Friday, June 6, 2008

O's-Jays, Fireworks In The Eighth

The O's (who have struggled in Toronto lately) send Brian Burres (who has struggled lately) to the mound against the Blue Jays (who have been playing well lately) and Shaun Marcum (who has pitched well lately). Is this a reverse-lock type situation?

Marcum starts the game out by striking out Brian Roberts. Nick Markakis gets another opposite field hit, but Mora grounds into an inning ending double play.

Burres is throwing strikes, and has a 1-2-3 first.

Hopefully not every inning will start this way, but Huff goes down swinging. Millar singles to center and Scott walks, to put a couple on for Adam Jones, who has been swinging a good bat the last few games. Jones flies out, and it'll take a clutch single from Razor. I wouldn't count on that. Groundout to short, inning over.

Scott Rolen (who looks really strange to me in a Jays uniform) hits a lead-off double. Kevin Mench (and here I'm obligated by sports-writing code to mention his giant head) flies out to center. Rolen tags and goes to third, with Jones' throw being off-line. Lyle Overbay fouls off a couple pitches and draws the walk. Rob Barajas follows that with a single to left-center to give the Jays an early 1-0 lead. Brad Wilkerson (formerly of the M's) singles up the middle to make it 2-0. I said earlier in the year that Burres is a long-man and not a starter. His good start notwithstanding, we appear to be seeing that now. Lilliputian David Eckstein gets a pitch in the middle of the plate and hits it deep to left, but Luke tracks it down. Shannon Stewart grounds to Mora to end the inning.

Guess they'll keep the pattern going, as Bynum strikes out to start the third. Roberts grounds out to his defensive counterpart. Kakes runs the counts full, and then takes a walk. He's left stranded as Mora pops out on the first pitch.

Alex Rios hits a one-out double off the wall in center-field. Then he steals third, sliding in ahead of Ramon's high throw. Rolen draws a walk to put runners on the corners for Mench. A flyball to center brings in Rios, and Jones' throw (which was off-line) went over the cut-off man and allowed Rolen to get to second. Lance Cormier is warming in the pen. Overbay grounds one hard up the middle, but Roberts makes the diving stop and throws him out. 3-0 Toronto, and that may be enough.

Huff breaks the streak, hitting a double to right. Millar flies out to Rios in center, but even with his strong arm Huff is able to get to third. Scott can't get the runner in from third with one out, as he pops it up. Jones waves at a pitch low and away, and the O's leave another runner on.

Eckstein hits a two-out double, but is left there.

After Ramon flies out, Bynum reaches first on a ball out in front of the mound. He gets caught trying to steal though, as Roberts swings and misses at what would have been ball four on a hit-and-run. Brian and Markakis get back-to-back singles, but Mora can't get them in.

After walking Scutaro and hitting Rolen, with a Rios K in between, Cormier will be coming in. He gets a groundball, and the double play gets them out of the inning. Still 3-0.

The Birds are retired in order by Marcum.

The Jays put another run on in the sixth with two singles, a steal, and a sac fly.

Cormier will leave two on with two out, and Dennis Sarfate is coming in. He is able to get Overbay to ground to second to end the inning.

Roberts starts the eighth with a double to left-center. Another hit for Markakis (he's 3-3 with a walk) drives in the first O's run. Toronto brought it a lefty to face him, and Nick lined the first pitch he saw right back up the middle. Melvin Mora! He hits one out to dead center-field, and we've got ourselves a ball-game. It's now just 4-3 Jays. Huff gets ahead 3-0, but pops the next pitch up. Former Orioles Armando Benetiz (who may have helped cost Mike Mussina the Hall of Fame by blowing what would have been his 20th win in... whatever year that was) is coming in. Kevin Millar! Right down the left-field line, and it's gone. 4-4. Luke Scott hits a grounder to short, and it goes right through his legs. Error for Eckstein, and the go-ahead run is on. Adam Jones!(!) Two-run shot. Boy did he put a good swing on that one. Now the O's lead 6-4. Thanks Armando... it brings back memories. Ramon strikes out looking on three pitches. Bynum K's too, but the three home run inning was awesome.

Chad Bradford is in for the eighth. Not a great start, as he walks Barajas. Wilkerson lays down a bunt back to Bradford, and beats it out. That means Eckstein is the potential go-ahead run. He squares to bunt, but Ramon misses the pitch allowing both runners to advance on the passed ball. Matt Stairs will pinch-hit now. Stairs grounds to first, with Millar making a nice sliding catch and throwing to Bradford at first for the out. A run scores though, to make it 6-5. Chad gets Rios to ground back to the mound. He throws to first to get the second out, and the runner stays at third. Scutaro grounds out to Mora, and Bradford gets out of it.

Another opposite-field hit for Nick, and this one's a double. He's 4-4 with a walk. Sign the man! Mora is getting the intentional pass with a lefty on the mound. That doesn't work as planned, as Huff draws a walk to load the bases. Shawn Camp comes in to face Millar, and gets an inning ending double play. It'll be George Sherrill time in the ninth.

Sherrill send Rios down swinging on a high fastball. One of the main differences between Rios and Markakis is the batting eye. Groundball to short - two out. Joe Joe Inlgett works the count full and walks to put the tying run on. Overbay goes down swinging to end the ballgame.

What a great comeback for the O's. They have been hitting with power and it came through again today in the eighth. That moves the O's back to .500 at 30-30.

I think this calls for a look at the Win Probability graph, while watching them play the Orioles Magic video on TV.

For Jays fans that goes:
"woo... wooo... Wooo... WOO... WOOOO... AWWWW!... eh?... Awww".

Magic, magic, magic, magic, Orioles Magic... feel it happen!

No comments: