After an impressive weekend where Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen pitched back-to-back shutouts in down in Atlanta, they ventured up to New York to continue their interleague swing. The Orioles faced the Mets on Monday night, and the tables got turned on them in terms of their situation over the weekend.
R.J. Dickey – who started for the Mets on Monday – has been on a roll, and had ten wins before he faced the Orioles. He is a knuckleballer who has found success this year, and is now in the same sphere as uber-youngster Stephen Strasburg, Justin Verlander and the like. Dickey single-handedly defeated the Orioles, 5-0, thanks to his knuckler and ability to thoroughly baffle.
He utterly dominated the Orioles and threw his second consecutive one-hitter. The other pitchers I mentioned are indeed exciting to watch; however, witnessing Dickey in HD on MASN was astounding. Considering Buck Showalter inspired Dickey to become a knuckleball pitcher as a member of the Texas Rangers years ago, one could say things came full circle. Both Matt Wieters and Chris David struck out three times.
Wilson Betemit mustered the only hit against Dickey on Monday, and everyone else did not seem to have a chance. Overall, Dickey struck out thirteen and walked two, plus earned a complete game victory.
On the other hand, Baltimore starter Jake Arrieta rolled through five impressive innings of work; however, got victimized in the sixth. He has had a problem with a big inning or two in all of his starts, and Monday night was no exception in the sixth. He gave up a lead-off hit to Dickey to start the frame, allowed a hit, then a walk, before Ike Davis launched a grand slam homer into centerfield.
By then, it was game, set, match for the Mets. The Orioles would have needed the Army, National Guard, Navy, Marines and whatever else to beat Dickey and the Mets.
Arrieta earned his ninth loss of the year on the night and lasted seven innings. He suffered through that one bad inning, and it cost him. That has happened too many times this season.
The Orioles are 39-28 and are 2.5 games out of first as the Yankees lead the American League East. They are still fairly strong and have the third best record in the league; however, I’m still highly concerned about the pitching outside of Chen and Hammel. I would think as the trade deadline comes closer that the Orioles should – and probably will – make a move if they are going stick around.