Orioles Take Two of Three From Blue Jays

I only got to see the tail end of the first two games, but the Orioles taking the series in Toronto was both unexpected (given they were something like 5-290 there recently) and awesome. Nolan Reimold went 5-10 with two doubles and two homers (both in the top of the 9th – clutch!) in the O’s two wins (and then sat for game three as Endy Chavez went 0-4 out of the lead-off spot – why?!?*). Adam Jones also homered twice in the series (there were 14 hit between the two teams), though the O’s followed his lead and walked a grand total of 4 times in the three games.

* Apparently he has a minor leg thing, which explains why he didn’t play but not why Chavez is hitting first.

Wilson Betemit and Mark Reynolds flip-flopped between DH and third, but that didn’t stop the fielding woes as Betemit made two errors in the series (leading to a pair of unearned runs). Between Betemit, Reynolds, Davis, and Flaherty, there’s only one passable third-baseman and it’s the guy who probably can’t hit at all in the majors (Flaherty). All season it’ll be a “grass is greener” situation, where whoever isn’t playing at third “has to be better than what they have out there”. But no, they all kind of suck. Have to take the bad to get the (hopefully) good they provide at the plate.

Tommy Hunter got rocked in game one, giving up four home runs (luckily that only lead to 5 runs, and the bullpen held the Jays there). Jason Hammel only gave up one homer in his five innings in game two. Brian Matusz split the difference with two longballs allowed (along with 4 BB’s), in giving up 5 runs in 5.2 IP. At least he K’d 4 this time (and several people told me he didn’t look that bad – just didn’t have fastball command). Kevin Gregg apparently let two of Matusz’s runners score, and then three more of his own (while recording one out). Maybe he shouldn’t have been brought into a 3-2 game with runners on base (the O’s were at ~27% to win when he entered, ~2% when he left)? I might have Gregg be the guy who comes in when the game’s 9-2 already, instead of the one who makes it 9-2.

In any case, the O’s won the series. They’re tied for first place in the AL East at 5-4. And that even reflects their level of play so far fairly well!