Adleyrutschman comes off the bench for a 6-4 extra innings win in Tampa

Much like Mordor, you don’t just go to Tampa Bay and win baseball games. But apparently no one said that to Adleyrutschman.

Trailing 2-3 while the rest of the team showed little sign of life, the rookie sensation came off the bench in the 8th and sparked a turnaround that saw the Orioles earn their first win in Tampa since July 2021.

Opposite Rays flamethrower Jason Adam,rutschman launched a 2-0 fastball toward right field. Almost as a metaphor for the entire Orioles season, the towering fly looked like it would stay in the yard, but it just went on and on — sailing into the right field stands and tying the game.

Slipman would later add to his exploits in the 10th, hitting a sacrificial fly that temporarily gave the Orioles a 5-4 lead. However, the Manfred man’s injustice rose at the end of the 10th, so the O’s had to tie for the 11th at 5.

Things got off to a shaky start in the second extra frame when designated Manfred Man Rougned Odor was caught stealing in third place after a missed attempt by Jorge Mateo. However, the quick shortstop immediately erased any concerns, strapping a ball down the middle for a three-pointer. After a walk by Cedric Mullins and a subsequent stolen base, Ryan Mountcastle plated the winning runs with a bloop single into right field. Cionel Perez and Joey Krehbiel worked their way through a (mostly) clean bottom of 11th to secure the win.

This game started with Dean Kremer starting for the Orioles. Kremer wanted to repeat the five innings of shutout ball he threw against the Rays in Baltimore. All year, the O’s right-hander has relied primarily on his fastball and cutter, and improved control over both has seen him enter the game with a 2.15 ERA. On Saturday, however, the fastball command didn’t seem as sharp and it was really just the cutter that the right-hander found success at. Of the 12 outs that Kremer recorded, 11 came from the cutter – including two double plays and his two strikeouts.

The fastball and the switch were more hit or miss, often literally. However, against a patient Rays team, this often resulted in long at-bats and a struggle to take out the boys. As for Kremer’s curveball, let’s just say the Orioles would have been better off if their starter forgot he was throwing a curve.

An unfortunate sequence in the 3rd inning seemed to encapsulate all the things that Orioles and Kremer couldn’t think of early on. In a 1-1 tie, Brandon Lowe led the inning with a single to the left that made Anthony Santander look like he had a pearl on it – only for it to splatter out of his glove. Then, after getting to Harold Ramirez to swing through a curveball, Kremer attempted to double the curveball but completely missed the zone and hit Ramirez. But don’t worry, the trusty cutter tried to bail Kremer out by initiating a double play that gave the O’s two outs and a man in third place.

Then disaster struck. A cutter low and way to Randy Arozarena leapfrogged Robinson Chirinos and allowed Lowe to come in from third place. On the very next pitch, Kremer hung a curveball and the reigning AL Rookie of the Year deposited it in the left field seats.

This rollercoaster nature seemed to plague Kremer throughout his four innings. He beat Ji-Man Choi with runners first and third in the first – only to score a run on the next batter in a wild field. He would give up rockets – Rays had eight balls hit hard – only to roll a double play on the next hitter. The stat line wasn’t impressive or terrible, but it never felt like Kremer was putting the O’s in a position to win.

Before Adley’s dramatic appearance in the round of 16, the offensive had great difficulty putting together consistent threats. In a game not primarily dominated by speed, soft-throwing starter Ryan Yarbrough seemed to throw the O’s timing completely off. His low 80’s cutters, high 80’s sinkers from odd arm angles, Frisbee sliders in the low 70’s – all of which seemed to constantly throw the Orioles thugs off balance.

Aside fromrutschman and Mateo (who also had a single), Ramon Urias is the only oriole who seems to be enjoying his time at the Orange Juice Dome. After his two-home run evening on Friday, Urias perfectly split left and center fielders to score a double in heat two – driving in the O’s first heat. Urias doubled again in the fifth against Yarbrough and later scored Goal with a Tyler Nevin singles.

Credit also goes to the bullpen. Austin Voth, Keegan Akin, Dillon Tate, Jorge Lopez, Perez and Krehbiel gave the O’s a valiant effort that constantly kept the game within striking distance. In seven relief innings, the Six held the Rays on two hits and knocked out six. The only run they allowed (charged against Lopez) came after the Manfred Man was rolled over and Choi then pinned a single down center with the infield. As they had been all season, the relievers were the glue that held this team together and made the offensive heroics possible.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: this team never says die. That’s absolutely the biggest difference between the ball club that’s been baseball’s worst for the past three seasons and the one we’re excited to watch every day in 2022. Adley may provide many highlights, but the “never say die” attitude is embodied by everyone who steps into the box or onto the mound for this year’s Orioles.

Tomorrow the O’s play for their first winning first half in six years. So let’s celebrate tonight, get some rest, and come back tomorrow ready to send the Orioles into the All-Star break with a new winning streak.

opinion poll

Who was the most Birdland player on July 16, 2022?

  • 67%

    Adleyrutschman (Game Timing HR, 2 RBIs)

    (368 votes)

  • 2%

    Ryan Mountcastle (game winner, 2 RBI singles)

    (16 votes)

  • 2%

    Jorge Mateo (singles, treble, run scored)

    (12 votes)

  • 27%

    The Bullpen (7.0 innings, 2 hits allowed, 6 Ks)

    (149 votes)

A total of 545 votes

vote now

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