The Baltimore Orioles Continue to Roll
The Baltimore Orioles just came off of an improbable series win vs the White Sox. It was a huge test that they passed with flying colors after winning the series in an extra inning walk-off. Now they had to face the best team in the American League, the Houston Astros. The Astros were an astounding 81-45 before the game last night.
This could have easily been a letdown after the dramatics Thursday night, but the O’s had other ideas, especially as rookie Kyle Bradish pitched the best game of his career. Bradish was a fourth round pick by the Angels in 2018.
Despite an ERA over 6.00 heading into the game, he was ready. What Bradish did last night, pitching eight shutout innings against that potent Astros lineup, might be the most stunning performance of the year. The one positive aspect of his game is his strikeout rate. In 80 innings he has 79 strikeouts.
Bradish had all of his pitches working and the Astros were off balance all night. This was his 16th start and by far his best. Bradish had three strikeouts with the fastball, two with the slider, and one with the change up while allowing just two hits during his outing. The highlight might have been striking out former Oriole Trey Mancini. Ramon Urias provided the lone offense with a two-run home run in the sixth inning.
As we know, Houston is a tough team and the O’s had to fight to get the last out. Felix Batustia was unavailable due to pitching a career high two innings the previous night. The Orioles brought Cionel Perez to attempt to get the last three outs. He got two, but also gave up back to back singles to Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman. Now, this of course brought up Mancini with a chance to win the game. Talk about drama! Dillion Tate came in and shut him down with a three pitch strikeout!
With this win, the Baltimore Orioles are now 66-59 and are still keeping themselves alive in the Wild Card hunt. This very well could’ve been their biggest win of the season. How they’ve won the last two games has been remarkable. They are just 2.5 games out of the final Wild Card spot. The O’s can’t let the foot off the gas. Their margin for error at this point is extremely thin as they try to chase down the Mariners, Blue Jays, and Rays for a coveted Postseason berth. If they win this series against the Astros they can go toe to toe with anyone in the league!