Quick Links

Johnson implodes, Yankees take Game 1 in Baltimore


Johnson implodes, Yankees take Game 1 in Baltimore

Jim Johnson walked right to his locker. He knew he cost the Orioles the first game of the Division Series, and as usual, he was meeting his inquisitors with no complaints.There have been very few times this season when Johnson has needed to speak first. When he does his job, as he almost always does, there are others to speak for him.Sadly, this was his night for all the wrong reasons.Entering a game tied at 2 in the ninth, Johnson gave up a home run to Russell Martin on his third pitch, and things only got worse as the Orioles lost to the New York Yankees 7-2 before 47,841 at Oriole Park in Game 1 of their American League Divisional Series.By the time Johnson left, he had faced six batters. Five of them scored.Made a mistake, obviously to Martin and a couple of other mistakes over the middle of the plate. We paid for it obviously, Johnson said.I didn't hold up my end of the bargain.After a delay of nearly two and-a-half hours, the Orange Towel waving crowd screamed on almost every pitch, appreciating the teams first postseason home game in 15 years. Martins home run was followed by soft singles by Raul Ibanez and Derek Jeter, and with Eduardo Nunez pinch-running at third for Ibanez, Suzuki squeezed him home with a bunt single. With one out, Robinson Cano doubled to left to score Jeter and Suzuki, and suddenly, it was a four-run deficit.After Johnson was relieved by Tommy Hunter, Nick Swishers sacrifice fly scored Cano, who moved to third on an error.Only twice this season had Johnson allowed more than two earned runs. He allowed five, one of them unearned in a third of an inning.That's why we play five games. Every time we take the field we compete. We're going to play hard. It's unfortunate to lose the first game, especially at home, but we make it easy now. We're going to battle back and play hard," Johnson said.There have been just a few times when manager Buck Showalter has had to get Johnson.Hes the reason why were out there playing this game tonight, one of the big reasons, Showalter said.Tonight, just wasnt his night.CC Sabathia pitched 8 23 innings, falling short of a complete game when he allowed Lew Fords double with two outs in the ninth on his 120th pitch. Entering this season, Sabathia was 16-2 against the Orioles, but this year was different. Sabathia was 0-2 with a 6.38 ERA in three starts in Baltimore, but the postseason is different.We stayed in it as long as we could. I think we had some opportunities early in the game to push some runs across but were finding out what playoff baseball is all about, Chris Davis said.
Youve got to capitalize on every opportunity you give yourself and we werent really able to do that.
The Orioles scored two runs in the third inning on a two-run single by Nate McLouth, but left seven runners in the final six innings.
It felt like he got a head of a lot of our hitters and obviously staying in the game as long as he did, he kind of wore us down, Davis said.
Sabathia allowed two runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out seven.Jeter hit Jason Hammels second pitch of the game for a single up the middle. Suzuki followed with a double to left-center to score Jeter. The Orioles were quickly retired by Sabathia in the first and second. Hammel, started for the first time since he reinjured his surgically repaired right knee on Sept. 11 and worked until the sixth. He pitched 5 23 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He walked four and struck out five.In the third, Davis and Ford began the inning with singles. Both moved up a base on Robert Andinos bunt and scored on McLouths two-run single to right. In the fifth, the Orioles had first and third with one out, but couldnt score. That was their last, best opportunity. We are not even supposed to be here, you know. We are playing with house money. We are going to ride this thing out. They threw their horse tonight, he pitched a great game for them. We had that big hit; we couldnt push nothing across after that, Mark Reynolds said.On Monday night, the teams play Game 2 with Wei-Yin Chen pitching against Andy Pettitte. The teams will head to New York for Game 3 on Wednesday. The Orioles hope there is at least a Thursday.Its one loss and we will forget about tonight and be ready to go tomorrow, Matt Wieters said.

Quick Links

Orioles finally hire Brandon Hyde as new manager

USA Today Sports Images

Orioles finally hire Brandon Hyde as new manager

The Orioles have finally found their man.

After entering the Winter Meetings without having yet hired their new manager, a rarity in this era of baseball, the Orioles announced Friday that they had hired Brandon Hyde to fill the role.

Hyde joins the organization after spending half a decade in Chicago under Joe Maddon, and many years prior with the Marlins. He has a long background in player development, something that was important to new Orioles GM Mike Elias, which makes sense considering the state of the organization and their upcoming rebuilding process.

Hyde is 45, so he’ll have the opportunity to stick in Baltimore for a long time if he finds success, however, Elias defines it, in the next few seasons. Many times, the manager leading a team as it embarks on an organizational rebuild is not the same one who leads them back into contention, but the Orioles front office will certainly hope Hyde is up to both tasks.
“After conducting an intensive search, I believe that we have found the ideal leader for the next era of Orioles baseball,” said Mike Elias, Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager, in a statement released Friday.

“Brandon’s deep background in player development and Major League coaching, most recently helping to shape the Cubs into a World Champion, has thoroughly prepared him for this job and distinguished him throughout our interview process. I look forward to introducing him to our fans next week and to working together with him to build the next great Orioles team.”

Elias was thought to have preferred someone with Major League experience, so as to avoid saddling an up-and-coming manager with multiple 90-plus loss seasons inevitably on the horizon in Baltimore. Hyde technically has experience coaching in the big leagues, though it comes in the form of a single game. The Marlins lost his one game as acting manager 2-1 to the Rays, and Jack McKeon was named interim manager the next day.

Maddon has developed a reputation as a stellar communicator and somebody open to analytics, and it stands to reason that Hyde would follow a similar style of leadership, especially considering how critical those traits are in the eyes of Elias.

Hyde replaces Buck Showalter, a beloved figure in Baltimore after his 8 ½ seasons at the helm brought winning baseball back to a city desperate for relevancy. Showalter’s contract was not renewed at the end of this past season, an understandable decision given his age and how long it will be until the franchise is ready to compete again.

Reports swirled about Hyde being named the 20th manager in franchise history as early as Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, though Elias and the front office were quick to emphasize that nothing was official at the time. In the end, Hyde does end up accepting the job, and he’ll be introduced at a press conference Monday.

Nationals bench coach Chip Hale was, along with Hyde, one of six finalists who interviewed for the position, so the Nats won’t be losing a valuable piece of their staff.

The Orioles are in the honeymoon phase of the rebuild, where hope springs eternal and the losses to come haven’t set in yet. Hyde checks all the boxes for what Elias was looking for, and despite his relative inexperience, he’s someone who should excite, if not necessarily inspire, the fanbase in Charm City.

Orioles fans won’t have many exciting acquisitions to cheer on in the near future, but they may have just made one of their most impactful. The O’s finally have their GM-Manager combination set for the foreseeable future, and they’ll hope to experience as much success and more as the previous regime.

Quick Links

Orioles GM Elias calls reports of Brandon Hyde being next manager "premature"

USA Today Sports

Orioles GM Elias calls reports of Brandon Hyde being next manager "premature"

Orioles new general manager Mike Elias is a busy man out in Las Vegas. Not only is he looking to add much needed talent to Baltimore's roster but he is also searching for a new manager. Elias interviewed six candidates, including Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, for the vacancy. On Monday, Elias said they were “pretty far along in the process.”

Then the reports surfaced on Tuesday that the Orioles had found their man. 

For a second straight year, Joe Maddon's bench coach has landed a managerial job (Davey Martinez). 

But, in the words of College Gameday's Lee Corso "Not so fast my friend!"

Does that mean Hyde is not the manager? Not necessarily. It likely means Elias wants the news to come out on his terms.