Saturday, June 7, 2008

O's-Jays, Hit Parade

Jeremy Guthrie is going today against AJ Burnett. The O's don't score for Guthrie or against AJ, so they're already starting in a hole. Maybe they'll both surprise and the O's will pull out a win.

Brian Roberts with a double to left-center to start the game off well. Adam Jones, batting in the two-hole, puts down a sac bunt to move him to third. It's the first inning guys - why give away outs already? There you go; Nick singles up the middle to make it 1-0. Roberts could have scored from second on that hit. Huff draws a walk. This is why you don't give away outs; it helps cut of potential big innings. As they say - "if you play for one run, that's probably all you'll get." Millar falls behind an takes a nasty fastball right on the outside corner, though it's called a ball. He tries his luck again, but this time the ump rings him up. Luke goes down swinging, and the O's strand two. Yup, one run is what they got.

Shannon Stewart grounds out to first, and then collapses to the turf after Millar tags him. That is not great news for the Jays, as he will have to leave the game. Jay Payton mucks a flyball to left (it's not an error but the sinking liner went off his glove), letting Scutaro get into second. Rios singles to right, and the game is tied at 1-1. Beautiful throw by Quiroz and a great scoop and tag by Roberts to cut Rios down trying to steal. If Ramon keeps hitting poorly, and sucking on defense, he may lose his job. Rolen flies out to center to end the inning.

Vernon Wells, who just got of the DL and rejoined the team today, comes in to play center. Payton hits a slow roller to the right of the mound, and Burnett throws it away allowing Jay to get to second. It seems to me that Payton has gotten a few hits like that this year. Bunting again? Quiroz tries it and fouls it off. What the hell is this, 1968? Swing the frakking bats, guys. He fouls off another bunt attempt, and then grounds out to second. It does the same thing as a sacrifice, but with an increased chance of a hit. Alex Cintron up. He grounds sharply to first, where Overbay makes a diving stop to retire him and prevent a run. Roberts draws a walk to put runners on the corners for Jones. Brian steals second with no throw. Strike-three swinging, but the ball gets away. Payton comes in to score, but Barajas' throw beats Jones to first so it won't count.

Matt Stairs singles to center to start the second. Overbay lines the ball to third, where Huff stabs it with a nice diving catch. His throw to first was off-line; otherwise they would have doubled Stairs off. Barajas goes down swing on three pitches - he went after a fastball up around his shoulders. Matt Stairs steals second with nobody paying much attention to him. That was pretty funny to see, and doesn't hurt as Wilkerson flies out.

The Jays finally retire Markakis on a flyball to center. Huff pops out to Rolen in foul territory. Anybody think that Rolen is a Hall of Famer? I would lean towards no, but he is only 33 and has been a heck of a player. Millar draws the two-out walk. Luke Scott drives one deep to right, just over Rios' outstretched glove. Millar will stop at third (boy is he slow), and Luke goes into second with a stand-up double. Jay "He Only Does Well When I Comment That He Sucks" Payton is up... and he sucks (relatively speaking - he would sure look good hitting third on our softball team). He battles through the at bat, and singles to right. Millar scores, and here comes Scott. Barajas can't handle the strong Rios throw, and Luke is safe. I am going to take partial credit for that hit, which makes it 3-1 O's. Quiroz grounds to second for the third out.

Some 12 year-old kid comes up to hit for the Jays. Oh, that's David Eckstein, who grounds to the left side. Cintron gets to it, but is throw is not in time. Wells lines one softly to the shortstop for the first out. Scutaro bloops to short center, but Jones runs it down. Another line-drive, but this one is right to Roberts at second.

Burnett gets Cintron swinging on a good curveball in the dirt. Same thing for Roberts, who tried to check his swing but couldn't. Jones actually makes contact with it, but grounds to third.

A couple of K's with a single in between for Guthrie in the fourth.

Brad Wilkerson robs Nick of extra-bases in left-field. Huff gets on via walk. Burnett has great stuff, but injuries and control problems have really hampered him over the course of his career. When he threw his no-hitter for the Marlins, I believe he walked 9 guys. Millar singles in front of Rios, and the O's have something going. Scott lines the first pitch he sees into right to load the bases for Payton. Man, does that Jay Payton suck. He can't hit righties at all. AMAZING! First-pitch swinging and he doubles to left-center. That'll clear the bases and Jay has 5 RBI on the day. Quiroz also first-pitch swinging, and he doubles over Wells' head in deep center-field. 7-1 O's. You're welcome, Jeremy. Cintron singles to center to put runners on the corners. That ends Burnett's day, with Brian Wolfe jogging in from the pen. Roberts flies out to the wall in left, but Quiroz tags and scores to make it 8-1. See, this is why you don't sac bunt. Jones tags one to left, but it was off the end of the bat a bit and Wilkerson catches it. Big inning for the Birds.

Vernon Wells singles, but Guthrie picks up a couple more K's and keeps the Jays off the board.

Absolutely on fire - Nick doubles to right-center field. Huff grounds out to second, advancing Markakis to third with one out. Millar singles past a diving Eckstein to make it 9-1. Scott pops out, and Jay Payton is coming up. I won't say anything bad about him now - he's been good today. Weak grounder to second. Huh. Maybe it wasn't a clutch enough situation.

Three-up, three-down go the Jays.

Brian Roberts singles to center, but is left stranded. This game is pretty much over, and both teams are acting like it.

1-2-3 again. Guthrie has been very good today.

Nick Markakis with his third hit (second double) of the day. They brought in a lefty to face him, but it makes no difference right now. Freddie Bynum hits for Millar and grounds to second. I guess he'll come in at short, moving Cintron to third and Huff to first. Scott gets jammed and grounds back to the mound to end the inning.

Huff actually stays at third, with Cintron shifting over to first. Also, Guthrie is done with Trachsel coming in to finish it off. He went 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K. With one out, double-walk-single loads the bases. A home run would actually get the Jays back into the game. Double play gets him out of it. Still 9-1.

Throwing "error" by Roberts puts a runner on. Actual error by Bynum (on a throw from Roberts) puts two on. Passed ball moves them over. Double brings them in. Still no outs, and it's 9-3. Dennis Sarfate is warming in the pen, as Trachsel walks Wilkerson. Even when he comes in to mop up, he still taxes the pen unnecessarily. Sarfate coming in. Eckstein walks, and the bases are loaded. Wells gets ahead 2-0, then flies out to right. A run scores to make it 9-4. Groundball gets an out, but another runner scores. They almost turned two, but Bynum's throw to first went passed Sarfate covering. 9-5. Called strike-three on a fastball well outside. That ends the game, which wasn't even as close as it looked.

The O's go back above .500 for the first time in a whole, and have already won the series with the Jays. And how about that; the O's are now a half-game ahead of both the Jays and the Yanks. Third place folks, is a nice place to be for this team. Anyway, Radhames Liz will go for the sweep tomorrow against complete-game specialist Roy Halliday.

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