The Orioles have now lost six of their last eight games and trail the Rays by five in the wild card race.
Manager Buck Showalter offered the following comments tonight after his team’s 7-4 loss to the Rays at Camden Yards.
On Miguel Gonzalez:
“He was up. Really elevated a lot of pitches. Had a lot of counts in his favor. He just couldn’t make a pitch to put anybody away. A little tip of the hat to them, but Miggy wasn’t as crisp as he can be. Kept trying to get the ball down. A lot of counts he usually uses to put people away with or have weak contact, he got some of them. The two broken-bat singles really hurt us.”
On Rays starter Alex Cobb:
“We knew he’s not going to throw that many fastballs. A lot of splits, a lot of breaking balls. Strike one early. And we’re not any different. Everybody kind of knows what he does. He’s got a really good one. He feels really comfortable with it anytime in the count. Finally, the last couple innings, we made him consistently throw it for a strike and were able to get him out of there, but their bullpen is pretty good.”
On needing to score more than one run in the seventh after loading the bases with no outs:
“We’d like to. Got back within one run there. Mac (T.J. McFarland) was great there. It got away from him a little bit in the last inning, but we were short down in the ‘pen and he gave us some much-needed innings. Puts us in a better position to get some of our guys back physically. Jimmy (Johnson) was the only guy who really had the rest. He kind of almost needed to pitch tonight. The rest of them were a little short. Two or three guys there I was trying to stay away from unless we were at a winning cause.”
On keeping emotions in check after losing six of eight:
“That’s a mental toughness thing. I know a lot of people look at it from afar, but I don’t worry about that. We look at it like we’ve won two out of four and tomorrow’s the start of something good. You’d be surprised how quickly this season can slow down and things can turn quickly, so you’ve got to be prepared to take advantage of that, and we have the people to do it. At some point, some of the frustration they feel will start getting played out on the field toward the opposition. Tampa Bay is good. They pitch real well, and that really gives their team a chance to really play the game offensively the way they want to, because there aren’t many big innings there.”
On Jim Johnson:
“Sometimes, things get in a little rut for a period. It happens to everybody. All our pitchers down there. It’s tough to fault him. Broke a bat and the guy twisted it over there in right field for a base hit. We just need some things to go our way. We need to make our own breaks. Squared two balls up at people, Jonsey (Adam Jones) got a ball to the wall. But we didn’t get any hits. That’s obvious. If you want to look for a reason, I personally look at Cobb, who was tough. We didn’t do much off him tonight. I think that was it in nutshell. Miggy was very close to having three runs in five-plus innings. It would be nicer if he got deeper, especially where we are in the bullpen. Mac’s outing at least gave us some guys in the back breathing. Jimmy, every ground ball seems to find a hole, and every broken bat seems to find a hole in the outfield. Jimmy, he knows how much he means to our club and how intstrumental he’s been to our success. We depend on him. Maybe that’s our fault more than his. He wears it very proudly. He’ll get on a roll again.”