• Jun

    Rays over O's;The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    Last night the O's were an out away from winning the series vs. Tampa Bay, and getting back to .500. Instead, with the 9-6 loss today, the Orioles dropped the series and fall back to 3 under even.

    If last night's loss was the disappointment of the weekend, the performance of Matusz today was a close second.

    The Good:

    1) After a rough Top of the 1st, the offense tried to come right back in the bottom of the inning with the Jones and Guerrero homers.  It was great to see the team immediately get back into the game.

    2) He was not able to get the out, by Adams made a good play on the 3rd inning slow roller from Damon.

    3) With the O's now down 5-2 in the 3rd, Jones smashed a double to right-center. He would be awarded home when Tampa Bay threw the ball into 3rd base stands.

    4) Tatum had trouble throwing out runners last year, had a couple of good throws today.

    5) Was a great ab from Hardy in the 7th, who is has just been fantastic in June.

    6) Simon was charged with 3 runs, but he gave the O's a chance today with his 4.2 innings of work.

    7) Overall, Gonzalez's 1.1 ip was effective - particularly the 7th where he got a ground out and 2 k's. He has now allowed 2 er over his last 6 ip.

    8) Scott had two hits including his 8th hr.

    9) Rapada was good in his inning of work in the 9th.

    The Bad:

    1) Reynolds did not help Matusz in the 1st, with yet another error. In the 7th, Reynolds had his 14th error of the year. His defense is becoming hard to watch. Looking back at the game reports from this year, I find a lot of examples of Reynolds making 'good' defensive plays. That said, he is booting the routine far too often. As pointed out by Tony Pente several times, Reynolds has trouble coming in on balls. I think he does a decent job going to his left.  Since his offense is coming on, it is disappointing to see this issue.

    1a) Reynolds had to leave the game with a contusion. Hopefully he will be ready for the Toronto series.

    2) O's pitchers allowed 6 walks today.

    3) Jones ran hard down the line in the 7th, but he did not run hard out of the box and that was the difference. He expected Russell to cleanly field the come-backer, and you never should anticipate the fielder making the play.

    4) Goes hand-in-hand with the poor result, but according to Pitch F/X, the average Matusz fastball from 8/1/10 to 10/1/10 was 89.3. Going into today, his average fastball in his two previous starts was 82.6.  That is a pretty startling drop.

    5) Gonzalez relieved Simon in the 7th, and while his overall outing was effective, he allowed the single to Shoppach which gave the Rays their 6th and 7th runs.

    6) Pie was thrown out stealing in the 8th. I thought he might have got his hand in, but the throw beat him - and as MASN pointed out - he was looking back towards the catcher as ran down the line. Was not a lot to be gained by reaching 2nd there.

    The Ugly:

    1) A pretty horrible outing for Matusz today. Damon greeted him with a HR to start the game, and the entire lineup would come up in the 1st as the Rays scored two more runs. The 2nd was not any better, as he walked Damon to start the inning. Tatum was credited with throwing out Damon (though replays indicated the Tampa DH was safe), and Matusz would subsequently walk Zobrist, and Longoria to load the bases and end his day. After a tough result last night, a quality start was needed today.

    2) The Longoria inside the park HR in the 8th was ugly, but I can't really blame Jones too much there. Jones made the right play going after the ball, as it would have been a mistake to allow it to drop. If he catches the ball, Zobrist is going to be thrown out at 1st. Knowing that he had to catch the ball, Jones went after it - and it knuckled on him. Hardest ball for OF's is the liner at or over their heads. This is not Little League, but I respect that Jones immediately turn and ran as hard as he could to try and recover the ball. Really, just an unfortunate play for the O's.

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Michael Williams

Lifelong. Down by the river.