Game 133: Orioles 6, Blue Jays 5

The Good:

  • Other than the second inning – which had walk-walk-three-run homer – Jeremy Guthrie did a fine job. Final line; 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K.
  • Jim Johnson had two shutout innings in relief
  • Matt Wieters hit a home run to dead center-field (his 15th of the year) and also singled and drew a walk. Plus nabbed a runner trying to steal, per usual (when actually given a decent chance).
  • Mark Reynolds singled and walked twice, and looked pretty good at first-base (where he might be playing next year). 
  • Nolan Reimold had a couple hits and a walk.
  • Nick Markakis walked twice – making it three straight games he’s done that, which is not only a career high but is tied for the most for an Oriole since 1955. It also brings Nick’s August walk rate straight passed 10% and up to 11% – easily the highest month since June of 2010.
  • Ryan Adams had a couple hits, including his walk-off “single” to deep center-field.

The Bad:

  • Bottom of the 8th, O’s up 4-3, single and a walk put two on with none outs. So of course Buck has Robert Andino bunt. And of course Wieters gets forced at third. And of course, even after the next batter also walks to load the bases, the O’s fail to score. The team’s success rate using – or at least attempting to use – the sacrifice bunt is very probably now under 10% this year. It’s actually kind of funny that as much as I complain about it though, the O’s still have the fewest sac hits in the majors. But that doesn’t count all the screw-ups, of course.
  • The 9th inning was a mess. A hit and a walk from Kevin Gregg put two on. The Jays tried to give away an out with a bunt, but the batter pulled the bat back… and both runners advanced. The fielders moved in for the bunt, but that left no one covering third (and then second, when the shortstop started towards third). I don’t think I’ve ever seen that play before. That was followed with a game-tying hit, and intentional walk to Jose Bautista, and unintentional walk to Adam Lind to load the bases, and then mercifully a inning-ending groundout.
  • Does Buck learn? Apparently not. Bottom 10, Wieters and Reynolds on again, no outs, Andino up. Tries to sac bunt… ends up striking out (fouled off the two-strike attempt). If all I had was these two innings, I’d be OK with firing Buck (edit: apparently Andino was bunting on his own in the 10th, so Buck was only 0-1 instead of 0-2).

The Final:

So Kevin Gregg blew the save, and then Willie Eyre gives up the go-ahead run (despite out-pitching Gregg – he gave up a triple on a ball that Matt Angle displayed a great deal of range on but misplayed (and didn’t catch), and then the run scored on a wild pitch) before getting the win (which once again shows how dumb the win rule is). On the bright side… after Mike Gonzalez and Kevin Gregg, maybe even the casual Orioles’ fan will now know that the team should not to give a fair amount of money to merely OK relievers (or solid relievers with injury histories, which is comparable). O’s pick up the extra-inning victory in the first game of the series almost in spite of themselves. But I’ll take it.