Orioles option Susac, Showalter on today’s loss

The Orioles made a roster move following today’s 8-5 loss to the Yankees, optioning catcher Andrew Susac to Triple-A Norfolk. The corresponding move will be revealed Sunday morning.

Caleb Joseph is behind the plate tonight at Norfolk. Austin Wynns is on the bench.

Joseph was optioned May 17 to make room for Susac, who is 3-for-26 with the Orioles. Joseph was batting .182/.203/.325 in 24 games with the Orioles, threw out 4 of 19 runners attempting to steal and committed four errors. He also had two passed balls.

In 12 games with Norfolk, Joseph had registered a .239/.300/.283 slash line before tonight’s three-run homer. Wynns is batting .257/.314/.404 with four doubles and four home runs in 32 games, and he’s 18-for-41 (.439) against left-handers.

The Orioles will be doing more work on their roster as they fell 24 games below .500. They’ve expressed interest in Hanley Ramirez, according to multiple reports, though how a first baseman/designated hitter would fit on a team loaded with them isn’t clear.

Three more errors today and a couple of other plays that weren’t made in the field lowlighted today’s loss, the club’s seventh in a row.

Showalter-Black-Jacket-Sidebar.jpg“There’s a lot of things that happened in that game, but those are some things that we know have been a challenge. Especially against a good team, you can’t do those things,” said manager Buck Showalter.

“I’ve said many times, you look out at the error column at the end of a game, it usually tells you who won the game. The players are so good at this level, giving them extra outs just seems to always, it may not bite you that inning, but it makes you do a lot of different things. And we had some other things that didn’t show up in the error column, too.”

Improving the defense was supposed to be a priority, but the three errors today came on consecutive plays during a two-run sixth inning. Jonathan Schoop made a high throw while trying to turn a double play and Chris Davis couldn’t pull it down. Adam Jones let a sinking liner skip past him for an RBI single and error, and his throw back to the infield gave him back-to-back miscues.

Later in the game, Davis broke toward the bag on a soft single instead of going for the ball and the Yankees scored twice in the eighth. Right fielder Joey Rickard didn’t break back properly on a fly ball in the ninth that was ruled a double, but no further damage was done.

“It’s been a challenge, as one of our challenges last year and it’s been this year again. And it’s more than just things that show up in the error column, too,” Showalter said.

“I know Chris (Davis) said that the double play pivot, he lost it in the lights, and the other ball to his right, he didn’t see off the bat, so there’s nothing you can do about that. Not seeing it. A lot of times when you get in between, Adam’s trying to come in and make a catch and you get there at the last second and you know you can’t quite get there.

“What did they score errors? I don’t look at that. Did he get on one the throw? That’s kind of a team error. That ball, I think Manny (Machado) deflected it and Danny (Valencia) couldn’t get to it, so that’s more than just Adam. Did they give him an error on the ball that bounced by him? OK.”

Kevin Gausman was charged with five earned runs and six total in 5 1/3 innings, with no walks and nine strikeouts. He surrendered two-run homers to Miguel Andújar in the second and Giancarlo Stanton in the third.

The errors didn’t do Gausman any favors.

“It makes your outing a lot more laborious,” Showalter said. “There’s a double play ball there that we can’t finish off, and Jon’s one of the best in the business at it. I haven’t really looked at the inning. I know Chris said he lost it in the lights. That’s a very helpless feeling. You’re just guessing where the ball is when it gets up that high.

“It’s tough on pitchers. I think I’m more concerned with the plays that don’t show up as errors. Physical errors and stuff like that ...That’s why you get fooled so much with analytics by stuff that doesn’t show up in an error column.”

Here’s more from Showalter:

On scoring challenges this series: “It’s one thing to talk about pitching. I thought we swung the bats a little bit better today. Kevin was holding good stuff. He’s trying to go in on Stanton and jerked it middle-middle where you don’t want to get the ball on him. And just like all hitters, if you can follow a certain approach to him, you can really greatly multiple your chances of getting him out. You get the ball in some places you know you can’t go, you’re going to pay the price. And a team like this, it’s usually power.

“Some people would say it was a good pitch, the breaking ball that Andujar kind of swept out of the park. But they’re strong guys. Downs not always good. Especially in today’s game. But offensively we know going into just about all series it seems, and especially someone like (Masahiro) Tanaka, that he’s not going to throw that many fastballs. Then, when you see two or three that he does throw get hit hard, you know even more so that he’s not going to do that. But he’s got a good split, and he’s got a good breaking ball he can command in a place that’s hard to do a whole lot with.”

On Valencia in the ninth inning being first leadoff hitter to reach base and score in a week: “We’ve been talking about that for a while. Just putting together a lot of quality at-bats. One of our strengths has been ... I’m not going to get into other people or who they are. It’s just we’ve been able to make a pitcher really grind all the way through the batting order, and we haven’t done that this year.”

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