Orioles end disappointing season with lopsided loss to Blue Jays; Zimmermann pulled in 1st; Mancini optimistic - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles end disappointing season with lopsided loss to Blue Jays; Zimmermann pulled in 1st; Mancini optimistic

Photo credit: Dan Hamilton USA Today Sports

In a season they’d like to forget, the Orioles played another forgettable game in their 2021 finale.

The Toronto Blue Jays pounded the Orioles, 12-4, at Rogers Centre, sweeping the three-game series and beating the Orioles in 14 of 19 games. In six of the 14 losses, the Orioles allowed at least 10 runs to the Blue Jays.

Toronto (91-71) finished a game behind the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, who both won on Sunday and will face each other at Fenway Park on Tuesday in the American League wild-card game.

With the loss, the Orioles finish 52-110, the second-worst record in franchise history, besting only the 2018 team, which went 47-115.

In 2019, the first season under executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde, the Orioles were 54-108. Only 60 games were played in 2020 because of Covid-19, and the Orioles were 25-35.

This season, the Orioles used 62 players, a franchise record, and Hyde’s team played six games in the final week that were crucial to the Red Sox and Blue Jays. They won two of three from the Red Sox, staged a late rally on Friday night in a 6-4 loss and were pounded in the final two games.

“I’m hoping that our guys get something out of playing and seeing what playoff teams look like and playing down the stretch and trying to get there,” Hyde said.

“We didn’t pitch very well this series. We had a tough time with their lineup all year long. It’s a tough lineup to pitch against. I hope that our guys got something out of playing in this environment and playing games that mattered.”

Bruce Zimmermann, who returned from the 60-day injured list on Tuesday, throwing four innings and allowing a run on two hits against Boston, allowed three runs on five hits while recording just two outs before Marcos Diplán replaced him in the first.

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“I knew it was going to be a tall order,” Zimmermann said. “This team is playing for their life … They were on me right from the beginning.”

On the final day of the season, Hyde used Zimmermann (4-5), Diplán, Eric Hanhold, Joey Krehbiel, Dillon Tate and Conner Greene.

Zimmermann allowed a leadoff home run to George Springer, his 21st, and RBI singles to Teoscar Hernández and Santiago Espinal before pulling pulled.

“I’m trying to win the game and Zimm is getting hit around in the first inning,” Hyde said. “I didn’t want to pull him early, but three runs given up, traffic on the bases, I was trying to keep it right there.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a two-run home run, his 48th, against Diplán in the second. Springer hit a grand slam off Hanhold in the third for a 9-1 lead.

Tyler Nevin hit his first major league home run against Hyun Jin Ryu (14-10) in the third, a 442-blast.

The Orioles scored their second run in the fifth when Richie Martin scored on a ground ball by Ryan Mountcastle.

Krehbiel allowed three runs in two innings, including Marcus Semien’s 45th home run. Semien set a record for most home runs by a second baseman this season, surpassing the 43 former Oriole player and manager Davey Johnson hit with the Atlanta Braves in 1973.

Pedro Severino’s sacrifice fly in the seventh, and Austin Hays’ RBI single in the eighth made the score 12-4. The Orioles outhit Toronto, 13-12.

“I’m happy with how we swung the bats,” Hyde said. “We didn’t pitch early in the game. We pitched well in the sixth, seventh and eighth, but a little too late at that point. This is a really good lineup. They’re breaking records offensively, and you have to be able to hit your spots and not miss in the middle and pitch to the edges and have swing-and-miss stuff. We just had a tough time with that all series.”

A year after having colon cancer surgery and undergoing chemotherapy, Trey Mancini played in 147 games and hit .255 with a .758 OPS.

“Obviously our record isn’t where it needs to be,” Mancini said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but a lot of good things happened this year, and a lot of guys made names for themselves.

“We’ve got a core group forming in the lineup … and that’s really big. Having a little bit of continuity there, and especially as the season got on, we really jelled together. It was just a really fun group to be around. I’m looking forward to being back with all these guys next year.”

Notes: The Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks finished tied for the worst record in baseball, but the Orioles will get the No. 1 pick in 2022 because they lost more games in 2019 after both went 25-35 in 2020 … Triple-A Norfolk ended its season with a 3-2 win over Durham. Rightfielder Kyle Stowers had two hits. Catcher Brett Cumberland hit his 10th home run. Adley Rutschman, who played first base, was 1-for-3 and ended his season with a .312 average and .896 OPS.

