You can’t talk about tonight’s 5-1 loss to the Cardinals without focusing on the bases-loaded, no-out situation in the fifth inning that yielded no runs, and another non-quality start from the rotation.
“We had a shot at them there in the fifth,” manager Buck Showalter said. “That was a big momentum swing.”
Was it quality pitching from Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter or the Orioles’ hitters pressing at the plate? Maybe a little of both?
“You do press a little bit, like you press every night in some form or fashion,” Showalter said. “Runs are going to be at a premium with Carpenter out there. He’s starting to get back in the mode. It’s like an advance scout was talking about. He hadn’t had typical Carpenter numbers, but the last two or three times out you could see him start to come back.
“When you get opportunities like that, the good pitchers go softer a lot of times instead of harder and they use your aggressiveness and emotion against you. That’s a trap you can fall into.”
The Orioles haven’t gotten a starter through six innings in the last five games.
“It is what it is,” Showalter said. “They’ve done it before, they’re capable of it, but it just hasn’t been happening. And it’s dictated some changes we’ve had to make in our bullpen over the course of the season and as early as today. It’s something we’ve got to get better at and something we’re well aware of.”
The Orioles have dropped a season-worst seven games below .500. They were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position tonight and are 9-for-61 in their last seven games.