• May

    O's win in 13; The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    The Baltimore Orioles snapped a 4 game losing streak with a 7-6 win over the Seattle Mariners in 13 innings. With the win, the O's improve to 15-19 overall.

    The Good:

    1) Just seeing Hardy back in action for the Birds was great. Seeing him make a couple of strong throws, and turn on Pineda's 97 mph fastball for a homer was even better. The fact that he led off the 7th, 9th, and 11th innings by getting on-base was pretty ridiculous for a first game back. He capped his night with an infield single in the 12th to load the bases for Roberts.

    2) That 1st inning strikeout of Smoak was beautiful from Arrieta. In the 4th, Seattle had runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out, but Arrieta would come back to strike out the next two batters.

    2a) Arrieta went 6 innings, allowed 4 hits, 2 er, 1 hr, 3 bb's, with 6 k's. He forced 7 grounders. Arrieta was denied his 5th win, but remains 4-1, with his era now at 4.17. In his 8 starts, he has pitched at-least 6 innings and allowed 3 er or less 6 times.

    3) There was a nice battle from Markakis against Pineda in the 1st, which resulted in a single. He showed his athleticism with a great effort on the Kennedy homer in the 2nd. In Markakis' 2nd ab, he worked a walk. In the 9th, Markakis singled to LF and when the Mariners threw Hardy out at the plate, he advanced to 2nd to give the O's another runner in scoring position. Markakis added his 3rd hit of the night starting off the 13th.

    4) Jones would end the Seattle 2nd by over-running a short-fly from Ryan. Ryan attempted to get to 2nd, but Jones would recover and fire a strike for the 3rd out of the inning. (Replays would show that while the ball beat Ryan, Ryan beat the tag.) In the 6th inning, Jones gave the O's a needed 2 out 2 run double to LF. In the 8th, he knocked in the the O's 5th (and go-ahead) run with a single to CF. In the 10th he earned his 3rd with a double to LF.

    4a) People ask 'When will the O's improve?" The O's will improve when their most talented players take over games on a more consistent basis. Was a good night for the O's CF.

    5) As Palmer said on the telecast, not sure Guerrero is lacking bat speed when he smacks Pineda's 96 mph fastball. Three hits tonight for Guerrero.

    6) With the O's down a run, Lee reached 1st to start the 8th with a walk. He would score on Scott's RBI single.

    7) Scott had singles in the 6th and 8th innings, two ab's where he really kept his head on the ball and went opposite field for the knocks.

    8) Johnson looked good in his 2 innings of work.

    9) I think the replay showed Olivo was safe, but quite a relay from Markakis to Roberts to Wieters to make a play (and get the call).

    10) Seeing Pie get the hit off the lefty in the 12th, and using his athleticism to quickly race to 2nd was another reminder of how Pie has to play more. In the 13th, his speed probably helped result in the O's tying the game. I think Wilson was hurried knowing Pie would down the line in a hurry. His speed also came into play as he scored the winning run.

    11) Lee was 0 for 3 with 3 k's (and 2 intentional walks). In May, Lee has 13 k's in 35 ab's.

    12) Wieters delivered the game winning hit in the 13th, as the O's scored two runs in the inning for the victory.

    The Bad:

    1) With runners at 1st and 3rd and 2 outs in the 1st, Scott was not able to give the O's their first run of the game.

    2) Arrieta walked Olivo to begin the 2nd. Scored on the Kennedy homer.  In the 4th, the inning started with a walk from Smoak.

    3) Saunders was due for a hit, and you could live with that. Ichiro made a great bunt to get on. The batter Gonzalez had to get was Figgins.

    4) The Reynolds play in the 7th was ruled a hit for a reason. Obviously was not an easy play, and Reynolds covered some ground just to knock the ball down. Still, it was a play that could have been made; and the failure to do so gave Seattle (at the time) the go ahead run. In the 8th, Reynolds was not able to give the O's an additional run when he hit into an inning ending double-play. Reynolds capped off an 0 for 6 in the 12th when he could not score Jones. Prior to tonight, Reynolds had walked 8 times in his previous 6 games. However with the 0 for tonight, he is now just 1 for his last 15.

    4a) Similar to the Reynolds play above, the Hardy play in the 13th was not an easy play. I do appreciate the difficulty of the play, and do appreciate that Hardy was able to get a glove on the ball. I do think the play should have been made.

    5) The top of the 9th illustrated how the margin for error is limited. A bloop hit from Saunders, back to back combackers to Gregg, and a bloop to Smoak. The bottomline though is the boxscore shows Gregg was unable to earn his 7th save.

    6) In the 9th, and 11th innings Hardy led of the innings and Roberts bunted the runner over. I think that was the right call. I think that also should have been the play in the 7th, when the O's were trailing by a run. Roberts entered this game 2 for 28 in May. I understand why you do not bunt early in games, and give away ab's; but in that situation the runner has to advance. Roberts hitting into a double-play just can not occur there. 

    7) In the 10th, Wieters struck-out on what should have been ball four, on a pitch that was no where near the strike-zone. With his 2 for 7 tonight, he is now 5 for 29 in May. In the 12th, he went after Ray's first pitch and did not advance the runners. (He did make up for it in the 13th.)

    8) Fox had two ab's with runners in scoring position, but was unable to get a run in. (He did have a hit in the 13th to advance Markakis.)

    9) Olivo could have easily been the go-ahead / winning run when Cust doubled off Accardo in the 12th. Olivo of course reached by a walk with 2 outs.

    9a) Now down 6-5, with runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 outs - Accardo fell behind Figgins 3-0, with Smoak on-deck. To his credit, Accardo would get the out, but he forced himself into another tough situation.

    10) Despite Pie's double starting the 12th, the O's were unable to bring him in. Roberts was over-matched against Chris Ray with the bases-loaded to end the inning.

    The Ugly:

    1) I do not understand what Russell was thinking sending Hardy home in the 9th. While it was a soft single,  the LF Wilson was not playing deep. Hardy did not get a good jump and basically came to a stop before starting again. That was not a case of making the opposition make a play, that was a case of not knowing the runner, and running the O's into an out.

    2) The paid crowd was under 11,500. The O's knew this was a game that would/was selling poorly. While this was a bargain night, with plenty of cheaper options available - the O's might as well have given away thousands of tickets as a good will gesture. At a mininum, it would have increased the concession sales tonight.

    3) I like Felix Pie (and he showed again in the 12th, one of the reasons why) and I think he is unfairly maligned at times. That said, I'm not sure what that play and reaction was from him in the 10th. I'm sure I am not the only one who flashed back to that '93 Mariners/Orioles brawl featuring Bosio and Mussina.

    4) 14 O's left on base tonight, 8 after the 9th inning.

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Michael Williams

Lifelong. Down by the river.