Maybe in a previous time or on a previous day, the comeback would have been completed. But not by the 2018 Orioles, who just suffered another frustrating loss last night, 5-4 to Philadelphia.
The Orioles won a pair of one-run games versus the Yankees, but lost by one Thursday night. Down 5-0, they cut that to 5-4 when Trey Mancini hit a two-run homer and Jace Peterson followed with a solo shot in the seventh. The table was set to pull out a late win. But it didn’t happen as the Orioles fell to 26-68, 0-4 versus the Phillies, 6-12 against National League teams and to 7-16 in one-run games.
Mancini’s homer ended an 0-for-15 run and he began the night batting .220. He was 1-for-21 his previous nine games. A year after finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting, he has struggled to get his bat going consistently.
In this interview before the game, Mancini talked very frankly and openly about the pressure he has felt to get his bat heated up and admitted it’s weighed so heavily on him at times that he couldn’t even let himself put it out of his mind after he would leave the ballpark.
“I care about this more than anything in the world, almost to a fault,” Mancini said. “I’m thinking about it a lot and carrying it with me everywhere I go. I am trying to get better in that aspect. I’ve never gone through anything like this and I’m having a tough time mentally how to figure out to best handle it. Because what I thought was a slump before has been totally redefined. This has been extremely, extremely difficult.”
Mancini did not start in two of the previous three games, but told manager Buck Showalter that given the choice, he wanted back in the lineup Thursday night. He’s been working to stay back on the ball more consistently and not lose his weight transfer to his front side too early. That can sap his power and lead to too many groundballs. But the homer to right-center was proof he may be making some progress.
“And the pitch was on the inner half, too, so I stayed through that one well,” Mancini said. “Earlier in the game, my first two at-bats, I fouled off some pitches I could have hit and ended up being in front of breaking balls kind of like I have been here for a while. But it felt good to make an adjustment there.”
During his struggles, Mancini said he has had no shortage of solid support this year - both inside and outside of the clubhouse.
“It’s been really, really great,” he said. “We’ve got a ton of guys in this locker room that have played for a long time and been through some tough situations. So, it’s always good to lean on them and lean on the coaches. My family too has helped a lot. My parents and sisters. Everybody. My aunt and uncle, cousins, I’m telling you everybody in my life has been concerned how I’m taking this and they care about me a lot. I really appreciated it but at the end of the day I’ve got to be the one to turn the page and get it going here.”
Orioles fans must appreciate a player that cares that much and wants to do well so badly. Maybe the home run was the of something for Mancini.
Bowie’s big comeback: It was an epic comeback for the Double-A Bowie Baysox last night. They went to the ninth at Reading trailing 5-1 and scored six runs to produce a 7-5 win. Bowie was three runs down with two outs and four times Baysox batters were a strike away from making an out that would have ended the game with a loss. But they didn’t make that out.
Anderson Feliz doubled home a run to make it a 5-2 game and D’Arby Myers’ pinch-hit two-run single made it 5-4. Corban Joseph singled in the tie run for a 5-5 game and Ryan Mountcastle’s two-run double put Bowie ahead. Tanner Chleborad (4-0) got the win in relief and Branden Kline recorded his seventh save and lowered his ERA to 1.76.
Mountcastle now has a 13-game hitting streak and is batting .345 during that run. He’s hitting .407 over his past six games. In 58 Bowie games, Mountcastle is hitting .318/.367/.512 with 12 doubles, three triples, eight homers, 38 RBIs and an OPS of .878. He’ll take a hot bat to the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in Washington.
Center fielder Ryan McKenna had a single during the ninth-inning rally and he now has a 10-game hitting streak, raising his Baysox average to .274 in 19 games. During his hitting streak McKenna is batting .325.
Single-A Delmarva beat Charleston 11-6 in a slugfest. The Shorebirds’ 7-8-9 hitters combined for a huge night. They were Branden Becker, Ben Breazeale and Max Hogan who combined to go 7-for-14 with two doubles, a homer, four runs and nine RBIs.