Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters that his club will make a roster move or moves later tonight. Stay tuned.
The obvious move is activating Wei-Yin Chen from the disabled list and optioning Zach Britton, who allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings in the Orioles’ 8-4 loss to the Rangers. It’s possible that the Orioles also bring up a fresh bullpen arm.
What was the difference in Britton tonight compared to past starts?
“Just command,” Showalter said. “He’s missing by quite a bit, especially against (Adrian) Beltre. You know he’s a good hitter, and then when you make bad pitches on top of them, he’s not going to miss them.”
Before tonight, Britton had allowed one run in the first inning, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and 10 in the sixth. Against the Rangers, he surrendered one in the second and four in the fifth. He didn’t return for the sixth.
“Some things are physical, some things are a little emotional,” Showalter said. “I think everyone in the ballpark knows that Beltre, you’re trying to throw some pitches that he can’t beat you with and you end up making some real mistakes that you would not normally do.”
It doesn’t help when the Orioles keep walking the No. 9 hitter. They did it twice more tonight.
“The walks, the way we’re walking people to set them up, it’s not a recipe for success,” Showalter said.
Over the first two games of the series, the Rangers are 11-for-21 with runners in scoring position while the Orioles are 3-for-19. The Orioles are 8-for-58 with RISP over their last nine games.
The Orioles have key hitters slumping, but Showalter seems more concerned about the pitching.
“We scored nine runs in two nights. We’ve just got to pitch better,” he said. “J.J. (Hardy) had a big hit to get us back within a run. That’s usually a real momentum maker. We just didn’t seem to take advantage of it and it’s probably got something to do with their pitching.
“You can see why they’re so high on (Martin) Perez. He’s got a really good arm, good changeup. They have a good pitching staff. Everybody talks about what a good club they have. Obviously, they do. But the difference is the people they continually put on the bump out there.”
Are the hitters pressing because of the starters not getting deep enough in games?
“Our guys always hold themselves to a high standard, regardless of how tough an outing our starting pitcher had that night,” Showalter replied. “We’ve had some good outings, too. It’s just we’ve been really inconsistent with it. It’s something we’re going to have to get better at.”