Saturday, June 21, 2008

O's-Brewers, Swing & A Miss At A Slider...

Daniel Cabrera will try to turn his slump around against a resurgent Seth McClung, and continue the O's four game winning streak.

McClung throwing hard as he strikes Brian Roberts out swinging at a high fastball. Markakis gets ahead 3-1, but pops up and then slams his bat in, well, some sort of emotion. Aubrey Huff, promoted to the third spot in the line-up, grounds out to second.

Craig Counsell starts the Brewers' attack with a single to right. JJ Hardy then singles to left, with Counsell motoring to third. At least he didn't homer this time. Cabrera gets the dangerous Ryan Braun to pop out to second. A double play would get him out of the inning. Daniel does get a groundball, but Roberts' only play is at first-base. Counsel scores to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Grounder to Huff at third ends the first.

Easy 1-2-3 inning for McClung. He's showing the ability to get the breaking-ball over for strikes to go along with the mid 90's fastball.

Russell Branyan strikes out swing at a slider on the inside corner - Daniel set him up with four fastballs between 94 and 96. Infield single by Gabe Kapler on a slow roller to third. It's possible that Mora may have made that play. Jason Kendall singles passed a diving Bynum to put runners on the corners again. Nice to be in the NL, as Daniel gets McClung to strike-out on a slider in the dirt. Counsell also goes down swinging at the slider. I look that he's using the breaking-ball with two strikes. It's possible that his rough patch was the result of teams adjusting to his all fastballs approach.

Adam Jones becomes the O's first baserunner with a lead-off walk. Bynum goes down looking at the curveball. Cabrera comes to the plate and fails to put down the sac bunt - he ends up striking out when he fouls off the third attempt. Roberts flies to left for the third out.

Hardy can't check his swing on another slider and becomes Daniel's fourth strike-out victim. Cabrera's getting ahead of the hitters and it is working out well. Braun looks at a 3-2 fastball and heads back to the bench. That's five straight out's via K. Fielder singles in front of Markakis in right. And Corey Hart extends the Brewers' lead to 3-0 with his 11th home run of the year. It was a good pitch - a fastball down and in - but Hart put a good swing on it. Branyan grounds to first, with Daniel covering. That's it for the third, but the O's are going to need some runs now.

Nick gets ahead in the count again and lines a pitch up the middle. Unfortunately the Brewers have been playing Markakis with an infield shift, and Hardy was standing right where he hit it. Huff grounds out and Millar strikes out, and the O's still don't have a hit.

3-2 fastball down below he knees; swing and a miss by Kapler. That's 6 K's. Kendall swings at the first pitch and grounds out to third and then McClung flies to right to end the inning.

Luke Scott draws a walk to start the fifth. Razor works the count to 3-1 and gets the O's first hit, pulling the pitch into left-field. Adam Jones dribbles weakly in front of the plate - Scott can't score from third. Alex Cintron comes up to hit for Bynum. I'm not sure why, but he strikes out on three pitches - big out for McClung. Stupid National League rules. Cabrera strikes out on three pitches too. The Orioles threaten, but they can't score.

Counsell draws Cabrera's first walk of the day, and then promptly gets caught trying to steal second. Hardy then walks. Braun grounds out - two down and Fielder coming to the plate. Another slider in the dirt. That makes seven strike-outs for Daniel.

Braun makes a valiant effort in left, but his slide comes up short and Roberts has a lead-off double. Markakis gets ahead for the third time today and pops out - he's oh-for-three. Huff flies out, and Millar draws a walk to put two on with two out. Scott can't come through though. Still 3-0 Brewers.

Hart looks at a fastball for strike three. A single and a walk, and Matt Albers is warming up in the bullpen. Daniel gets Kendall to ground into a double play to get out of it.

Ramon flies out to right, and there is action in the Milwaukee pen too. Jones draws his second walk of the day - that's an encouraging sign. Alex Cintron grounds out to second, with Jones just barely avoiding a tag on his way to second. Oscar Salazar pinch-hits for Cabrera. Way back... way back.. and gone! Home run, and the lead is down to 3-2. Cabrera will be in line for the win if the O's can put another couple of runs on the board. Roberts draws a walk, and that'll be it for McCLung. Lefty Brian Shouse is coming in to face Markakis. Nick grounds right back to the mound for the third out. Cabrera's day ends at 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 8 K, but it was a very good performance. He had both the fastball and the slider working, and, despite the homer, he didn't really make any bad pitches.

Albers comes in to work the seventh, and gives up a single to Bill Hall. Then he walks Counsell. Groundball to Cintron allows him to turn two. Braun draws a walk - he has shown better plate discipline in this series than usual. Fielder strikes out swing to leave the runners stranded.

Huff goes down swinging against Shouse. Millar puts a charge into one, but Kapler tracks it down at the wall in deep center. Shouse falls down as he delivers to the plate, but Scott swings and misses the pitch for strike three.

A Kapler double is all the Brewers get off of Albers in the eighth. The O's will need at least one run in the ninth.

Ramon flies out to center - one down. Jones strikes out - two down. Melvin Mora pinch-hits for Cintron, and doubles to deep right. Jay Payton pinch-hits for the pitcher with the tying run on second. He doesn't come through this time - a pop-up to short ends the game.

Cabrera pitched well, but the offense couldn't do much with Seth McClung and drop to 38-35 with the loss.

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