It just gets uglier and uglier for the Orioles.
According to SI’s Jon Heyman, Dodgers assistant GM DeJon Watson has pulled his name out of the running for Baltimore’s vacancy at general manager.
Watson was never a favorite for the job, but he’s now the third candidate to drop out of the ongoing hunt voluntarily — following in the footsteps of Jerry Dipoto, who was later hired by the Angels, and Tony LaCava, who opted to return to his role as an assistant within the Blue Jays’ talented front office.
The Orioles are down to their own director of player development, John Stockstill, and Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock. They’ll also interview longtime baseball executive Dan Duquette on Friday.
Eventually the O’s will find a match. And they’ll surely tell the world how proud they are to have him. But this is an organization that has been spurned in the past by top free agents and now we’re bearing witness to respected front office executives bolting from the GM opening as if it’s a gig on the line at a fast food joint.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.