Game 119: Orioles 5, M’s 4

The Good:

* Brad Bergesen – despite the short outing and plethora of hits – was very good. He kept the ball on the ground all night, getting 15 groundballs to only 3 flyballs (though two of them left the yard), and actually induced 14 whiffs. On the season, Bergy’s swinging strike rate is just 4.5%. In this one, it was 13.7%. No wonder he K’ed 5. And yet he still gave up 9 hits. So that’s a 66.7% HR/FB rate and a .389 BABIP. Putting it all together; 5.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HR. Doesn’t look that good, but it’s about as well as I’ve seen Bergesen pitch all year.

* Mark Hendrickson relieved Bergy, and got out of a one out, bases loaded jam with a caught line-drive and a strike-out of Chone Figgins.

* Koji Uehara got 4 outs, all via the strike-out. His K rate on the season is now 10.5 per nine. His FIP is 1.46. It’s the magic sideburns. He got into a little trouble in his second frame, but K’ed a pair with runners on the corners and no outs before Mike Gonzalez came in to face Ichiro…

* Who he K’ed. Gonzalez followed that up with another strike-out in the top of the ninth, and was pulled for Alfredo Simon (who got two flyball outs to end the inning, and then came out for the next one, which wasn’t as good).

* Ten Orioles reached base (not counting pinch-runners), with Nick Markakis having three hits (including a two-bagger) and Adam Jones adding three as well (plus a walk). Those two win the game in walk-off fashion, as Nick led off the final frame with a double and came in from third with two outs when Adam Jones dropped down a bunt single. Really. Shades of Ramon Hernandez while he was with the A’s, which I believe was in a playoff game. Amazing finish.

The Bad:

* Josh Bell had a rough night, going 1-4 (I thought the hit should have been an error, but whatever) with 3 K’s and missing a couple of plays at third (not easy ones, but still).

* 14 of the team’s 15 hits were singles, and they walked three times (plus an intentional one) in the game. Thus just the 5 runs, despite 20 baserunners.

* The led of the bottom of the 9th with a hit, and Buck had Roberts try to bunt Lugo (running for Bell) to second. It didn’t work, with the lead runner being forced out and Brian almost being doubled up at first. Then Roberts was thrown out trying to steal (on a pitchout). Markakis singled – which might have driven in the winning run (yeah, yeah – can’t assume that kind of stuff) – but it went for naught. Very poor inning.

* Simon! You’re killing me, man. Another home run. 94 mph fastball up in the zone and on the inner third of the plate. It’s really hard for me to believe that a (relative) groundball pitcher will continue to give up 1.8 HR/9.

The Final:

Muggy weather and a splitting headahce make for great 11 inning games. Exciting ending though, as the Birds win 5-4. They improve to 10-4 under Showalter.