Game 34: Orioles 7, Mariners 6

The Good:

  • Jake Arrieta’s control was spotty, but he was able to miss enough bats (mostly with the breaking-balls) and enough groundballs to make it work. Final line; 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR.
  • Jim Johnson pitched the 10th and 11th innings, because obviously a tie game in extra innings is lower leverage than a three run lead in the 9th. He came into the game with the best xFIP in the O’s pen (3.12), and was perfect tonight (no baserunners, plus a K).
  • It was nice to see JJ Hardy back in the line-up anyway, but especially so when he hit a home run in his first at bat since coming off the DL. He also singled (three times) and walked later in the game. He raised his season batting average from .200 to .316 in this game.
  • Adam Jones came through with a couple of clutch hits, driving in three total with a double and a single. And then he doubled again in the bottom of the 10th, but the O’s couldn’t move him forward.
  • Vlad Guerrero went 3-4, including punching a ball through the vacated second-base hole on a well executed hit and run.
  • Nick Markakis had three hits and drew a walk.

The Bad:

  • Mike Gonzalez gave up 3 hits and got 2 outs. One runs scored and then another of his baserunners was allowed across by Koji (on an infield single), which pushes Gonzalez’s season ERA up to 7.94. I didn’t think he’d be this bad, but that sometimes happens with relievers. That’s why you don’t invest real money (and especially draft-pick compensation) into solid middle relievers (even ones with some career saves).
  • Brian Roberts went 0-5. He flied out his first three trips to the plate, and then the fourth time hit the ball on the ground… into a double play. His only “contribution” was a sac bunt in the bottom of the 9th. And again in the 11th. Lead-off batter intentionally making an out twice? Doesn’t sound too good. But then he swung away in the 12th a struck out with the bases loaded, which isn’t good either.
  • Mark Reynolds beat him with an 0-6 (including two K’s). He’s been… not so good, this season.
  • The send in the bottom of the ninth was truly awful. With Hardy on second and one out, Markakis singled to left. Hardy was waved around even though (a) there was only one out and he was already at third, and (b) he was going to be out by a mile unless the throw was as bad as the send (it wasn’t).

The Final:

Nothing to do with the play on the field, but there was a dude in the stands who kept referring to Derrek Lee as Silky D. First it was weird. Then it was funny. Now I’m kinda taken with it.

What a crazy game. The ups. The downs. More downs. Ups again. Then a succession of downs. And then finally the walkoff win. Not getting much sleep tonight. Worth it.