Written by Bruce Smith (vatech1994)
By Bruce Smith (VaTech1994)
The Orioles ended the 2013 season with a feel good win over the Red Sox by a score of 7-6 in front of a sell-out crowd at Camden Yards. The Red Sox got out to a 5-0 lead and it looked like a miserable final day for the good guys, but the Orioles scored 5 runs in the 5th and 2 more in the 6th to go ahead for good. The game got tight in the ninth when the Sox scored a run to make it 7-6. The Sox had runners on 1st and 3rd with one out, but Jim Johnson induced a double play to end the 2013 season and send the Orioles’ fans home happy.
The Orioles ended the season with a record of 85-77 in a tie for third place in the AL East with the dreaded Yankees.
Chris Tillman got the final start for the Orioles. It felt appropriate that Chris started the final game since he was the only consistent starter over the course of the season. Chris gave up a mammoth home run to lead off the game to Jacoby Ellsbury and a 330ish foot home run just inside the right field foul pole to Quintin Berry in the second. While the Ellsbury home run was tagged, the Berry home run was a fairly lucky shot that occurred on a change-up that the slap hitter was just able to lift over the short porch.
Tillman’s final line was 5.0 IP, 8 hits, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, and the no decision. He didn’t have his best fastball today and looked a bit tired at times, but he also didn’t pitch as badly as his line would suggest. Several of the hits weren’t hit very hard and the Red Sox had a lot of uncomfortable at bats.
T.J. McFarland pitched an inning in relief. He gave up a couple of walks and a single, but was able to get out of the bases loaded jam when David Ortiz grounded out to first base. His final line was 1.0 IP, 1 hits, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 0 K. TJ picked up the win in relief because the Orioles went ahead while he was still the pitcher of record.
Jason Hammel pitched the 7th and 8th innings. Hammel had the best stuff I’ve seen from him all year. His fastball was 95 mph with good late movement. He threw a bunch of good sliders and curveballs during the outing and the Red Sox didn’t have any good swings during Hammel’s outing. The only hit was a poorly hit blooper that Steve Pearce almost caught. Hammel’s final line was 2.0 IP, 1 hits, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 K.
Jim Johnson came in and was able to secure the save. He struck out Bogaerts to start the inning. Ortiz hit a routine grounder that got up the middle because Schoop was pulled well into the first base hole. Napoli followed with a hard line drive up the middle on a fastball that caught too much plate. Mike Carp followed with a routine grounder that got into right field. It didn’t look good for the Orioles or JJ, but Middlebrooks hit into a game and Orioles-season ending double play. His final line was 1.0 IP, 3 hits, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K and the save.
Overall, the bullpen threw 4.0 innings and gave up 1 run.
Buck rested Adam Jones and Matt Wieters on the last day of the season, but the remaining hitters had a very good day. The Orioles drew three walks in the first but couldn’t score on Allen Webster. The Orioles didn’t get their first hit until the 5th inning, but went on to send 10 men to the plate and score 5 runs in the 5th inning.
J.J. Hardy hit a huge double to drive in the first two Orioles runs. Ryan Flaherty followed with a bloop single to drive in the third run. Steve Pearce had a great at bat and ultimately drew a walk to load the bases. Nate McLouth then stepped to the plate in a crucial situation. Nate was 1-15 with the bases full this season, but on this day he hit a ringing double on a curveball over the middle of the plate to drive in two runs.
Jonathan Schoop had a single to lead off the sixth inning and Brian Roberts hit a ringing double to right center to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Schoop scored on a wild pitch to put the Orioles ahead 6-5. The Orioles grounded out weakly for the first two outs of the inning. It looked like the team would fail to get Roberts in from third base, but Flaherty came through with a huge two out double to get the run home and make it 7-5. That run turned out to be critical when the Red Sox got one back in the 9th.
The Orioles committed one error on the day. Ellsbury had a swinging bunt that Clevenger fielded and whipped to first. Unfortunately the throw tailed into Ellsbury, hit him in the back, and led to Chris Davis getting his wrist hyperextended. The ball trickled away and two of the runners moved up a base.
Key Moments In The Game
Hardy, McLouth, and Flaherty all had key hits, but the highest leverage situation occurred when JJ induced the double play that ended the game.
Chris Davis had to leave the game with a wrist injury, but it doesn’t look severe based on the clean X-rays and the fact that Buck stated the Orioles are planning no further tests during the postgame interview.
The Orioles obliterated the MLB record for fewest errors in a season with 54. The previous record was 65 by the 2003 Mariners.
The Orioles drew 2.3 million fans this season which is the most since 2005.
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