Wednesday, April 2, 2008

O's Game Continued

A bloop single by Adam Jones brings up the Pelican (Luis Hernandez).

Hey, good job by Pelican to draw a walk. He's still young - maybe (just maybe) he can learn to not suck so much with the bat.

Brian Roberts has yet to be retired by Rays pitching. Looks like he's trying to make sure the Cubs want to trade for him.

The commentator mentioned that Garza hasn't had to throw many pitches. I wonder why that is (Crowley - he may not effect the K and BB rates, but the hitters are much more aggressive than they should be). And Roberts goes down for the first time on a short fly to center. He's on pace for 84 (or so) home runs. That would be a record.

Now they're talking about "moving runners along". Stupid. And Mora shows why as he lines a ball into center and Jones scores; 3-2.

KAKES! Lines a RBI single. Beautiful swing by Nick and the game is now tied.

Boo! Millar grounds into a double play to end the inning. We've got a brand new ball-game ladies and gents.

Cabrera starts out the first two hitters 0-2 and gets a couple of ground ball outs. Nice play by the Pelican to end the inning.

The O's bats go down quietly in the bottom of the frame.

Cabrera makes a nice pitch to Carl Crawford, but it's hit softly to left for a single. I didn't think that high fly ball was going to go out, but Carlos Pena is a very strong man. 5-3 Rays.

Upton doubles to left-center and Cabrera looks frustrated.

Floyd hits a grounder to short and Upton takes off for third. Pelican's throw is not in time, as Upton slides in ahead of Mora's tag. Runners on the corners with none down. Super-villain Randor Bierd is warming in the pen as Cabrera looks like he's falling apart (I guess - the whole game's been this way, minus the one 1-2-3 inning).

Cabrera walks the bases loaded and Randor is coming in. Way to throw the rookie into a big pressure situation (that's partly sarcastic and partly not).

Randor's ground ball tendencies come in handy as a gets a double play. A run scores to make it 6-3. Another grouner ends the frame. Great job by Bierd in a tough spot.

Beautiful pitch by Garza to strike out Pelican to start the fifth. 96 with movement on the outside corner - even a good hitter couldn't do anything with that. Nothing doing for the O's.

Randor (or, if you like, RAN-DOR) has a pretty easy inning minus an Iwamura double. He looks like a solid Rule 5 pick-up.

KAKES! Gets ahead in the count and lines a ball into left for a single - he's 2-for-3.

Aubrey Huff is still getting boo'ed pretty heavily. I understand it on Opening Day, but I think it's time to cut it out and get back to baseball. The Rays are swinging the infield around expecting Huff to pull it. He does - about 400 ft, but foul. They're down by three and need base runners; maybe drop a bunt down the third base line? Or hit one over the right field scoreboard! Now who's getting boo'ed? 6-5. I said that if Huff hits 30 HR no one will care what he said over the winter. Maybe that'll be impetus enough for Huff to actually get off to a good start.

Chad Bradford in now for the O's. The Rays go three-up, three-down as Bradford looks on his game.

We have a Scott Moore sighting as he hits for the Pelican. Jim Palmer says "Little stronger" - Moore may hit more home runs in the next two years than Pelican will for his career (which, actually, may only last two years itself). He has an OK at bat but strikes out.

Jamie Walker looks good too; striking out the side. Maybe it's his new found knowledge of SN/WX. That would be pretty awesome.

Apparently the announced attendance for the game is 10,505, breaking the old record low of 13,194. Way to support the team people. It's game two - how many people will show up if they're 34-51 in a couple of months?

Mora does a good job not getting himself out as Al Reyes throws four straight balls.
KAKES! First pitch swinging - after the pitcher couldn't find the zone? A low strike call makes it an 0-2 count. Nick then takes three close balls to run the count full. Mora should be running. Don't strike out on a high fastball, please. That would probably be a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play. Instead, it's just a grounder to first, moving Mora to second for Kevin Millar.

Millar works the count and hits a grounder up the middle. Jason Bartlett shows his range to knock it down, keeping Mora at second. Huff wasn't really boo'ed this time up. Huff sends one deep - a triple and two runs score! Aubrey Huff! The O's take a 7-6 lead! Wow! I'm really excited! And Luke Scott will be intentionally walked.
Actually it was a double and an error, but still...WOO!

Player of the game: Aubrey Huff. I expected a better year in the power department from him and he is sure helping me out. Jay Payton makes his first appearance of the year as a pinch runner for Scott. If that's how they use him then I'm OK with it.

Ramon Hernandez up with a chance to extend the lead. He doesn't get a hit but is able to lift a ball into deep enough center to score Huff from third. 8-6 O's. It looks like it'll be George Sherrill time in the 9th. Jones swings hard and looks like he'll be a good hitter with some more experience.

Jay Payton gets himself into scoring position with a steal of second. And score he does as Adam Jones rips the pitch into left field! 9-6 O's. That swing reminded me a bit of the Big Hurt, Frank Thomas. I'm not saying it actually is the same, but the image of Thomas pooped into my head as the ball came off the bat. Who said the Orioles don't have any offense?

Now Jones gets himself into scoring position. The throw beat him but Adam gets in there with a nice slide. Unfortunately, Fahey strikes out to end the inning. Sherrill coming in for the save.

I thought he threw harder, but Sherrill's in the mid/low 90's. And he starts the inning off with a walk - that's not a good way to get acclimated to the closer role. At least the Rays are largely left-handed. Down goes Crawford on 88 mph heat. It looks like Sherrill is throwing "harder" than the actual speed of the fastball. Maybe the ball is hard to pick up. And Pena goes down swinging on a fastball away. He's looking really good. I've actually said that about all of the O's relievers thus far - it looks like the bullpen will be better this year (yeah I know; small sample size. Whatever - let me enjoy it for now.) Upton walks to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of pinch hitter Johnny Gomes. He's first-pitch swinging and flies out to Jones in short center.

The Orioles win the game in impressive come-from-behind fashion, 9-6. Aubrey Huff is the hero on offense, the bullpen pitches very well, and Daniel Cabrera's sub-par outing is mostly forgotten. That's one of 67 (at least) in the win column for the Birds. It's a win that they would have only rarely pulled out last year.

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