With the Orioles dropping their second straight game at home in a 14-7 loss to Minnesota, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:
1. If Monday wasn’t the end for Ubaldo Jimenez, it’s feeling closer and closer based on Buck Showalter’s post-game remarks. He’s had nine lives because of his bulky contract, but that may no longer be able to save him. It’s nothing personal, but a sunk cost is a sunk cost.
2. The final five pitches of his outing resulted in three singles and a double. It was batting practice for the Twins the third time through the heart of the order.
3. Showalter didn’t rule out the possibility of Jimenez pitching in relief like he did in parts of 2014 and 2016, but the current state of the Orioles bullpen without closer Zach Britton makes it extremely difficult to carry a pitcher without options or an ability to contribute meaningfully.
4. Monday’s loss marked the fourth time in the last month that the Orioles have squandered a lead of five or more runs. For a club that’s frequently succeeded despite a small margin for error over the last few years, that’s unacceptable.
5. The Orioles won’t use it as an excuse, but the lineup went 2-for-14 with seven strikeouts in their four turns at the plate after the Twins tied the game in the fifth. Yes, they’re professionals, but the pitching staff continuing to blow so many sizable leads has to be deflating.
6. It’s a shame that Adam Jones becoming the all-time home run leader at Camden Yards didn’t come with a winning result. He passed Rafael Palmeiro with his 125th career long ball in the ballpark to give Baltimore a 5-0 lead in the second inning.
7. Tyler Wilson probably earned himself a trip back to Norfolk by allowing six runs (four earned) in 1 1/3 innings. Inheriting a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the fifth wasn’t fair, but the Orioles needed much better from him in the sixth inning of a 6-6 game.
8. Stefan Crichton’s balk to make it a 12-6 deficit in the sixth felt like an appropriate symbol of futility from the Orioles pitching staff on Monday.
9. Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson receiving the win despite allowing six earned runs in five innings is another example why a pitcher’s win-loss record is such a useless statistic compared to countless other measures of performance. Kill the win, please.
10. Jonathan Schoop’s sixth-inning error led to two unearned runs a day after his first-inning miscue opened the door for three unearned runs in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat. His defense hasn’t been as sharp this season as we’ve seen in the past, and he entered Monday at minus-three defensive runs saved.
11. The replay angles weren’t perfect on Brian Dozier’s leadoff double in the third inning, but how the powers that be in New York couldn’t use those shots in concert to determine the ball was clearly foul is baffling.
12. On a personal note, after missing the weekend series against Toronto because of a wedding, I couldn’t help but watch Monday’s performance and wish my sister could just get married all over again. That was brutal.
A live look at Camden Yards: pic.twitter.com/EBqWyOOswL
— Luke Jones (@BaltimoreLuke) May 23, 2017