Welp, That Sucked. O’s Lose Again Late, Down 2-0 In ALCS. (But It Ain’t Over Yet.)

Featured, Sports and Bets — October 11, 2014 at 10:30 pm by

If you’re an Orioles’ fan, and you enjoy getting kicked in the crotch multiple times, then this weekend has been for you!  The Birds lost again this evening in an almost mirror image performance of Game One.  The O’s fell behind, then fought back to tie the game up, only to suffer a grim, late inning fate.  It’s a pattern of baseball cruelty that the Royals are administering all too well to an Orioles team that, quite frankly, looks a little rattled.

Bud Norris was supposed to stop the early series bleeding and calm the waters.  Instead he flailed and splashed around in the waters like a four year old learning how to doggie paddle in the shallow end.  Norris gave up two quick runs in the first on an Eric Hosmer single.  The O’s got one back on a Caleb Joseph sac-fly, but the Birds had the bases loaded and could only manage that one run.  The Royals got another run in the third on Billy “Chubs” Butler’s double.   Now down 3-1, the O’s would tie the game on an Adam Jones blast in the bottom of that third frame.  The momentum seemed to have swung Baltimore’s way, but in the fourth, Mike Moustakas took a Bud Norris 0-2 meatball deep into the flag court.  It was an awful pitch on 0-2 and the suddenly good Moustakas make Norris pay.

britton buck

The O’s would tie the game at four on a Nelson Cruz ground ball.  It would remain 4-4 until the ninth.

Bud Norris pitched just 4.1 innings, allowing nine hits and four earned runs along the way.  I hate to say it, but that’s just not acceptable playoff pitching.

In the ninth, the wheels came off the Orioles’ wagon.  O’Day started the inning by giving up a ridiculous infield single to Omar Infante.  Enter Zach Britton.  The Royals bunted pinch runner Terrance Gore over to second.  Escobar then doubled Gore home.  Then Ryan Flaherty screwed up a Jarrod Dyson infield dribbler.  Everybody’s safe.  Then Lorenzo Cain, who may actually have smoke coming out his ass he’s so one fire, singled home Escobar.  Britton finally got his shit together and struck out the last two batters, but the damage was done.  It was now 6-4 and that’s how it ended.

It’s a bitter pill.  O-Day and Britton both had ERA’s under two in the regular season.  In this series (Granted it’s a very small sample, but still.),  O’Day’s ERA is a hideous 20.25 and Britton’s is 6.75.  Both are pitching like dog shit.  They couldn’t have picked a worse time to do so.  All this late inning crap is reminiscent of 1997, when the bullpen lost all four games of the ALCS.  And, wait, didn’t Jim Johnson fall apart in the 2012 ALDS?

It’s brutal to watch no matter what year.  The bullpen needs to get back to their dominant ways.  They need to do it now.

britton

Other Game Notes

Lorenzo Cain is killing us.  He went 4-5 tonight and is batting .750 in the series.

The bullpen did shine in the middle innings again for the Birds.  Brad Brach and Andrew Miller each pitched 1.2 innings and held the Royals scoreless.

The O’s left the bases loaded in the seventh.  All told, they left 10 men on base.  They left 10 on base Friday night as well, which means they’ve left twenty on base in two games.   The seventh inning was particularly frustrating, tonight.  Steve Pearce flied out too shallow to get the man on third home and JJ Hardy, who was a RISP machine during the season, flied out softly to end the inning.  It was a huge opportunity wasted.  Besides the poor starting pitching on both sides, wasted Baltimore opportunities are the story of this series.

Speaking of the starting pitching, people who have only seen these teams play these two games are probably wondering how the hell either team got this far with this shitty starting pitching.

Adam Jones’ home run was huge, but he was obviously pressing with two on and nobody out in the seventh.  Jones struck out on three straight pitches, two of which weren’t strikes.

Caleb Joseph gunned down Jarrod Dyson while he was attempting to steal second in the seventh.  It was pretty.

britton streal

The Orioles haven’t enjoyed a lead in this series.

De Aza, Jones, Cruz, and Joseph all had two hits.  Schoop had the only other Oriole hit.

Steve Pearce went 0-5 and left six men on base.  He doesn’t have a hit in the ALCS .

Step Back Off The Ledge, It Ain’t Over Yet

As ugly as it has been there is still hope.  It ain’t over yet, folks.  The Orioles have an explosive offense that seems due for a break-out performance. The Royals are smoking hot right now, but the fact is, they are not the better team.  The Orioles need a strong pitching performance to cool them down.  Sixteen game winner, Wei Yin Chen, will get the assignment Monday night.  He will face ex-Oriole Jeremy Guthrie.  Buck will settle this club.  If the Birds can win Monday, it puts the pressure back on K.C.  I can’t recall seeing a team get more broken bat singles and more bloop big hits in a playoff series than the Royals are in this one.  Being down 2-0 and going to K.C. sucks for sure, but all the Birds have to do is win on Monday.

We can still do this.

Let’s go O’s!

 

cover pic: timesunion

 

 

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