While wondering whether Orioles pitchers had accounted for both of the team’s errors in a game before last night...
It took 12 innings and just about everyone in the bullpen for Orioles manager Buck Showalter to claim his 1,222nd career victory. Not the way he preferred it, but never look a walk-off win in the mouth. Or something along those lines.
I guess Manny Machado figured a 12th-inning home run was the perfect anniversary gift for Showalter, hired by the Orioles exactly four years ago yesterday.
As I interviewed Showalter earlier in the day for WBAL Radio’s pregame show, I wished him a happy anniversary and asked whether he realized the significance of the date.
“No, you just made me aware of it,” he said.
“Its an honor, and I’ve been lucky to have good players and good people around me who try to keep me from stepping on my tail, and I’ll continue to look at it that way. And every day that you’re here is one more day that you pinch yourself and say, ‘I can’t believe I’m getting a chance to do this.’ “
Machado enjoyed his first career walk-off homer.
“It was a blast,” he said. “Once I hit it, I knew it was out. At that point, it was just excitement running through my body. The first one, got it out the way.
“I got chills rounding the bases. I’m just excited, but we’ll put this behind us and let’s go on tomorrow.”
That would be tonight, with Kevin Gausman opposing Garrett Richards.
The Orioles have eight walk-off wins this season, including three via the longball.
The Orioles’ last four games have been decided by one run, and they’ve won three of them. They’re now 13 games above .500 for the first time since Aug. 11, 2013.
Chris Tillman has registered a 6.75 ERA in the first two innings this season. It drops to 2.64 after the second.
Adam Jones is the first Oriole with four consecutive 20-plus home run seasons since Rafael Palmeiro had five straight from 1994-98. He’s one home run shy of tying Cal Ripken Jr. (85) for fourth place on the all-time Camden Yards list.
Nick Markakis became the sixth player in Camden Yards history to reach 80 home runs. He’s now eight extra-base hits away from tying Brady Anderson (242) on the all-time list.
Zach Britton hasn’t allowed a run in a franchise-record 32 1/3 consecutive innings at home. His stretch of 24 straight scoreless appearances at home is second in club history behind Brian Matusz (27).
Showalter said the club would check on Ubaldo Jimenez’s command and his right ankle before deciding whether to give him a start at Triple-A Norfolk or activate him from the disabled list.
My guess is Jimenez will pitch at Norfolk after he allowed one unearned run and five hits in 4 2/3 innings last night at short-season Single-A Aberdeen, with three walks and three strikeouts.
The IronBirds probably want him to stay after he provided a postgame spread of steak and lobster.
Aberdeen’s PR staff tweeted a quote from Jimenez regarding his ankle.
“It feels fine. I didn’t even think about it when I was on the mound,” he said. “I was able to go out there and throw 60-something pitches, I was able to go to first base, I was able to back up.”
Jimenez was asked about the success of the Orioles rotation, which has posted a 3.16 ERA in 44 games since June 9.
“It just makes me work harder. You don’t want to be that guy that stays down,” Jimenez said.
“When it’s your turn, you want to be part of the rotation”
Will anyone from outside the organization become part of the rotation?
Executive vice president Dan Duquette didn’t show his hand yesterday while discussing the non-waiver trade deadline, but it’s worth repeating that he’s seeking pitching depth. Acquiring Jon Lester wouldn’t quality as a depth move.
The Orioles were linked to Lester, along with just about every other team in the majors and the Camden River Sharks. I wonder if “reached out to the Red Sox about Lester” is the same as making a phone call to check what they wanted in return.
That was the case with Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki.
I’m still fairly certain that Duquette will make at least one deal, but it won’t be a blockbuster.
Duquette would like more offensive production from his second baseman and catcher, but he won’t sacrifice defense. I’ll mention here that switch-hitting infielder Steve Lombardozzi is batting .284 in 58 games at Norfolk and is 12-for-31 during an eight-game hitting streak. But again, the Orioles prefer the defense provided by Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty.
This is especially true of Flaherty as he moves around the infield. They’d rather have him backing up Machado and shortstop J.J. Hardy.
I’m still hoping that Lombardozzi gets another chance in the majors at some point this summer.
In case you missed the link I posted last night in the comments section, here’s the story in the York Daily Record on our own CardiacScott. Mad respect for our friend.
Also, in case you missed Machado’s postgame pie, watch the video below.