If we’ve learned anything about Orioles manager Buck Showalter over the past three years, it’s that he focuses on the positive developments in a game, whether it ends with a win or a loss.
Today provided the latest example.
Showalter praised starter Wei-Yin Chen and deflected a question about the walk to light-hitting Brendan Ryan with two outs in the seventh inning that preceded Henry Blanco’s two-run homer in a 3-2 loss to the Mariners.
“He pitched outstanding,” Showalter said. “Deserved to win. All of us feel like that was an outing worth getting a W, so I’m not going to... We all dwell on that. There were a lot of great things he did to give us a chance, more times than not, to win that game.
“Wei-Yin was really good again. That was frustrating for everybody to not be able to do a little more. We had a lot of people out there. We did some really good things to create some situations, but Joe (Saunders) pitched out of it and made some good pitches. It was really kind of characteristic of a good veteran pitcher like Joe. We’ve seen that before.”
Showalter stayed with Chen after the walk while Troy Patton continued to warm up. Blanco homered to give Seattle the lead, and Chen recorded the final out of the inning on his 110th pitch.
Asked if Chen may have been tired and whether Showalter stuck with him too long, the manager replied, “No, he was pitching well, carrying good stuff, as evidenced by the next hitter he faced. He was throwing the ball well the whole outing. Real proud of him.”
Chen hadn’t allowed a home run in four home starts this season.
The Orioles wasted numerous opportunities against Saunders, going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
“I know you all do it, and should do it for a living,” Showalter said. “Dwelling on one thing? I’ll talk about what we did to set up those opportunities and give the other team some credit too. We had some.
“Danny (Valencia) had a big day for us, I thought, to give us a chance. We had some opportunities that we didn’t cash in on, but we also had some things we did well.”
Showalter talked earlier in the day about happy flights. Was this loss especially tough as the Orioles embark on their three-city West Coast trip?
“I don’t think it’s particularly tough,” he said. “It’s always tough. It’s a tough challenge, and that’s why it’s so gratifying and will be if we can do it. There’s going to be some bumps in the road, but we knew coming in Seattle was playing real well, swinging the bats well. You see the pitching they run out there. They kind of found their step.
“We were one swing and one run away from being in a different situation. They got some production out of the bottom of their order, and that hurts.”
The Orioles went 4-5 on the homestand.
“It’s a turn-the-page,” Showalter said. “It is what is. You try to learn from things, but if you dwell on it, there’s another one around the corner. So, we don’t sit there and lament what could have been. You have to focus on what has to be in the future.”