Brandon Hyde has proven his sarcastic aspect this week.
The Orioles supervisor’s bullpen entered Wednesday’s sport having lined 14 1/3 innings over the earlier three nights. He joked after Monday’s hectic win that his bullpen was in “excellent shape, fresh as all could be.” On Wednesday morning, he as soon as once more quipped his taxed bullpen, which wanted two innings from beginning pitcher Jack Flaherty the night time earlier than, was “fresh.”
The dire state of the Orioles’ bullpen was by no means extra evident than within the late innings of Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Houston Astros. An exhausted reduction corps blew a 1-0 lead within the eighth inning and allowed a walk-off single within the ninth to spoil one other gem from ace Kyle Bradish.
Shintaro Fujinami was erratic within the eighth, strolling two batters, and Mike Baumann adopted to permit considered one of Fujinami’s runners to attain. With the sport tied within the ninth, left-hander Danny Coulombe allowed a leadoff double to Yainer Díaz and the successful hit to Mauricio Dubón.
In his third profession begin in opposition to Houston, Bradish was as unhittable as his first two, pitching six shutout innings. In 22 2/3 innings in opposition to the Astros, the right-hander has not allowed a run, giving up simply six singles whereas hanging out 25.
Aside from an RBI single from Anthony Santander within the first, Baltimore’s bats didn’t again up Bradish in opposition to Houston starter Cristian Javier, who struck out 11 in 5 innings. The Orioles managed simply six hits and went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring place after a four-game successful streak wherein the membership scored 30 runs.
The Orioles’ finest probability to attain got here within the sixth when Santander doubled to guide off the inning and Ryan O’Hearn adopted with a single off reliever Hector Neris. But Cedric Mullins, the crew’s finest hitter with runners in scoring place, lined out together with his teammates on the corners, and Heston Kjerstad and Austin Hays adopted with a shallow flyout and a groundout, respectively. The Orioles managed only one hit within the ultimate three frames in opposition to Kendall Graveman, Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly.
“We had a tough time making contact,” Hyde mentioned. “Thought he had a good fastball, kind of a sneaky fastball. Just kept us really off-balance. What killed us was that first and third, nobody out situation where [Mullins] lines out unfortunately. We could’ve broken it open a little bit there and give us a little bit of breathing room, knowing where our ’pen is right now.”
Baltimore (95-57) is up two video games on the Tampa Bay Rays atop the American League standings. With 10 video games remaining, the Orioles’ magic quantity is seven with the Rays dropping to the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night time.
Second baseman Adam Frazier mentioned taking two of three from the AL Central-leading Astros is a “big deal” coming off two emotional wins in Baltimore over the Rays, although Wednesday’s loss feels “bitter” as a result of the membership was two innings away from a sweep.
“We know there’s a good chance we’ll see ‘em again in a couple weeks,” Frazier mentioned. “But until then, we’ve got to finish strong.”
Bradish gearing up for playoffs
Bradish is hoping he sees the Astros once more this season.
“Yeah, I mean, they’re probably going to be the No. 2 seed,” mentioned Bradish, the highest beginning pitcher on the AL’s finest crew. “This was a good atmosphere. Their pitching staff, hitters, I mean, it’s a complete team. It was a good test today.”
The Astros’ vaunted lineup is a tough matchup for any pitcher, however Bradish is making it look not so. Houston hitters are 6-for-70 (all singles) for a .086 batting common and .227 OPS in opposition to Bradish courting to final yr, when he pitched eight scoreless in August and eight 2/3 scoreless in September in opposition to an Astros crew that went on to win the World Series.
“He pitches well against good teams because he has big-time stuff,” Hyde mentioned. “Everything was super sharp, and he’s really tough to hit.”
Bradish relied much more on his slider, his most-used providing, Wednesday than regular, throwing it 50 occasions out of 100 pitches versus a right-handed-heavy lineup. Thirteen of his 18 whiffs had been on his slider, whereas 4 got here on his curveball.
“It was probably the best it’s been the past few outings,” Bradish mentioned.
He bumped into bother within the sixth when Jeremy Peña reached on catcher’s interference, tipping Adley Rutschman’s glove on a swing that might have been an inning-ending strikeout. But as Bradish neared 100 pitches, Hyde visited the mound and left his ace in to face AL RBI chief Kyle Tucker. The 27-year-old rewarded his skipper by getting Tucker to lineout to 3rd on a examine swing.
“It’s been fun to watch,” Frazier mentioned of Bradish. “He’s mixing up four, five different pitches up there. They’re all hard, they’re all plus pitches. It makes it tough on opposing hitters, and I think he’s shown that throughout the season. We’re glad he’s on our side, and look forward to him taking the mound every time he does.”
Over his previous 20 begins since late May, Bradish has a glowing 2.60 ERA with 14 high quality begins. His 3.01 ERA is sixth-best amongst certified starters.
“I feel locked in,” he mentioned. “I’ve kind of felt that way all year.”
Jacob Webb adopted Bradish with a scoreless seventh — aided by two warning-track flyouts — earlier than Fujinami’s poor eighth. The Japanese right-hander sandwiched a lineout between two walks. He had began to emerge as a reliable choice by pounding the zone in his 12 outings earlier than the Houston collection, however Fujinami allowed three runs Monday and stumbled once more Wednesday.
Hyde mentioned outings like Wednesday’s are what fear him about throwing the risky right-hander in high-leverage conditions.
“It’s about throwing strikes with him. He was on a nice little roll there,” Hyde mentioned. “Today, a lot of arm-side misses. Stuff’s good within the strike zone.”
Around the horn
- Hyde mentioned earlier than the sport that Jack Flaherty would stay within the bullpen “as of right now.” Flaherty, the membership’s prime commerce deadline acquisition, was moved from the rotation to the bullpen Tuesday. He’s struggled as a starter for Baltimore with a 7.11 ERA, however he pitched two scoreless innings in Tuesday’s 9-5 win.
- Closer Félix Bautista performed catch a number of occasions through the three days in Houston, together with a bullpen session earlier than Wednesday’s sport. Bautista on Sunday threw his first bullpen session since partially tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow in late August.
- The Orioles started the primary of a number of offseason camps targeted on weight coaching and ability improvement Wednesday at their facility in Sarasota, Florida, the crew introduced. Twenty-one gamers will take part within the camp, together with prospects Samuel Basallo, Enrique Bradfield Jr., Mac Horvath, Seth Johnson, Creed Willems, Luis De León and Trace Bright, all of whom are ranked contained in the system’s prime 30 by Baseball America.
Orioles at Guardians
Thursday, 7:15 p.m.
TV: Chs. 45, 5
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM