It’s the first inning, look back, way back, that’s right it’s another home run given up by the Orioles starting rotation in a stadium where the only fans are the ghosts of Rays fans passed.
The Orioles came in to the series 18-23 when trailing after the first and it looks like the pitching staff was determined to help the team turn that number around, giving up a home run in each of the first innings.
The first two games were really a tale of the first inning vs. the last 8. Ubaldo settled in and pitched a complete game (you can keep pinching yourself but it did happen) after giving up 3 on his first inning dinger to Logan Morrison. He really came in and settled down well. If he’s finding his groove it couldn’t come at a better time. Ubaldo talked about working on his mechanics and if he can find the form of his younger self the rotation looks good heading in to the stretch.
Gallardo tried to one-up Ubaldo but couldn’t quite get there. He gave up a solo shot in the first to Logan Forsythe, and then found his stuff giving up 5 hits in 5 innings for the win. The O’s beat up on Odorizzi for 7 runs with Machado hammering out his 3rd grand slam of the year.
Bundy not wanting to be left out gave up his first inning home run to Kiermaier. Bundy was brutal, giving up 5 in the 3.2 innings. The offence tried to keep the starter in the game, but after the Rays tied it up it was the end of his afternoon. The bullpen gave up 2 in the subsequent 4.1 innings. This has the feel of a game that really could come back to bite the team in the long run, though the Detroit series looming large this weekend may very well have been on peoples minds.
Barring an implosion like this again from Bundy it looks like one of Jiménez, Gallardo, or Miley will be headed to the bullpen. The question is who. My best guess says it ends up being Miley as Jiménez and Gallardo have had some decent outings recently. Heading in to Detroit for the weekend we’ll see Gausman, Miley, and what should be Tillman’s return to the rotation. We should be able to find out if Tillman does go Sunday who will be moving off the rotation as someone will be missing a start from one of the pitchers who give them a good chance to win every time out.
A series win in Detroit will go a long way to giving the team some breathing room in the playoff race. With Toronto and Boston facing each other this weekend it could help the O’s vault over one of the teams to the top WC spot.