Saturday, May 10, 2008

O's-Royals, I'm Glad I'm Indoors

Kevin Millar hits a three run homer for the O's in the first (the third straight game the Birds have had a three run bomb), and then the rains came. I didn't check back until the third, but the score was still 3-0.

Luis Hernandez misses a slow roller to second. The Pelican is in there for Roberts, who apparently injured his foot in the first inning. After Tony Pena Jr. strikes out, DeJesus singles, and he and Joey Gathright successfully double steal. Esteban German lifted a pop-up to short left field and Bynum made the catch. The wet grass caused Bynum to slip though, and Gathright was able to tag-up and score from third. Alex Gordon grounded out to end the inning, but KC cut the lead to 3-1.

Huff starts the fourth with a double down the first base line. With one out, Jay Payton strikes out on a check swing (he probably went around) and gets thrown out of the game for arguing. I'm actually happy about this, as I think Luke Scott should be starting anyway (a righty's on the mound, and with neither Scott nor Payton are hitting well the advantage should go to the guy who actually has some ability; that would be Scott). The 13 man pitching staff may end up being a problem, as Ramon Hernandez (getting the night off, with Quiroz in there) is the only guy left on the bench. Jones grounds back to the mound to end the inning.

It sounds like Scott is still feeling under the weather (haha, that was pun-derful) with his "flu". Another reason why they need a larger bench - Scott "can't" play, but doesn't need to go on the DL. Seriously, is there any reason why Bob McCrory is still on the roster? He's never getting used, and that spot could be put to much better use. In fact, I had actually assumed that he was sent down when Lance Cormier was brought up.

Oh! Holy crap, what a great play by the Pelican. Billy Butler bloops one into short right, and Luis runs out and makes a sliding over-the-shoulder catch. Amazing play. I don't think I've ever seen an infielder slide towards the outfield like that. Grudzy singles to left, but that's all KC gets.

Bynum gets yet another hit, with a single to left. The Pelican follows it up with one of his own, and there are two on with one out for Mora. Melvin singles to right, bringing in Bynum and sending Luis to third (it looked to me like he was out as he overslid the bag and was still being tagged). Markakis strikes out looking (Brett Tomko's seventh). A Huff flyout ends the threat, but the lead is back to three at 4-1.

Garrett Olson isn't quite quick enough, and Gathright beats out a bunt basehit. I haven't mentioned Olson yet, but it's because he has kept things pretty simple and allowed his defense to do the work for him (4 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K so far). KC once again gets a runner on (for the fifth straight inning) but can't get them in.

Millar goes the other way with a single to right. Surprisingly, the announcers don't mention how it's a "miracle" or a once-a-season thing for Millar to go the other way. Luke fouls off a few pitches, but eventually goes down swinging on a high fastball. Adam Jones rockets one to deep left-center. Gathright makes a dive, but can't get it - Millar comes all the way round from first and Jones is in with a stand-up triple. 5-1 Os'. Make it 6-1, as Quiroz sacrifices Jones home. This game may be called soon as the rain is coming down harder.

Billy Butler is going to be a good hitter. In fact, he already is a pretty darn good hitter, as he lines a pitch to right-center for a single. Grudzy sends one past a diving Mora for a double - KC has a chance to cut into the O's lead, and there is activity in the Orioles' bullpen. Jose Guillen lifts a flyball to left-center, and the wind knocks it down a bit - the ball drops in front of Scott to score Butler. That'll be it from Olson. Not as good as his last start, but still not bad (5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K). Chad Bradford come in and gives up an infield single to short to load the bases. Gathright hits a grounder, but beats out the throw - the O's couldn't turn two and another runner scores. Pena grounds out to end the inning, but it's once again a three run lead, 6-3.

Joel Peralta strikes out the Pelican and Mora to start the seventh, but Nick won't chase and draws a walk. Huff ends another inning. The rain is really coming down, and there are some major wind gusts. I can't see this game going all nine.

Jamie Walker relieves Bradford against the lefties. Walker has turned into a horrible LOOGY, as DeJesus drives one deep into the right field corner. It almost goes out, but David has to settle for a triple. German lines a single off of Bynum's outstretched glove. That makes it 6-4. Lefty Alex Gordon ropes a single past Millar to put runners on the corners with none out. That'll be it for Walker, who has become quite the liability from the pen. Hopefully Jim Johnson doesn't have his first bad game of the year today. JJ blows away Butler on three pitches. Grudzy goes down looking a a knee-bender. The Pelcian makes a nice sliding stop and throw Guillen out to end the inning. I didn't expect Johnson to make any contributions at all to the pitching staff (ever, actually) but he has been outstanding out of the pen. He comes in in a huge spot and just shuts the Royals down.

Take that Gobble! Millar greets Jimmy with a single to left. It would be nice if they could pick up an insurance run here. Luke bunts (whose dumb idea was that?) but it goes right to Gobble who gets the lead runner at second. Leo Nunez relieves, and gets Jones looking and Quiroz swinging. That's 12 K's for Baltimore tonight.

1-2-3 inning for Johnson - that's a first for the O's in this game.

The Pelican gets a one out infield single. Mora gets hit in the back, and the O's have something going for Markakis. I guess Nick wants to get home, so he grounds into a double play.

It'll be George Sherrill time in the ninth. DeJesus starts things off well for KC, drawing a walk. Miguel Olivo comes in to hit, but goes down swinging. Then Gordon goes down swinging. Billy Butler crushes one to deep left field. It goes off the top of the wall for an RBI double. It's 6-5 now, with the tying run at short for Grudzy. Sherrill gets him to ground out to Mora. Another adventurous ninth inning, but he gets the job done.

Orioles take this mess of a game 6-5 and pick up their third straight win against the Royals. One more for the sweep. Player of the game (by Win Probability Added, anyway) is Jim Johnson, who got the team out of a jam and bridges the gap to Sherrill. His .389 WPA slightly beat out Millar's .245. DeJesus actually was second overall with his .261 WPA day.

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