On a team that again couldn’t generate much of an offensive attack yesterday, deep fly balls celebrated as some sort of moral victory, Chance Sisco had a single and a walk in three plate appearances and was crowned king for a day.
The kid has hit pretty much throughout his life. But anything he does behind the plate will overshadow it. The bat got the Orioles’ attention. Defense will get him more opportunities in the majors.
Sisco couldn’t prevent two wild pitches from Chris Tillman because he isn’t Inspector Gadget, but he blocked a few other balls in the dirt and most impressively threw out all three runners attempting to steal. He’s nabbed seven of 11, which earns him further bragging rights because his arm and ability to make the throws still drew some concerns within the organization as the club broke camp.
Heading north didn’t shed all the doubts. It just allowed Sisco to keep working with bench coach/catching instructor John Russell and continue his development at the highest level.
Anointed the backup catcher in March, Sisco has started the last three games and could stay in the lineup today against Indians right-hander Corey Kluber. It’s done in large part because of the trust factor, but also because so few players are hitting and Caleb Joseph is 3-for-37.
Sisco’s .256 average won’t win any batting titles, but it ranks third on the club and second among healthy players because Trey Mancini is day-to-day with a knee injury.
Mancini has undergone an X-ray, CT scan and MRI. The team batting average of .216, next-to-last in the majors, requires a microscope.
We’ll find out later this morning, day game after a slightly later day game, whether Sisco gets another start. He’s been accustomed to regular playing time throughout his career.
“There’s a little bit of difference, obviously, consistent at-bats. But it’s not a reason for success or failure,” he said. “It’s just something where, yeah, you get a little more comfortable playing every day, but it’s not something behind success or failure.”
Andrew Cashner is making his fifth start today and the last three have been quality. One run allowed in six innings, none in seven and three in six. He’s issued 11 walks, but they tend to come across as if done by design rather than a bout of wildness.
In two previous starts against the Indians, Cashner has allowed 11 runs and 12 hits over 10 innings with eight walks and nine strikeouts while losing twice.
No one on the current team has more than seven at-bats against Cashner. Yonder Alonso is 3-for-7 with a double, three RBIs and two walks. Jose Ramirez is 2-for-6 with two doubles.
The Orioles can’t catch a break in this series when it comes to opposing starters. They get Kluber today, the guy with two Cy Young awards and the 1.52 ERA and 0.742 WHIP this season in four starts.
Kluber has allowed only five runs and 16 hits in 29 2/3 innings. He’s averaging 1.8 walks and 10 strikeouts per nine innings.
Good luck gaining an edge. He’s held left-handers to a .152 average and right-handers to a .158 average. Today marks his fourth road start and opponents are batting .182/.232/.299.
Kluber is 2-1 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.039 WHIP in six career starts against the Orioles. He’s averaging 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
In five starts at Camden Yards, Kluber has registered a 3.12 ERA and 1.067 WHIP and surrendered only two home runs over 34 2/3 innings.
Jonathan Schoop is the most productive Oriole against Kluber with four hits in 12 at-bats, including a double and home run, but he’s on the disabled list. Thanks for nothing.
Adam Jones is 3-for-17 with seven strikeouts. Chris Davis is 1-for-14 with a double and seven strikeouts.