, 2021 at 5:39 pm

        Yeah, well you now see how it feels to be insulted!!! But the best part is, I didn’t say this, your boy “brr” did. I put this in quotes because your boy said this. You jumped to conclusions thinking I said this when it was him.
        So does this mean you’re calling brr a jerk now since he said this and not me. Let’s see what you have to say now.

    • CalsPals

      July 19, 2021 at 8:08 am

      To be insulted by someone you must first value their opinion…go O’s…

  4. Orioles20

    July 17, 2021 at 8:28 am

    I hate to tell akin but when you walk three in three innings you’re not throwing to many strikes. If he looked at the film he’d know this isn’t the case. Akin is falling into bust category. One good season in Bowie and we thought he was the next ace of the staff. How’s that working. Hyde should’ve left him out there to get his head bashed in. Luckily Valdez threw three innings. At some point we need to move on from these guys that are not performing. Stewart on the offense side and akin on the pitching side are two examples. Akin says he’s learning from these outing. Evidently not because you keep having them. It’s time to give Wells his shot. He pitched good when he was last up and at least he throws strikes.

    • The Bird1

      July 17, 2021 at 9:48 am

      I’m no pitching coach but these guys, even if they are young, have been pitching for quite a few years now and to not be able to throw strikes and put the ball where you need it to go, seems unbelievable to me at this point. 44 runs he has given up in 48 innings…its like a slow pitch softball ERA, and he isnt the only one either. And DJ Stewart cant hit or field. You would think these guys would do all they can to stay in the big leagues when your this close but they play like they have never done this before. We need more guys like Mullins.

    • Baltcf3

      July 17, 2021 at 2:43 pm

      I thought he did get clobbered real good, just like every other pitcher.

  5. CalsPals

    July 17, 2021 at 8:34 am

    Again, our pitching staff looks like “Sigh” Young, I say good for Alberto, ultimate team player when with the O’s, when Means returns they’ll protect him (as they should), their $600,000 investment, I’m sure he wishes it was that much, many have said this, but Mikey has made NO EFFORT to win at the major league level this yr, a smart GM would have really tried to win some games at the MLB level rather than concentrate on the minors, others will disagree, read Rich’s article, two rebuilding teams going different directions, at least the Royals have two recent WS appearances & a championship recently…go O’s…

  6. Ekim

    July 17, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Can we all now agree that AKIN IS NOT A MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHER (thrower)?

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 17, 2021 at 10:25 am

      Well, he certainly doesn’t seem to have exceptional stuff, but I wouldn’t be willing to close the book on him yet. My guess is that in 2 or 3 years, he’ll be serviceable, although I doubt it will be with the Os.

    • willmiranda

      July 17, 2021 at 11:11 am

      We will not know whether he is a major league pitcher until he pitches for a major league team.

    • Buzz1979

      July 17, 2021 at 11:38 am

      100% Ekim!

  7. Bman

    July 17, 2021 at 10:36 am

    Akin maybe a bullpen piece? The rotation won’t be solid again till the arrival of Rodriguez, Hall, Bradish, Baumann, Smith (ie, next year or so). Let Kremer, Lowther, Wells get solid with AAA. Zimmerman, Lopez, Means hold down the fort? Os really need to show some success from these drafts too like Kjerstad, Mayo, Baumler, Cowser, Norby, Trimble will be future pieces and not squandered picks. May have to wait till next year to see that though.. I’m hoping Elias can pull off at least a couple of trades for more good prospects. Kinda hope they hold on to tanner Scott though.

  8. Orial

    July 17, 2021 at 10:46 am

    So now the remedy is if Akin’s so bad we’ll just put him in the bullpen. In a day where bullpens are as significant if not more than starters I wonder if that’s benificial. Give Akin a few more starts(yuck) and if this mess continues demote him when Zimmerman’s ready. Send him to Norfolk and “number his days”. He and Kremer can try to figure it out together.

  9. jimcarter

    July 17, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Pitcher Keegan Akin wants to show that he can be a valuable part of the Orioles’ rotation. And I want to win Powerball. Some things aren’t meant to be.

  10. Phil770

    July 17, 2021 at 11:21 am

    Elias has grossly underestimated the value and importance of fielding a competitive MLB team. Competitive includes hustle, strong fundamentals, field your position, situational hitting, and to be professional in doing your job. Every player on the team is wondering where they will be next season, not a culture to build success.

  11. willmiranda

    July 17, 2021 at 11:22 am

    A plea for mercy. Can we not eliminate or at least limit these Zoom interviews with players, managers, et al. who have just made a dismal display of themselves? The post-mortems are just depressing, people verbalizing at length about things painfully simple and obvious. I really don’t think they should be forced into doing this, and I’m not being sarcastic. I know I wouldn’t like to have to do it. On the bright side, it’s good to see Alberto do what Alberto does so well. Baseball is competition, but he reminds us that it’s also an art.

  12. Balt mp

    July 17, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    Step one somebody tell him to shut up his comments only make it worst it makes him appear stupid or maybe he is or just lazy .

    The facts on him are simple he can on occasion throw his fastball for a strike he has no control of his curve has no slider no sinker might have a change on occasion never pitches ahead .

    The two most telling quotes from last night are his quote that he always got by with his stuff . Note to Keegan Akin this is the bigs they eat 92-94 for breakfast especially when you put it right down the pipe on a 3-2 and you can’t get anything else over . The second is Hyde saying poor pitch selection . So I ask again who is calling the game is it the pitcher catcher or the dugout ?