Mullins ends with 30-30: Cedric Mullins was 1-for-5 and ended the season with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases. Mullins joined the 30-30 club with his 30th homer on September 24th and stole his 29th and 30th bases on September 18th.

He finished the season with one hit in his final 17 times at-bat. Mullins played 159 of the 162 games despite a sore hamstring late in the season

“He’s played a six-month season, and I think [Cleveland’s Myles] Straw is the only guy who’s played more games in center field, in a premium position, and he’s been incredible for six months,” Hyde said.

“I just think he’s not getting, maybe, the results haven’t been there the last couple weeks. I’m sure there’s some fatigue. The hammy was sore for a few days. I think it’s fine now. But he just played since the beginning of February almost every single day coming off a shortened season last year, and he’s allowed to be a little fatigued, if that’s what it is. But really proud of Cedric’s year and real excited about him going into next season.”

Call for questions: We’ll have our first offseason mailbag next week. Please put your questions in the comment box below or email them to: [email protected]

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. EkimC

    October 3, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Thank god it’s over!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

    October 3, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    Good things to come in 2022! Rutschman and G Rodriguez will make all those around them better, synergy when the result is greater than the sum of its parts. Pretty sure G Rod will even get Hyderooski to shave more often and obtain that elusive professional appearance we all long for…

    • Birdman

      October 3, 2021 at 9:07 pm

      That “synergy” better affect a lot of pitchers … last few games remind us just how awful the current staff is.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      October 4, 2021 at 3:24 am

      That IS the definition of synergy … very good.

  3. Buzz1979

    October 3, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    Hyde with that stupid hoodie again! MLB needs to require managers to wear regular uniforms!

    • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

      October 3, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      You and CP need to petition MLB and the US gubbermint for professional standard appearance IAW (in accordance with) your personal preferences! Pretty sure that would fly because it is so reasonable. Buzz, buzz, buzz, whack, rut roo, flies dead…

    • CalsPals

      October 4, 2021 at 7:42 am

      I was on the NCAA rules committee that mandated professional attire for all wrestling events, coaches could not wear jeans, sweatshirts, team warmups, khaki or dress pants had to be worn, collared shirts, no hats, nothing wrong with looking professional Hmmm…go O’s…

  4. Buzz1979

    October 3, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    Guerrero must get sore running the bases, with all that flopping going around!

    • Icterus fan

      October 3, 2021 at 9:31 pm

      Like it or not, he’s the face of “modern” baseball, there Buzzy. Turn off the Molly Hatchet album and come join us

  5. johninbethany

    October 3, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    I love Mancini, but his quotes after the game were utterly ridiculous. “…we really jelled together. It was just a really fun group to be around. I’m looking forward to being back with all these guys next year.”

    Instead, how about a little honesty. “…we didn’t come close to meeting our preseason expectations… I would like to personally apologize to the fans on not being able to provide a better product”

    if he really believed the things he said, maybe that is the problem. if any player had fun this year, then obviously they could care less about winning.

    At least the Ravens won today.

    • dlgruber1

      October 3, 2021 at 10:39 pm

      johninbethany, I gotta give you some credit. You had the guts to say what I was thinking but didn’t want to say. I have so much respect for Trey I’ll always give him the benefit of doubt in whatever he says but, having said that, along with your having the guts to open this conversation up, if next season comes around and “all these guys” really are back then we O’s fans will be in for another long and excruciating season. I reached a low point this season that I’d never reached before-apathy. I really, truly don’t wanna feel like that again ever, and I really don’t think I will. But yeh, hearing that comment by Trey made me cringe.

    • CalsPals

      October 4, 2021 at 7:45 am

      Totally agree, guessing many of them are not back, hopefully…lol…go O’s…

  6. jimcarter

    October 3, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    If only the organization was as good at winning as they are at spinning. The lone positive of 110 losses is the #1 draft pick. Patience will wear thin, even with the most deluded fans, if significant progress isn’t realized next season.

