Strop wasn’t charged with a run, but he was saddled with his fifth blown save. Before today, he had allowed three runs and five hits in his last two appearances, covering 1 1/3 innings. He can add two walks to that line.
“I didn’t bring the stuff I usually bring command-wise,” he said. “I felt like my command was good enough to still get it done, but that’s the game. Sometimes that’s going to happen.”
Strop walked Derek Jeter to force in the tying run after getting ahead, 0-2. He missed with a slider that broke a little too far inside.
“I think it was a pretty close pitch,” he said. “It could go either way. But I really think it was a good pitch. I mean, it was close.”
Why go with a slider?
“Everybody is looking fastball,” he said. “I just felt better command with my slider, with that pitch. You just go with whatever you have. I don’t like to be pushing it. I know my sinker is my best pitch and it wasn’t there today. I felt like I could have got him with the slider.
“Everything just happened quick. I couldn’t handle my sinker. It was running too much. Maybe it was because mechanically I was off. Something happened that I’m going to find out and fix it as soon as possible.”
“Strop has been good for us all year,” said catcher Matt Wieters. “That’s one outing. I’m not too concerned with it. It’s something where they put together some good at bats and they weren’t going to chase often. They were going to make him come in there and throw strikes. There were some close pitches that just missed.
“They were balls, but they were close and could have enticed a swing, but just not quite close enough.”
Chen walked off the mound with a 3-2 lead and ended up with the loss.
“Those are things you’re going to see,” Strop said. “He pitched good, he pitched great. Yeah, it’s a tough one. It was a tough game. It was a tough loss and you just got to swallow that one and come back and play tomorrow.”
Asked if he felt like the Orioles let the game slip away, Strop replied, “Of course, yeah. Having the lead in the seventh inning, leading by two, of course we think we can get a win. It was a tough loss and we’ve just got to swallow that one and come back. And we don’t have too much time to be thinking about it. We have a one o’clock game tomorrow, so we don’t have a lot of time to be thinking about it.”