The Orioles 2022 are really built differently.
What if I told you that the O went 2 for 15 with the runners in the scoring center tonight, that they were stranded 11 runners at base, and that they put the lead man on board in six of their eight innings and only scored One who are they?
And what if I told you they won the dang anyway?
This is what this team does. Even when all the feelings of the game are wrong, even when it seems like every increasing missed opportunity will come back to haunt them, the Orioles somehow find a way to win. In Tonight’s Case, Dean Kramer’s impressive performance, led by Dean Kramer’s great outing, made the Orioles’ grueling attack quite moot. Against all odds, they found a way to win, starting a three-game streak against the Buccaneers with a screeching 1-0.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that it’s always been fun to sit around.
When Cedric Mullins—on his bouncy head night at Camden Yards—led the Orioles first with a blazing double from the top of the scoreboard in right field, earning jubilant applause from a large group of O fans who commented on the nearly two hour rain delay, it seemed that This is going to be a special night. That expectation only grew when Adley Rutschman pulled a walk from Pirates starter Mitch Keller.
Instead, the tone immediately turned into frustration. Anthony Santander’s shallow fly to the middle failed to advance any contestant, and even after Mullins and Rochman double-stole to put two into the scoring position, the rally failed on the next pitch. Ryan Mountcastle smoked a sharp but straight liner to the leveled short Oneil Cruz, who grabbed Mullins’ break away from third base and doubled it.
Well, this may have been bad luck. But failed chances in the next four rounds fell squarely on the shoulders of the Oriole hitters. Teren Vavra led second with one song, only for the next three hits to hit the harmless pop flies. In the third, Brett Phillips – who made his debut as Oriole at Camden Yards – quickly made himself a crowd favorite by delivering a forehand to the shallow mid-right and enthusiastically pushing it into a double. Nice blow! However, stranded is also in a triplet state.
The lower part of the IV brought more pain. Just like the first inning, the O put the first two riders on board, this time in a one-and-a-fault situation. Once again, none of that worked, as Ramon Urias broke out in a double game and Rugend Odor bounced back for a short while. At that point, the O was 0 for 7 with the runners in the scoring center. They put the forward man on board in each of the first four turns – and twice, the first two Runners are on board—and statistically, they would have been expected to score at least five runs under these situations. Instead, they had zero. big difference! Keeler was working on some kind of magic, it seems.
Dean Kramer, fortunately, was not discouraged by his lack of running support. The Oriole rookie was simply brilliant tonight, putting zeros after the inning with no margin for error. He really only had one turn he had to sweat, which was the top of a second where he put a pair of pirate singles on the corners with one out. But Kramer took a page out of Keeler’s book and Houdini himself out of trouble, resulting in the final double play from Cal Mitchell.
From there Kramer floated. Just call him “scurvy.” For the way the pirates were attacking tonight. Beginning with Mitchell’s double play, Cramer retired 13 consecutive hitters, and he’s done fast work, too—a third inning from 11, eight on the fourth, and another eight on the fifth. His sixth role was also perfect, winning an eight-pitch battle with Brian Reynolds to finish the frame.
Finally, at the bottom of the sixth, O. broke through for the fifth time, they put their forward man aboard the ship, this time on the Santander double. When Mount Castle qualified for third 3-0, it looked like the Orioles were on their way to coming out empty again. But Favra smoked one song that deviated from Keeler, Santander moved to third, and Urías’ helicopter managed to vault over the head of third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes for the RBI song. It wasn’t pretty, but the Orioles were glad to take it, especially on this night. Finally, the Camden Yards crowd had something to cheer about. (Naturally, the remaining runners are stranded.)
Betting on the lead for the first time, Kramer was back for seventh and retired the leading man for 13th in a row before Hayes finished the streak with a double. Even though Cramer’s field count was a manageable 83, Brandon Hyde opted to turn to the stellar bulls, calling Southbow’s Sunil Perez to take on the towering, swinging Cruz. Perez did his usual superb job, fueling Cruz and having Kevin Newman outsmart Kramer and close his streak at 6.1 goalless runs. After a rough July, it’s nice to see Kramer start August on the right foot. I can’t get much better than that.
The Oriole offense once again missed many opportunities to cement the lead, especially in the eighth, when they loaded the bases with one but appeared empty again. It was a shockingly poor performance from nearly every O hitter who turned out to score goals on the night. You can be forgiven for assuming that the Orioles will regret not scoring more goals when the opportunity presents itself, and that the game will take a turn for the worse.
However, this did not happen, as the strength of bird bulls was proven. Perez worked a goalless eighth, serving the Orioles with their first game in the ninth inning since dealing with Jorge Lopez four days earlier. As expected, it was The Mountain, Félix Bautista, who took the call whenever the new approached.
Bautista didn’t quite move through the nines. But he got the job done (while Lopez, around the same time, saved the twins against the Blue Jays). The Pirates made The Mountain work, as Ben Gamel poked a single and Hayes beat a superb bat, polluting three consecutive 100-mph pitches with two strokes of work out for a walk. With a run and pointing forward on the base, though, Bautista shrank. He fanned Cruz on a bad splitter, then formed Newman in a blow called the Third Strike. Ballgame is over.
It was all the way.
Who was the most played Birdland on Friday, August 5th?
Dean Kramer (6.1 runs, retired 13 in a row)
Sunil Perez (1.2 Great Round break)
Felix Bautista (first save when new O approached)
Teren Vavra (3 for 4, made base in 9 of the last 10 protected areas)
476 votes total