    • WorldlyView

      October 4, 2021 at 6:35 pm

      jim, I think a hard-nosed assessment of “significant progress” next year would be five to ten additional wins–and that could only happen with miracle progress by a couple of existing pitchers or the addition of two really good free agent pitchers. But even with the same or a worse record next year, there are some fans who still would be unable to resist looking at the Birds thru rose colored glasses. They will continue to espouse unqualified patience and hope, while the cynics continue to disparage management and ownership. In other words, more of the same. On the positive side, even if we suffer another 100-plus losses next year, I think it realistic to expect a “respectable” amount of “significant progress” in 2023.

  7. paulw

    October 3, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    Your comment rebutting the issue of Hyde and player actions was rather touching. But when you have a league that has allowed two Texas teams into the AL to move the commissioner’s team into the NL, destroy the minors, allow conmen to own the two FLA teams and allow two teams called Sox to hide their namesakes or allow the players to chose their unique hosery. Baseball is about tradition, records and as Seinfeld said “rooting for the laundry. Make the laundry UNIFORM for everyone. A small price to pay for the money they make. Show some pride .

  8. Bman

    October 3, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Ok, let the debate begin, who are the Orioles going to take at #1?? Maybe who are the top five – ten candidates at this point? Obviously that can change a lot in the next nine months.

    • CalsPals

      October 4, 2021 at 8:14 am

      Brooks Lee or Elijah Green?…historically kind of like to see Brooks Lee, his name works well…lol…read something somewhere Green may be tough to sign, Lee played for his dad (Adley), read he may move from SS to 3B…go O’s…

  9. Boog Robinson Robinson

    October 4, 2021 at 3:28 am

    Close but no cigar. Only 40 out of wild card contention.

    Thank you Mike Elias.

  10. Orial

    October 4, 2021 at 10:42 am

    What I’ve learned from this weekend series(fiasco)–is Means really the guy you want on the mound in the big game in September when he’s burnt out already? Mountcastle and Mullins hit like the proverbial car going down hill on fumes. Mancini is more of a cheerleader than presence in the lineup. Jays fans didn’t have half the enthusiasm the Mariners fans did about their playoff push. A few O’s pitchers probably weeded themselves out of spring training tryouts/looks. Where does Nevin even fit in? What happened to Wynns? Too bad it wasn’t a home game they could’ve held a Pedro Severino “Farewell and thanks” pregame event. Where do Valaika,Martin fit in? Is there another Brooks on the horizin?

    • CalsPals

      October 4, 2021 at 10:51 am

      Agree, contrary to someone saying he is one of the best pitchers in the AL, since the AS break he hasn’t shown that, injuries or conditioning, to me that is what arm fatigue is, love to see another Brooks…go O’s…

    • EkimC

      October 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm

      Sticky stuff… just saying…

  11. Blade Steve

    October 4, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    Hi everyone. Dare I ask, how are things ? Still foĺowing the O’s from ‘across the pond’ despite this seasons problems. ‘Help is on its way’ was mentioned to me when I first posted on here, so wondering in what form ? One would think a cash injection if possible, resulting in a better stamp of player. Is the money actually there or are the owners being too conservative and recruiting cheaper options ? Seen it all before following other sports but realise magic wands dont exist !!! Is it purely down to ability, although confidence must be worse than low ? Time to give the manager the boot or are there other deep routed problems ? Suspect you could sit up all night and day giving me a boat load of views !!! Also realise its dammed hard competing with the MLB ‘big boys’. Go O’s

  12. 33d St

    October 4, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    3 years after the worst season in team history we’ve improved to the second worst. Congrats to the front office on the slowest improvement curve going.

    But hey our minor league system is #1 right? Right? Well….

    Each of our affiliates finished behind the affiliate of another AL East rival. TB and NYY in particular have lethal teams at high A. Only Toronto’s affiliate was worse than Aberdeen – by three games. TB’s affiliate was 20+ games ahead of them. NY’s was 13 ahead.

    In low A , Delmarva was good, finishing just 3 games behind Boston’s affiliate. 14 behind Tampa’s. 5 behind NYY’s.

    Norfolk was a dismal 52-78.

    That leaves Bowie as the only possible bright spot. We had the best record of any AL East AA affiliate. By one game over NYY, 6 over Boston. In all Bowie was roughly the 5th best team in AA. Pretty good!

    How one strong affiliate this makes us the #1 overall minor league system I have no idea, especially when TB is miles better at both levels of A ball.

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