• May

    O's lose heart-breaker; The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    The Boston Redsox were (are) the pick of many people to represent the American League in the World Series this Fall. They play with a lot of pride, and even when you get a lead on them; you believe they are going to make a run to get back into a game.

    Give them credit for that.

    However, this was a game that Baltimore should have won. When you have a 6-0 leading in the 6th inning, you have to win that game. With a win tonight, the O's would have been back to .500, and a 1/2 game ahead of Boston in the standings. Instead, it is another emotional loss to deal with.

    I wrote yesterday that after good wins, or bad losses you never want to get too high, or too low. That is true 24 hours later, but this loss still hurts.

    The Good:

    1) I loved that the O's immediately got on the board in the 1st. Roberts smacked Dice-K's first pitch right back at the pitcher, and would steal 2nd. Markakis walked. Lee doubled off the Monster, followed by Guerrero who gave the O's their 2nd run with a ground-out to deep Short.  Scott, and Jones also patiently worked walks in their initial ab's to load the bases.  That was a lot of pressure and pitches on Matsuzaka right from the beginning.

    2) Huge defensive play from Lee as he scooped-up Drew's grounder down the line to end the bottom of the 1st.

    3) After walking Youkilis to load the bases in the 1st, Tillman came back to strike out Ortiz, and with Lee's play - get out of the inning. In the 4th Tillman helped himself with a tremendous reactionary catch of a Crawford knock up the middle.

    3a) Tillman left after the 5th inning, having held Boston scoreless. He allowed 5 hits, 3 bb's, and had 2 k's.  In his 88 pitches, he threw 52 strikes and got the Red Sox to hit 8 grounders. Not a master-piece, but Tillman has now allowed 1 er over his last 11 innings, and should have won for the third time in his last four starts.

    3b) I assume Tillman was not brough-out for the 6th, due to the issue that brought Showalter and Richie Bancells to the mound to end the 5th. If Tillman was physically ok, I would have liked him to have gone back out to start the next inning.

    4) Roberts had his 4th steal Saturday, and his 5th and 6th tonight.

    4a) Bergesen talked about Roberts' defensive play Saturday, and how he felt it was a big point in the game. Tonight Roberts made another strong play to start the 5th, robbing Ellsbury of a base-hit.

    5) After not being able to get a hit with the bases loaded in the 1st, Wieters came back in the 3rd to knock in the O's 3rd run of the night. With that hit, Wieters extended his hit streak to 7 games. In the 5th, he would walk and did a good job of advancing to 3rd on the Reynolds single that kicked past Lowrie. This allowed him to score on the Hardy liner to LF.

    6) Markakis extended his hitting streak to 3, and also had a steal.

    7) Scott drew 3 walks against Dice-K, who was throwing him nothing but change-ups.Then in 6th, he drew his 4th walk of the night against Atchison.

    8) Reynolds had two hits, including his 5th homer, a steal, and two RBI. The HR came in the top of the 7th after the O's had allowed 5 runs in the bottom of the 6th. That was an effective answer, which helped the team regain their footing.

    9) Guerrero had three hits, including two doubles, giving him 5 two-baggers in the past 3 games.

    10) In the 6th, Jones singled to RF knocking in the O's 6th run. This gave Jones at-least 1 hit for the 6th time in the past 7 games.

    11) He allowed the triple to Lowrie, and the RBI single to Varitek; but Johnson's strikeouts of Crawford, and Gonzalez were as good as it gets.

    12) Uehara started the 8th by quickly allowing a lead-off double to Youkilis. He really made some quality pitches to get out of that inning with no runs allowed.

    The Bad:

    1) The O's missed a chance to put some additional runs on the board in the first,  when Wieters and Reynolds were unable to get hits with the bases-loaded. After a 1 double by Guerrero in the 8th, Scott and Jones were not able to bring him in.

    2) Lee had to leave the game in the Top of the 3rd with a left oblique injury.

    3) After starting the 4th with an Ortiz ground-out, Tillman allowed a single to Drew. He got himself in some trouble when he walked Lowrie. In the 5th, with Pedroia on - Tillman would walk Gonzalez. As good as Gonzalez is, with a 5-0 lead you have to make the opposing team earn everything.

    4) The bottom of the 6th started with Scott over-running a Drew hit to LF, which appeared to have allowed the runner to grab the extra-base. The rest of the inning was not much better for Scott in the field.

    5) He was not helped by his defense (though I thought the error charged to Reynolds was tough. He might not have had Crawford even if he came up with the ball), but it was not a good outing for Gonzalez. Between April 30th and May 8th, Gonzalez made 5 appearances and was not scored on over 5.1 innings of work. While he did not allow an ER tonight, it was the 3rd straight outing Gonzalez was scored on.

    6) Accardo entered the game for M. Gonzalez, and got Pedroia to fly out. He got ahead of A. Gonzalez, but was not able to finish him. Youkilis was the batter he needed to retire, but he allowed the 2 run double to LF.

    7) The O's bullpen was beat twice by Varitek for RBI's.

    8) After getting Varitek to start the 9th, Gregg walked Ellsbury. Not only was Ellsbury the tying run, but obviously it gave Boston the opportunity to bring up the potential winning run. Gregg would also walk Pedroia, clearly slipping on ball four.

    The Ugly:

    1) When you have a 6-0 lead in the 6th, you  have to win tht game, no matter who you are playing. Calling the bullpen ineffective tonight, is being kind. 6 Relief Pitchers were used, and it was a struggle for each of them.

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Michael Williams

Lifelong. Down by the river.