Saturday, May 3, 2008

O's-Angels, Just Not Enough Offense

The Orioles take on one of the more overrated pitchers in baseball in Jon Garland, and the Angels.

Garland has been striking out less guys this year, but he gets Brian Roberts swinging to start the game. Nick Markakis is once again in the #2 spot. Kakes falls behind 0-2, but uses that good eye to draw a walk. Switching Nick and Mora is actually a better line-up construction, if only by a couple of runs over the year. Not in the first though, as Melvin grounds into a double play.

I'm not sure why I thought Trachsel was starting today (maybe I misread it) but it's actually Daniel Cabrera. Things don't start off well, as Chone Figgins drawing a walk. A flyout and a Figgins steal later, Daniel throws a great 3-2 slider under Sarge Jr.'s hands to get him swinging. A Casey Kotchman (who has a .953 OPS on the year, by the way) groundout ends a scoreless first.

Aubrey Huff fouls off a bunt attempt. The defense was swung around playing him to pull (as they often are against Huff) and Aubrey was just trying to get on. Good call on his part - if can drop one down are a single once a week or so, that would be pretty good. Huff ends up lining one right through the shift into right field. Slugging prospect Brandon Wood is starting at third for the Angels, and Ramon grounds out to him after a Millar flyout. Luke Scott singles to right and Huff came around to score. Luke gets caught trying to go to second, but the O's take an early 1-0 lead.

Daniel gets ahead of Torii Hunter and gets him waving at a low slider. A two-pitch groundout and a two-pitch flyout ends the inning. Good job by Cabrera to work quickly and throw strikes.

O's go down in order against Garland.

Two quick outs and then Daniel strikes Figgins out looking on that tailing fastball on the inside corner.

O's go down in order again - hopefully this won't be a trend.

Reggie Willits grounds to Millar at first, but Daniel is slow covering the base and Willits beats it out. A double play erases him though, and Cabrera has faced one over the minimum.

Guess what the O's did this inning. If you said "nothing", then you are correct.

Torii Hunter singles, and with one out Daniel strikes out Erick Aybar swinging on a slider down and in, and Hunter is easily thrown out trying a delayed steal. Another runner gets on and is erased, and Cabrera has thrown just 60 pitches through 5 innings.


With one out, Cabrera hits a batter and walks another. Willits singles into right, and the game is tied at 1-1. Daniel can get out of it with a ground ball, but he is facing the middle of the Angels order. Sarge Jr. flies to center, and Figgins tags and scores the second LA run. A flyout ends it, but the Angels have a 2-1 lead.

Wow, Melvin Mora's quintuplets are 6. I remember when they were born. That makes me feel old, but I bet it makes Melvin feel older. Not to old to double down the first base line, though. The O's can't get anything out of it, as Huff grounds out and Millar flies out.

Torii Hunter starts the bottom of the seventh with a line drive up the middle, but Brian Roberts makes a jumping catch to retire him. Garrett Anderson goes down looking on that "Maddux" tailing fastball. Mike Soscia is arguing, but it was clearly in the zone. Aybar bunts right past Cabrera for an infield single - it's about time somebody took advantage of his poor fielding. Mike Napoli singles with left, but Daniel gets Wood swinging at a slider to end the threat.

1-2-3 again. Cabrera has been good, but Garland has been just a tad better.

Figgins leads off with a single, and Wiilits sacrifices him to second. Why not just let Chone steal it. Or let Reggie (2-3 today) swing away. Figgins steals third, and that is a big insurance run there with one out. Gary Matthews grounds to second, but Robert's throw is just not in time. 3-1 Angels, and Daniel is leaving the game. All-in-all, it was a good start for him (especially after he 7 walk affair) - 7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 K and 64 of 102 pitches for strikes. Jim Johnson comes in and gets Kotchman to ground into a double play. It'll take at least 2 in the ninth by the offense.

K-Rod is in, and lives up to his nick-name by getting pinch hitter Jay Payton swinging at a slider. Brian Roberts grounds one into right field, but Figgins makes a diving stop and throws B-Rob out from his knees. Nick hits one deep to center, but Hunter is there to make the catch. That'll end the game.

The O's offense couldn't get anything going (I guess the line-up change only lasts for one day) and the team loses game two of the series 3-1. Daniel Cabrera pitched well, so I'll count it as a minor victory.

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