The Orioles are now 2-24 this year when they score one run or no runs. And yes, it is hard to win doing that. You pretty much have to win 1-0. In fact, you do have to win by that score, and they did last night over Texas.
Right-hander Yefry Ramírez had another strong start going the first five innings, but he didn’t get the win. Reliever Brad Brach did. Ramírez, Brach, Donnie Hart, Mychal Givens and Zach Britton teamed on a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts to give the Orioles their second 1-0 win. They beat the Mets by that score June 6 at Citi Field.
This was the Orioles’ fifth shutout of 2018. The other three were a 6-0 home win over Detroit on April 27, a 2-0 victory on the road against Tampa Bay on May 25 and a 3-0 win on June 20 at Washington.
Ramírez is going to stay in the Orioles rotation coming out of the All-Star break, which begins after today’s game. Ramírez bounced back from Monday’s outing versus the Yankees, when he gave up four runs over four innings, to throw scoreless ball last night. He has a 3.09 ERA through five major league games. He got nine swings-and-misses last night on his 57 fastballs, which averaged 92.2 mph, according to Statcast. He got six swings-and-misses on 22 changeups. The Orioles clearly want to see more, and they will after the break.
Britton is trending up. He got his third save last night, throwing 15 pitches - all sinkers - in the ninth. Britton has now thrown six consecutive scoreless appearances. His velocity, which was 94 mph in his early outings in mid-June, has averaged 95, 96, 96 and 96 over his last four games. He looks close to the old Britton, so to speak, and scouts have to be intrigued by what he could do a for a contender the rest of this year and into October.
The Orioles offense didn’t do much again last night, scoring just the one run. The Orioles had just six hits. They have had seven hits or fewer in three of their last four games, nine of their last 13 and 17 of the past 26 games. Last night they posted a rare win without a home run. They are now 4-31 when they fail to homer.
The All-Star break arrives after today’s game, and the best the Orioles can do is have a 28-69 record with 65 games to play. They would produce a win percentage of .289 with a win today. If they continue to play at that percentage, their final record would be 47-115.
Futures Game today: Later today it’s a matchup of some of the top young talent in all of minor league baseball with the 20th annual All-Star Futures Game. It will be televised live from Nationals Park at 4 p.m. on MLB Network. I’ll be covering today’s game, so check back here later for stories and updates.
There will be 30 of the MLBPipeline.com top 100 prospects playing in this game today, 19 for Team USA, which will be managed by Torii Hunter, with David Ortiz managing the World Team. Team USA leads the World Team 12-7 in the all-time series.
The Orioles will be represented in the game by Single-A Frederick left-handed pitcher Alex Wells on the World team and Double-A Bowie third baseman Ryan Mountcastle on Team USA. I wrote this post yesterday on Wells, and this one recently on Mountcastle. I’ll write more on both today as they take the field at Nats Park.
Orioles that played in recent Futures Games:
2012: Dylan Bundy (USA) and Manny Machado (USA)
2013: Eduardo Rodriguez (World), Henry Urrutia (World), Christian Walker (USA)
2014: Hunter Harvey (USA) and Dariel Álvarez (World)
2015: Zach Davies (USA)
2016: Chance Sisco (USA)
2017: Chance Sisco (USA) and Tanner Scott (USA)
Read this: Brooks Robinson has been hired by the Orioles as a special advisor. He’s not been added to make or contribute to the baseball decisions, but rather to be more around the ballpark and the Orioles baseball community in a role that seems to be still evolving. But having Brooks more involved in any role is a very, very good thing. And probably overdue. As always, No. 5 is No. 1.