Just another day in Birdland: Lose another pitcher, win another game

The Yankees Aaron Judge was not happy. He got plunked by a pitch in the hand on Tuesday night and missed Wednesday's game.

He was quoted by New York media after Tuesday's game.

“Definitely pissed,” Judge said about the pitch that got him. “There was a couple balls up and in. It’s part of it. They like to throw in.”

If they, the Orioles, like to throw in, where do the Yankees like to throw?

As of game time last night, New York pitchers had hit 40 batters this year to lead the American League. With 24, the Orioles staff tied for 12th most. The team with the fewest HPs in the AL had hit 23 batters. Yankees pitchers had hit the Orioles five times this year and O's pitchers had hit the Yankees three times.

Add two to the New York total. They've now hit 42 on the year and plunked the Orioles seven times in six games.

Judge must really be upset now that when the Yankees hit Gunnar Henderson with an up and in pitch last night, he would steal a base and score a run. They lost in 10 innings to the Orioles by one run, 7-6. Gunnar's run was big. 

Judge must really be ticked off now.

One could say in the last 24 hours, the Yankees sounded like whiners while on the field the Orioles were winners.

Just another O's-Yankees series, featuring crazy plays, big home runs, comebacks and plenty of drama and emotion. Right to the last pitch after three hours and 40 minutes.

Last night the O's started a rookie with now three MLB starts against a Cy Young winner with 300. O's pitchers walked nine. Their usually tight defense was generous in the last of the seventh. Baltimore blew a four-run lead. The Orioles still won.

We all know there were many years and many, many nights when previous O's teams don't win that game.

The Orioles (48-25) are now 1.5 games behind New York. They have had one off day since May 31 but are 13-6 in that time. They are 8-3 their past 11 games versus the Yankees.

The Orioles passed another test on Wednesday night in the Bronx.

But about the rotation and pitching staff: As Orioles pitcher injuries mount, it is an obvious question to wonder how many injuries are too many? Will the team reach a point where those injuries derail their season or their hopes for a deep postseason run?

No one has the answer to that. It is a difficult question to ponder. This team is really good and can overcome a lot and has. But what about the latest news that Kyle Bradish is lost for the year, joining John Means and Tyler Wells on the injured list. And also, key reliever Danny Coulombe is out for now with a return, they hope come September.

Bradish had Tommy John surgery yesterday with the addition of an internal brace to help support this latest procedure. Coulombe had bone chips removed from his left elbow. 

A few days ago, during the Philadelphia series, I asked Ryan O’Hearn that injury question. Will the club reach a point they can't overcome it all?

“Can’t think about that,” said O’Hearn in the Camden Yards clubhouse. “When you’re in it, everybody wishes everyone was healthy all season. That is just not the reality of it. I think as much as it sucks, we have to look forward to the next day and keep going. It’s June. We’ve got a long way to go. My hope is we get guys back and get to the playoffs. That is when you can go on a run, and anything can happen.

“Have to take it one day at a time. If you look too far ahead, that is something I try not to do. It can seem insurmountable if you look too far ahead.”

Added O’s skipper Bradon Hyde yesterday of Bradish: “Huge loss for us. He's a top-of-the-rotation type of guy. I feel confident that he'll be like that when he comes back but it's going to be a while. We're losing a top-of-the-rotation arm that's been unbelievable for us for the last year-plus, two years. We were hopeful that it wasn't going to come to this, but unfortunately it has and we're going to miss him.

"Kyle Bradish is an absolute warrior. Probably didn't let on what he was pitching through because he loves to compete, he wants the ball, he doesn't want to come out of the game. He's just a fierce, fierce competitor. The makeup, he's as tough as any player that I've had," said Hyde.

O’Hearn used that same word when discussing what Bradish meant to the team this year, going 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in eight starts.

“What Kyle Bradish did, battling through everything and it’s been a tough road this year for him, to give this team what he has, just the definition of a warrior. Knowing that your elbow hurts, just what Kyle has done has been unbelievably impressive,” said O’Hearn.

For now the rotation consists of Corbin Burnes, Grayson Rodriguez, Cole Irvin, Albert Suárez and Cade Povich. Right-hander Dean Kremer will make another Triple-A rehab start this weekend and the Birds have a few arms they like on the farm to include Chayce McDermott and Seth Johnson.

The team could always make a trade and has a deep farm system from which to deal with the trade deadline coming next month.

The O's have seen some adversity and some controversy the last few days. More injuries and complaints from their opponent in the Bronx about players getting hit even as they hit a few of their own. 

It's never dull around here. 


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