Sunday, September 25, 2022

In Kyle Braddish’s ‘giant test’ against the Yankees, a mixed bag ends in a 6-2 loss to the Orioles, their fourth straight

These are nights that can be had as a major league starter, laboring through innings and nodding heads off the mound. They rarely get the best of the game, but they all come, sooner or later, and it came to Kyle Bradish on Monday night.

In his first three starts, the right-hander had largely avoided such displays. If it was ever bound to come, though, it was at No. 4 debut, against a stacked New York Yankees lineup with left-handed and right-handed power hitters, the kind of variety mixed with experience that creates a powerful – and impose – the combination for a rookie learning his way.

“It’s a definite challenge,” manager Brandon Hyde said before the game. “I don’t care if you’re a 10 year old vet or rookie. That’s a big test to pitch against this lineup.”

In a sense, Bradish conceded only four runs in his 4 1/3 innings during Monday’s 6-2 loss at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He worked through full traffic with a 30-pitch first innings setting the stage for a painstaking outing.

The 25-year-old worked his way out of that jam, however, trapping loaded bases, scoring three strikeouts with two walks and an infield single. It took a sensible play from second baseman Rugnade Odor, chopping the ball before reaching the outfield, sprinting home and firing to catch a runner in third.

And it appeared that the six-pitch second innings would even out Bradish’s outing. But a two-out double in Elrods Corner by Giancarlo Stanton lofted Anthony Rizzo, and two singles and a Jose Trevino homer hit the right field foul pole, leaving Braddish with a 5.06 ERA from four starts. He dropped a career-high eight hits and three walks, not matching the 11-strikeout performance he compiled in a win against the St. Louis Cardinals last week.

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The outing, in which he did not allow a free pass and conceded just four hits in seven innings, showed Bradish’s promise. Monday showed that the promise was yet to be fully realized – although against the Yankees (26-9), those nights could be for rookies and Giants alike.

The catastrophic crisis continues

Took a golf swing from Anthony Santander to give the Orioles (14-22) his first hit and first run in the fourth inning, sending a low slider into flag court just beyond right field. But unlike golf, where the lowest score wins, Baltimore’s inability to produce anything on offense resulted in a fourth straight loss.

The absences of Ryan Mountcastle, Austin Hays and Jorge Mateo are clearly affecting the offense without any depth. The lack of production continued a stretch that included four runs in four games, most recently a series sweep for the Detroit Tigers.

But the Orioles could have got on board immediately, with Cedric Mullins reaching a three-base error from left fielder Joy Gallo. Instead, Trey Mancini was doubled first after Santander and Ramon Ureas grounded soft liners. There would be few other opportunities beyond Santander’s ninth-inning blast – his sixth of the season – that went off the wall of left field.

Left-hander Keegan Akin’s scoreless relief from 3 2/3 innings kept the deficit at three, but there was little opportunity to close that gap further. And in the ninth inning Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rizzo closed any windows, after successive homers were out to Felix Bautista.

Baltimore finished with three hits, the team’s fewest this season. And with 11 whiffs, the Orioles continued the strikeout habit that was especially noticeable on Sunday, when they punched a season-high 16 times.

an arm’s distance away

As Hayes walked off the field ahead of Monday’s game, he admitted he felt awkward – for the first time since the age of 10, the Orioles’ left fielder saw a ball under his glove while batting and fielding. Batting gloves were worn.

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He needed stitches in several places after slipping into first base on Thursday against the Cardinals, a necessary precaution as he comes back from a serious arm injury. Their buildup is going slow. At first, she had to wait at least 48 hours for stitches to happen. Then he had to wait for the swelling to subside.

His hand has progressed in both cases, allowing him to swing the bat on Monday for the first time since the injury. Beyond the awkward feeling of a batting glove, Hayes said he felt “good.” He practiced moving the still-recovering fly balls with his hands—”no one left,” he said.

“Check that off the list,” Hayes said, taking another step toward the return. Hyde said Hayes would be available from the bench if necessary, but did not make an appearance. For the foreseeable future, Hayes will play with a tight bandage by wrapping her pinky where the most severe cuts took place to avoid pulling out the stitches. Once the stitches are ready to be removed, he can go without that wrapping—and soon after losing the batting gloves.

Matteo said he enjoyed playing the pregame, but Hyde promoted a slow return to action. The shortstop sustained injuries to his chest and shoulder after a heavy collision with Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson, forcing Matteo to miss Sunday’s game. But he should not miss the extended time.

Yankees @ Orioles

Tuesday, 7:05 pm

TV: Masan

radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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Nation World News Desk
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