Friday, April 4, 2008

O's-M's, Part Two (Yeah, We Wapped Em)

Ichiro flies out and is 0-2. The guy will probably make the Hall of Fame - maybe on the first ballot. I wonder what his final stats would have looked like if he had come up in MLB.

Steve Trachsel isn't pitching that poorly actually as the M's go down 1-2-3. I don't know what all the complaints about him taking a long time to pitch are about, as he is cruising.

KAKES (no ! this time) goes down on strikes again - this time swinging at a fastball. Huff hits the ball hard again, but Ichiro is there. The O's go down in order.

Richie Sexson doubles his hit total with a two base hit down the line past a diving Mora. Oh man. I see Trachsel still has some issues with the long-ball as he leaves a pitch in the middle of the plate and Adrian Beltre sends it into the left field seats to make it 2-1 Mariners.

Ramon Hernandez with a nice swing to line the pitch into right field. Adam Jones shows bunt and plays it back (huh?). Then he swings and doubles in left - second and third with one out. Maybe I'm crazy, but his swing still reminds be of Frank Thomas. Pelican is first-pitch swinging this time and lines one to Ibanez (who has a poor arm) in left. Ramon Hernandez tries to tag-up and even though the throw should have beat him there, it was cut of and the subsequent throw was off-line. That ties the score at 2, and Luis Hernandez has 2 RBI. That means he's tied for second on the team in that category. B-Rob battles again, but ends up striking out. I think a 4-3 Orioles win is how it'll end.

Ichiro gets ahead 3-0 but Trax gets him to pop out. Another 1-2-3 inning.

Kakes doesn't strike out this time, but grounds out on the first pitch. MILLAR! (or, if you prefer, MILL-AH!) Homers right down the third base line - not opposite field this time. 3-2 O's.

Wow. The Pelican is having a great game. Jose Lopez hits a ball in the hole, but the Pelican slides on the outfield grass and catches it. Lopez only beat the throw to first by a step. Trax gets the ground ball on a 3-0 count and the double play erases Lopez. After a walk to Sexson, Dave Trembley shows a quick hook by bringing in Dennis Sarfate to face Beltre. Sarfate does the job by getting the K on three pitches. He threw hard (96) and got Beltre to chase a fastball about two feet outside fir strike three.

Ramon Hernandez sends one deep to left now. That makes it 4-2 as Ramon is 3-3 on the day.

Sarfate shows both the good and the bad. He walks the lead-off hitter and then is unable to put Vidro away for a long time, even with two strikes on him. The good? He blows a fastball by him eventually and Ramon Hernandez guns down the runner at second for a strike-em-out throw-em-out double play. Mora ends the inning with another diving stop on a ground ball thrown by Chad Bradford.

Brain Robert has another good at bat and draws a lead-off walk. Please don't bunt Melvin Mora. Sammy Perlozzo is on the other team now. Melvin Mora doesn't get on base nearly enough to be an "ideal #2 hitter" as Jim Palmer suggests. And that's why you don't bunt. You just hit a two-run home run instead. That's the third HR of the game for the O's, and even though they are giving Brian Roberts way to much credit (as we saw yesterday) for "distracting" the pitcher, that can just by the two runs for the year that are attributed to that part of his game. In any case, my prediction is wrong as it's now 6-2 Orioles. With the "big three" at the back end of the pen (Bradford, Walker, and Sherrill) I'm feeling very comfortable about an O's win. Say what you will about small sample sizes and what-not, but I feel way more confident in giving a lead to this year's crew. Last year, even when they were winning (like on Mother's Day) I still expected the team to lose. Not so now.
Markakis is first pitch swinging again and continues his less than stellar day with a short fly to left.

Millar singles and then Aubrey Huff continues his hot hitting as he drives the ball deep to center for a double. I said that this line-up wasn't that bad, since they aren't too horrible at any spot except SS (and not in this game) and even with Nick going 0-4 they're still putting a bunch of runs on the board against that "great" M's pitching staff. I know it probably won't be this way verses Bedard and King Felix, but if they swing like this they should still be able to put up 4-5 runs.
They're not even done as there are runners on second and third with one out for Jay Payton (it should be Luke Scott, but whatever - I'm too happy to care). Jay hits a short fly ball to right and Millar can't come in. Luke Scott would have hit a 7-run homer if he had been up there.

Ramon Hernandez really is on fire - the guy gets on base even when he strikes out as the ball got passed the catcher, Ramon got to first, and Millar scored to make it 7-2.
Hey, Jim Palmer just mentioned sabermetricians or "sabetrkdjf" as he said. It had almost no relevance to what he was taking about. I don't know where that came from, but it's nice to see the announcers branching out, even slowly.
Adam Jones flies out to right to end the inning.

[Anyone see those Buck Martinez commercials where they have three people give their HR calls? The first says "check the lost and found" which is apparently good. The second says "sayonara homerama" which I think is stupid but Buck thinks isn't bad. The third says "I haven't seen a Homer that epic since reading the Illiad in college" which Buck didn't like, and is far too long to be a standard call, but I like best. if delivered properly, I could see myself actually laughing at it.]

Chad Bradford retires the lead-off man and Jamie Walker is coming in to face Ichiro. Suzuki is still hitless as he hits a soft liner to the Pelican. [I like the nickname since if he defies all expectations and doesn't completely suck, it's still an OK thing to call him.] He handles the third out also as Walker induces an infield pop-up. It looks like it'll be Greg Aquino in the ninth. Seems Aquino took Daniel Cabrera's #35 - if the reliever wanted it and Daniel gave it up for free then that's a cool move. Usually a guy was to provide some sort of compensation to get a number he wants.

Good game by the Pelican as Brandon Fahey pinch hits for him. Fahey actually looks significantly worse at the plate. It surprises me that I can actually notice. Melvin gets on via error and Markakis is first pitch swinging again and grounds out to second. Is that Crowley's influence? To avoid striking out like he did the first two times up he is swinging early in the count.

Aquino is throwing OK - the fastball comes in at 94-96 and the slider has some break to it - but it doesn't look like the pitches are too hard to hit (they don't miss bats) and the control is iffy. That pitch certainly didn't miss the bat as Richie Sexson drives it deep to center - George Sherrill makes the catch in the O's bullpen. It's now 7-4 O's, but Sherrill can come in to close it out if need. With Aquino giving up another hit, it will be Sherrill. He gets two somewhat less than quick outs but slams the door and the O's win 7-4. That's Sherrills second save, and the O's are 2-1.

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