Game 84: Orioles 5, Tigers 7

The Good:

* Jake Arrieta sure gave up a lot of long flyballs, but they tended to find the outfielders’ gloves. He did a nice job pounding the strike-zone, and finished with a line of 6.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K. Coming into today, Arrieta had been getting swings and misses on only 4% of the fastballs he’s thrown. Tonight (not counting the 7th inning where the Pitch/FX didn’t pick things up) that was over 10%, and Jake went to the pitch a lot – about two-thirds of the time (a little more than usual) – and had some extra giddy-up on it, averaging 93.6 mph (over a mph faster than he was averaging for the season).

* Miguel Tejada went 2-5, and was intentionally walked by a lefty to get to Nick (who singled; putting on baserunners isn’t a good strategy most of the time, even with the platoon advantage).

* Nick Markakis went 3-6 with his 5th home run of the year (pulled over the right-field fence) and 3 RBI. He also got on via an error by the shortstop, and hustled into second when the ball went into center-field. Ran hard all game, actually.

* Matt Wieters went 2-5 with an opposite-field double and a triple (the last three-bagger was his first major league hit, vs. Justin Verlander), plus a walk.

* Felix Pie, in his first game back from the DL, went 2-6. Just nice to see him back out there.

* Adam Jones went 2-4, walked, and was hit by a pitch, but missed a ball on a dive in center-field that resulted in a triple. It would be perfectly reasonable – and probably correct – to play Pie in center and Jones in left.

* Julio Lugo went 3-5, walked, and made a heads-up play on defense (I know!) backing up Wigginton on a play at first to get an out.

The Bad:

* Even with 25 baserunners (16 hits – though just 3 for extra-bases – 6 walks, the HBP, and a couple times reached on errors), the Orioles still only managed to score 5 runs.

* Alfredo Simon was called upon with a runner on third and one out in the 8th, and got the last two outs (with a walk in between). He came back out for the ninth, walked the lead-off hitter, K’ed the next guy, but then left a splitter a little too much in the strike-zone to Miguel Cabrera, who launched it for a game-tying two-run homer.

* David Hernandez, who pitched yesterday, was also asked to pitch a second inning after a solid 10th. A single and another two-run homer (Damon) ended the game.

The Final:

A little bit of offense and a nice start by Arrieta are wasted as the bullpen implodes (again), as the O’s lose 7-5. That drops them to 25-58 on the season – a full 5 games ahead of the Pirates for the worst record in the majors.