Written by Bruce Smith (VaTech1994)
By Bruce Smith (VaTech1994)
The Orioles woes hitting with runners in scoring position continued on Sunday as they dropped the 4th game of the series to the Chicago White Sox by a score of 4-2 at Camden Yards. The Orioles ended 0 for 11 with RISP today. The team struggled mightily in those situations throughout the four game set, but it hadn’t cost them until today. The 9th inning was a microcosm of the whole series as the Orioles loaded the bases with nobody out, but only managed to get one run home on a ground out.
Bud Norris took the loss for the Orioles. Bud had an erratic outing and took better stuff to the mound than the results would indicate. He struck out six hitters in just 4.1 innings, but also gave up nine hits. Bud painted the outside corner at the knees against lefties in several critical situations to get out of jams. He also threw one of the worse meatballs you’ll ever see to Adam Dunn for a two run home run that ended up on Eutaw Street. The gopher ball came on a change-up that was center-center and basically screamed crush me. Jim Palmer questioned why the Orioles would throw Dunn a change up at all, because he had been behind anything hard all weekend.
Bud’s final line was 4.1 IP, 9 hits, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K, and the loss.
T.J. McFarland, Jason Hammel, Troy Patton, and Steve Johnson followed Norris to the mound and held the White Sox in check. McFarland pitched very well. He gave up no hits over 1.2 IP and struck out two. Today’s outing was Hammel’s first since the 28th of July. He looked fairly sharp over two innings of scoreless relief. Patton struck out two lefties to start the ninth before Steve Johnson got a fly ball to close out the inning in his first outing for the Orioles since the 3rd of August.
Overall, the bullpen threw 4.2 innings and gave up 0 runs on 1 hit.
The Orioles walked five times today and generally showed good patience at the plate. That patience wasn’t rewarded though because the team went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Adam Jones hit a home run over the right center field fence on a cutter that ended up shin high on the outside third of the plate. It was an impressive piece of hitting that showcased Adam Jones’ power and plate coverage.
Machado, Roberts, and Flaherty all hit ringing doubles. For Machado, it was double number 48 on the season.
I can’t really point to any one issue that led to the failures with runners in scoring position. The 0-11 was spread across seven different players. I didn’t think these at bats were given away, but the Orioles also didn’t hit the ball very hard in most of the opportunities.
The Orioles didn’t make any errors, but Ryan Flaherty had two tough plays that he wasn’t able to make in the 4th when the Sox scored a run. Neither play was called an error which was appropriate, but the Sox don’t score if he was able to glove either ball cleanly.
Key Moments In The Game
The change up to Dunn for the long two run homer changed the momentum after Adam Jones had just hit a homer to get the Orioles to within a run at 2-1.
Flaherty hit a ball that was easily home run distance with the bases full in the ninth, but he hooked it foul by 30 feet or so. He jumped at the first pitch fastball which got him around the ball. It he keeps that ball fair, the Orioles win 5-4.
The game ended when Roberts hit a pop up to the 2nd baseman and Chris Dickerson got doubled off first. Dickerson was running on the play and struggled to pick up the ball in time. It was bad luck, but also not good baserunning.
Mike Wright and Henry Urrutia were given awards as the Oriole minor league pitcher and hitter of the year for 2013.
I wondered why Dickerson waited until there were two strikes on Roberts to attempt the steal.
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