    Lastly, I have my doubts about either Akin or Kramer’s work ethic though Kramer has not said anything about his off season which by itself might be an indictment. Akin has mentioned working out in a barn in western Michigan so I doubt he did much which might be why he failed to make the team in the spring.

    Bottom line if the Orioles failed to monitor the off season workouts that’s on Elias and the entire staff . If they’re not working hard now that’s on Hyde and his staff.

    Both Stewart and Akin appear fat and out of shape they have been babied certainly last night Hyde should have left him out there embarrassment is a powerful tool Hyde ought to use it to his advantage. Hyde should also call these guys out publicly. The lack of conditioning and performance reflects on Hyde and to a certain extent on Elias .

    I’m sad to say they need somebody to get in their faces publicly. It’s never pleasant but these guys have to cushy a ride for a team this bad .

    • CalsPals

      July 17, 2021 at 1:47 pm

      I’m old school, totally agree, that’s a big part of why I got out of college coaching, the last 15 yrs athletes have learned to be coddled, it’s always something, but not them, I call BS & have been ridiculed for saying so, some need a foot in their @ss to get moving, scared what the last generation will be remembered by, cancel culture & marshmallows, suck it up…go O’s…

      • Hallbe62

        July 17, 2021 at 7:40 pm

        Nicely put. Couldn’t agree more.

    • dlgruber1

      July 17, 2021 at 2:32 pm

      Well, look at the bright side. All these young guys coming up have a roomful of trophies and ribbons to go home to. They can always look at that and feel good about themselves.

    • CalsPals

      July 17, 2021 at 6:36 pm

      Agree DL, they can sell them at a garage sale, lol…go O’s…

    • OriolesNumber1Fan

      July 17, 2021 at 7:15 pm

      Bottom line is – he was a 2nd round pick of the Dan Duquette era! Fat and lazy regarding work ethics, that didn’t seem to matter back then as a 2nd round pick according to Dan Duquette!!!
      DJ Stewart is another and a 1st round pick of the Dan Duquette era!!!

    • CalsPals

      July 18, 2021 at 7:36 am

      Ok Onesy you made your point, you don’t like DD, it’s getting old, you don’t like Stewart, it’s getting old…go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        July 18, 2021 at 9:55 am

        Ok palsy, the only thing getting old is you and your constant crying.

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          July 18, 2021 at 12:13 pm

          And I’ll stop “palsy” when you stop criticizing “Mikey”.

    • CalsPals

      July 18, 2021 at 10:03 am

      Obviously you don’t read your posts, lmao, go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 18, 2021 at 3:25 pm

        Dario is a simpleton.

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          July 18, 2021 at 5:47 pm

          Calsy – See, here’s the name calling person you’re looking for.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            July 18, 2021 at 8:10 pm

            I’m sorry, you’re absolutley right. I should never call anybody Dario. Bwaaahaaahaaahahahaaa

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          July 18, 2021 at 6:02 pm

          Really brr that’s your big comeback after the Orioles took 2 out of 3 against your Royals and they’re being 9 games better. I guess I proved my point again, and again how wrong you are. And btw, what’s “your opinion” on Urias now. Are you going to go on one of your 10 year old tantrums again and start calling him names again also.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            July 18, 2021 at 8:18 pm

            Hey, I already admitted that I may have been a bit hard on Urias a couple of weeks ago. And that is documented.

            That’s what I call admitting that you’re wrong when it appears you may be. You should try it.

            And since when have you been such a Urias supporter anyway?

            BTW…the Royals are only 7 wins ahead of the O’s.

    • CalsPals

      July 18, 2021 at 9:13 pm

      :)…go O’s…

  13. bday

    July 17, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    I thought I would have a chance to watch a weekend series between 2 equal teams playing competitive ball. I guess that was wrong. 60yrs an Os fan and things keep getting worse and we’re seeing the S O Sh. year after year. all negatives has been said in the past few days concerning the Os. sad part is it’s all true. nothing else is working so take your 5 best new draft picks , and start them in the majors NOW because the minors program doesn’t work for the Os, before they get contaminated by being nursed along and confused. what do we have to lose. Or take the team and go sit on the porch till you learn how to run with the big dogs

  14. Icterus fan

    July 17, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Keegan says:
    “confidence-wise I think I’m doing well”.
    “You’re going to have your ups and downs”.
    “You’ve just got to forget about them, take some positive things”.
    Glad he’s feeling confident.
    I know everyone is a winner and you can’t offend anyone, but where’s the regret?
    Yes, he did say a few conciliatory things, but he
    has appeared in 13 games and is 0-5 with 8.19 ERA. He’s only up here because we are abysmal and beyond desperate.

  15. WorldlyView

    July 17, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    I’m disappointed that Todd’s story and the many comments failed to mention and evaluate the pitching performance last night of Shaun Anderson. He is the latest castoff to be washed up on our shores–with the usual terrible results. His 8.7 ERA suggests that like several other unqualified pitchers used this year, he will soon be tossed back into the sea. The level of desperation to put warm bodies on the mound is symbolic of why we are once again left to wonder how many losses over 100 will be suffered. The pitching staff revolving door and the highest team ERA in the majors make me wonder how some fans can still cheerfully talk about the bright near-term future of the so-called rebuilding strategy of our once elite team.

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