O’s Gaming Blog: DL Hall takes on Tampa Bay in MLB debut

After Friday’s victory over the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 10-3, the Orioles today have a chance to win this series and create further separation between these clubs. Today, the Rays host the O’s in the second contest of this three-game series.

The Orioles (59-53) scored in seven of nine at bats last night and produced a season-high 19 hits in their last win, which was their eighth in 10 games. They have also won 12 of 17, 24 of 33 and 35 of the last 53 games.

Tampa Bay (58-53) has now lost three in a row and four of five. The Rays are 7-12 in the second half and 27-32 since June 4.

The Orioles currently hold the third wildcard spot in the American League. They are two games behind Seattle for first place and 1.5 behind Toronto for second place. And the Orioles are only half a game ahead of Minnesota and Tampa Bay for this WC-3. Did we mention how close this race is!

Orioles pitchers continue to have a pretty good season, and their 3.88 ERA team ranks tied for sixth in the AL. Since the All-Star break, the Orioles are 13-7 with a 3.64 ERA team that ranks sixth in the AL. The Orioles greatly improved their strikeout ratio in the second half. For the year, they rank seventh with a 2.81 strikeout ratio for each walk, but in the second half that ratio is 3.53. In 178 second-half innings, the Orioles walked 49 and whipped 173.

Today we witness the Major League debut of O’s pitching prospect, DL Hall. The southpaw was drafted No. 21 overall by the club from a Georgia high school in 2017 by then-director of scouting Gary Rajsich. He was signed for a $3 million bonus.

Hall has been ranked in Baseball America’s Top 100 Winter Rankings four years in a row:

No. 54 in 2019
No. 47 in 2020
No. 59 in 2021
No. 52 in 2022

Hall is currently, in updated mid-season rankings, the No. 4 O prospect by Baseball America and MLBPipeline.com. In the latest top 100, he is No. 59 with BA and No. 61 by MLB.

Hall pitched in just seven games last season at Double-A and his season ended due to a stress reaction in his elbow. Surgery was not necessary and he rehabilitated this problem and returned this year. In 18 starts for Triple-A Norfolk, he is 2-6 with a 4.76 ERA. In his last start Sunday against Nashville, he allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Hall had a sizzling streak in July, where he allowed just one earned run on eight hits in four games and 20 2/3 innings. During that span, he had eight walks (3.5 walk rate) and 40 strikeouts (17.4K walk rate). His batting totals in those four games were eight, 14, eight and 10.

The southpaw gets a 65 rating for his fastball, which can hit 100 mph from MLBPipeline.com and a 70 rating via Baseball America. Hall, who kicked off the 2019 All-Star Futures Game, was added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster last November.

What role will Hall play after this debut today? O skipper Brandon Hyde did not reveal that to reporters this afternoon at the Trop, saying they were going day to day for now and Spenser Watkins was in the bullpen this weekend and back in the rotation next week.

Orioles hitters will certainly have their hands full today with Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan (10-5, 2.24 ERA), a Baltimore native making his 22nd start. In two games against the Orioles this year, McClanahan is 0-0 with a 1.59 ERA and in six career starts is 4-0 with a 2.36 ERA.

McClanahan has allowed two or fewer earned runs 17 times this season. But he’s shown signs of missing play in his last two starts, allowing nine runs and 13 hits in 10 2/3 innings against Cleveland and Detroit. This increased his ERA from 1.76 to 2.24. In the 13 starts before those two games, his ERA was 1.27.

McClanahan in the AL standings:

* Opponent’s 1st average, .183
*1st in whipping, 0.834
*1st in the ratio K/BB, 7.00
*1st in K rate, 33.3%
* 3rd in K/9, 11.29
* 3rd in the ERA, 2.24

Jorge Mateo of the Orioles set a career high with five hits, going 5 for 5 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs last night. Mateo is the third player in franchise history to record a five-hit game while batting ninth, joining Rich Dauer on June 2, 1980 at Milwaukee (5-for-5) and Mark Belanger on May 11, 1974 at Cleveland (5-for -5). He is the seventh O shortstop (11th occurrence) to record a five-hit game, the first since JJ Hardy went 5-for-8 in a 17-inning game on May 6, 2012 in Boston, and the first in nine innings. match since Miguel Tejada on July 9, 2005 against Boston.