Monday, April 14, 2008

O's-Blue Jays, Albers Answers The Call

The O's game was on MASN (which I don't have) so I kept track of battle for first place with the Blue Jays on's game-cast.

A very solid start by Matt Ablers. He only went 5 innings, but he threw 83 pitches and considering he had been pitching in the bullpen, it was OK. He gave up a run on 5 hits, and only K'ed one, but he also walked just one despite throwing only 47 pitches for strikes. Recently recalled Jim Johnson pitched 2 1/3 giving up two hits but nothing else. I thought Johnson was more of a soft-tosser, but he hit 96 with the fastball and was in the low/mid 90's the whole time. Jamie Walker was brought into his 8th game of the year to face one batter - Matt Stairs, who he retired. Chad Bradford made his 6th appearance and retired his one batter as well. I hope Walker doesn't get worn out being used so much. Maybe Albers' solid start, combined with the third loss to Tampa, will cause Dave Trembley to switch his and Brian Burres' roles. That would put a third lefty in the pen, and maybe take some pressure off of Jamie. George Sherrill had a tough ninth, giving up a pinch-hit two run homer to Alex Rios (on the 9th pitch of a good at bat), but came back to strike out the next hitter and picked up his league leading 6th save.

What I'm really happy about from this game is the performance of the offense. Brian Roberts went 2-4; Mora went 2-4; Millar went 2-4 and finally showed some power with a two run homer (his first since Opening Day); Luke Scott continued his hot hitting with a 2-4 day; Adam Jones got out of his slump, going 3-3 (hitting two line-drives) and picking up his second walk of the year; and Luis Hernandez got a hit and walked once. Nick Markakis had a bit of a tough day, walking once, but going 0-3 with a K and leaving 5 on base. Aubrey Huff got a hit, but also struck out twice. Overall, the O's did a good job against the very talented Dustin McGowan, pounding out 10 hits and making him throw 100 pitches in just 6 innings. They also stole 4 bases, while only getting caught once.

Orioles win 4-3. The now have sole possession of first place in the AL East with an 8-5 record. That is good enough for second in the league, behind the winner of the A's-White Sox game.

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