The Orioles made it back home. Back to their own beds, their clubhouse, their daily routine. Back in front of fans who mostly still believe in them, the majority tending to be muted by the scattered doubters who contradict the schedule and insist the season has ended.
The Orioles still aren’t selling. They didn’t consider it at the non-waiver trade deadline and weren’t considering it as an option while a half-game out of first place.
If you’re not going to quit while trailing by six runs, you’re certainly not going to pack it in while in the thick of a pennant race.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette will continue to check on available arms and bats. A veteran left-handed specialist remains a priority while the Orioles give rookie Donnie Hart another look.
I wrote about their interest in Rockies southpaw Boone Logan at the non-waiver deadline, but he wasn’t moved. They’ll continue to check on him.
Of course, any player who’s dealt first must pass through waivers. One Oriole commented last week that he’d expect teams to keep blocking them by making claims, a common practice during this time of the season.
Remember the Padres claiming left-hander Randy Myers in August 1998 to keep him away from the Braves? And how the Blue Jays were thrilled to rid themselves of the approximately $13 million remaining his contract, leaving the Padres with a reliever they never really wanted?
It can be a costly bluff.
The Orioles consider Dylan Bundy to be the equivalent of a deadline pickup, since he didn’t join their rotation until July 17. They’ll do the same with outfielder Joey Rickard and relievers T.J. McFarland and Brian Duensing, all of them expected back on the active roster no later than Sept. 1.
Manager Buck Showalter remains cautiously optimistic that reliever Darren O’Day will come off the disabled list when eligible on Aug. 28. He also knows as well as anyone that these projections tend to change. Examples with the Orioles are plentiful.
McFarland was supposed to begin his injury rehab assignment last night at Single-A Frederick, but the game was postponed due to rain.
Matt Wieters went 5-for-5 in Sunday’s dramatic win over the Giants. According to Elias, only one other player in the last 20 years collected hits in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings as his team rallied to win from a deficit of six-plus runs after the sixth inning.
Yes, someone is keeping track.
Catcher Einar Diaz, now an Orioles coach, did it against the Mariners in 2001. The Indians were behind 14-2 after the sixth and won 15-14 in 11 innings in an epic Sunday Night Baseball game.
I remember watching it in a hotel room somewhere. Don’t recall the city, just the setting.
It irritates Showalter that he’s had to sit one of his hottest hitters due to the lack of a designated hitter in the National League.
Pedro Alvarez hasn’t cracked the lineup since Thursday in Oakland, when he was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs - his fourth multi-hit game in his last seven starts. He pinch-hit twice in San Francisco over the weekend, walking and scoring a run Sunday afternoon.
The Red Sox are starting left-handers Eduardo Rodriguez and David Price in the two-game series at Camden Yards that begins tonight, most likely keeping Alvarez on the bench. It’s a big deal if you consider that he’s 16-for-43 (.372) with six home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 14 games.
Alvarez is 4-for-28 with a home run, two walks and eight strikeouts against left-handers. He delivered a walk-off sacrifice fly against then-Yankees reliever Andrew Miller on May 5 at Camden Yards.
I wouldn’t expect to see this matchup, but Alvarez is 2-for-6 with a double and five RBIs against left-hander Fernando Abad.
Hyun Soo Kim is 0-for-14 with three walks versus left-handers this season. He may have to rest on Sunday’s 3-for-5 until the Astros come to town.
Kim’s average dipped to .312, its lowest point in the U.S., before his three-hit game bumped it up to .319. His on-base percentage had fallen below .400 for the first time.
Kim batted .329/.410/.454 in the first half and is batting .291/.371/.382 in the second. He’s 24-for-85 (.282) with four doubles, one home run and two RBIs since June.
Though it fell short of a home run, Kim absolutely crushed a ball Sunday that produced an RBI double into right-center field. He just picked the wrong part of the ballpark.
It’s funny for me to reflect on the backlash Kim felt after refusing to go down to Triple-A Norfolk. Many fans were upset that outfielder Xavier Avery was optioned after batting .313/.476/.813 with four home runs in spring training.
Avery still hasn’t made it to Baltimore and I wonder how many fans forgot about him. He was batting .244/.321/.355 with five home runs and 18 RBIs in 84 games with the Tides before hitting a leadoff home run last night in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
There’s also L.J. Hoes, whose contract was purchased from the Astros in November. The Orioles designated him for assignment in January after acquiring first baseman/outfielder Efren Navarro from the Angels, then outrighted him to Norfolk.
Navarro is long gone. Hoes was batting .223/.291/.310 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in 83 games before last night.
Much was written about Avery and Hoes in spring training, but they may have slotted behind left-hander Jeff Beliveau on the attention scale.
Beliveau was coming back from surgery to repair a torn labrum. The Orioles knew he wouldn’t be ready to break camp - he didn’t pitch until March 21 - but they anticipated that he could become a valuable bullpen piece later in the summer.
The Orioles have been searching for left-handed relief and the list of players brought up from the farm system includes Duensing, Hart, Ashur Tolliver, Ariel Miranda and Jayson Aquino.
Beliveau hasn’t budged from Single-A Frederick, where he was 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA in 27 appearances. He’s allowed 24 hits, walked 25 and struck out 64 in 45 innings.
“Still a work,” Showalter said. “His last two or three outings have been pretty good. He’s got a little more fastball. He’s coming back from a pretty significant injury, so it might even be next year before you see the finished product.”
Aquino and Parker Bridwell moved up yesterday from Double-A Bowie to Norfolk. Two spots opened up when the Orioles promoted Tyler Wilson and released left-hander Tom Gorzelanny.