Gabriel Ynoa is starting Game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader against the Yankees in the Bronx. Plans for the nightcap remain uncertain, perhaps depending on what transpires today against the Astros.
“The second game is still up in the air,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We’ll see what happens in the game today. Not ready to announce the starter for the second game yet.”
I’m hearing that left-hander Ty Blach will join the club in New York and would present an option as the starter.
Both teams are allowed to bring up a 26th man for the doubleheader.
The Orioles claimed Blach off waivers from the Giants on Aug. 3 and he allowed two runs and four hits with four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings Thursday in his debut with Norfolk. He’d be working on short rest Monday, but he threw only 61 pitches in his start.
Blach, a fifth-round pick in 2012 out of Creighton, made two relief appearances with the Giants this season and allowed 10 runs and 14 hits in 6 1/3 innings. He was 3-4 with a 5.93 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 17 games with Triple-A Sacramento.
Hyde already has used 51 players this season, five short of the club record set last year.
Here’s the updated all-time list:
Fifteen pitchers have made starts this season, one more than last year’s total. Thirty-four Orioles have been used on the mound, four more than last year’s club record.
The Orioles will aim to rebound, and in rapid fashion, from last night’s 23-2 drubbing.
They don’t have much choice.
“What happened happened,” said Anthony Santander via translator Ramón Alarcón. “We can’t go back now. We just need to move forward. Right now the focus is to do well today, play as hard as we can, compete and try to win today.”
Of course, the Orioles have to do it while facing Justin Verlander, because they can’t catch many breaks.
Verlander is 15-4 with a 2.68 ERA and 0.812 WHIP in 24 starts and is averaging 1.9 walks and 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.154 WHIP in 21 career starts against the Orioles and 8-1 with a 2.42 ERA and 0.987 WHIP in 11 starts at Camden Yards.
“It’s a little bit more challenging,” Santander said. “Obviously he’s a really good pitcher. At the same time we’re up for the challenge, we’re ready to compete, ready to win, ready to give everything we’ve got and hopefully we get the win today.”
The Orioles have an unfortunate amount of experience trying to shake off bad outcomes.
“We’ve had quite a few games where either tough losses or games that got away from us and I feel like our guys have bounced back all year and done a nice job of turning the page,” Hyde said. “Obviously we’re facing a great starting pitcher today. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for you. You’ve got to bounce back and compete.
“Verlander’s going to come right after us and hopefully we can match the intensity.”
The past week has been challenging on many fronts and Hyde has to take it in stride. The controversial calls, Wednesday’s dugout argument with Chris Davis, home runs surrendered at a record pace and last night’s loss that represented the worst for the Orioles since 2007.
“What’s disappointing is we were coming off for me our best couple weeks of playing the game,” Hyde said. “I thought we played really well on the West Coast and then we came home and faced the Yankees and the first game it’s tied in the eighth inning and we end up losing that game, and the next two get blasted. And then we’re facing the Houston Astros, so we’re facing really, really good clubs.
“Then we go back to New York after the game today. And nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. When you’re in position like those teams, they’re coming in expecting to sweep. They’re coming in expecting to stay hot and beat us up and we have to do a really good job of playing the spoiler and playing with nothing to lose. But it’s hard to do when you’re down so much so early in the game, so we’ve got to do a better job on the mound to keep us in the game.”
Being a spoiler can motivate a team, as the Orioles experienced last year and while trudging through 14 consecutive losing seasons. There isn’t much else to play before beyond pride and job security.
“The Yankees series and this series so far, it hasn’t been for lack of effort,” Hyde said. “We haven’t pitched and so when you don’t pitch and you have a tough time getting them out, it’s really tough to outslug these guys. We have to play really well to win and we just have to do a better job on the mound.
“Guys wanted to be in the lineup today. I was checking on a bunch of guys, whether they needed a day. Anybody I asked if they wanted a day off today, nobody wanted it, so I think that’s a great sign. Everybody wants to play all the time. I think we have a bunch of high-character guys when it comes to that.
“I think when we’re playing well, in competitive games, I think you really see how fun they are to watch. I think we’re a fun team to watch. But when we’re down 9-1 in the third, nobody looks like it’s that fun to watch. So hopefully we get back to the way we were playing on the West Coast.”
The Orioles will try to avoid the sweep today with Renato Núñez on the bench. He fouled a ball off his left ankle last night and X-rays were negative.
“He’s just really sore, so keeping him out today,” Hyde said. “Just took a really tough shot off the ankle.”
A scoring change in the July 28 game against the Angels gives Jonathan Villar a double instead of a single, and an error is removed from Brian Goodwin.
Here are the listed starters for the series in New York:
Update: Jace Peterson’s two-out RBI double off Verlander in the first inning gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Update II: Carlos Correa hit a three-run homer off Asher Wojciechowski in the second.
Update III: Trey Mancini’s RBI single in the second cut the lead to 3-2.
Update IV: Peterson’s RBI triple in the fifth and Hanser Alberto’s sacrifice fly in foul territory in left field gave the Orioles a 4-3 lead.
Update V: Mancini singled in the sixth to score Villar for a 5-3 lead.