Monday, September 1, 2008

O's-Red Sox, Spoiled Returns

Fresh of getting swept by the Rays, the O's head to Fenway Park to face the Red Sox. Being in the AL East is just unfair. Boston is getting ready to head to the playoffs, while the Orioles are just waiting for the season to be over.

* Very nice to see Adam Jones back. Even nicer to see him flashing some power, hitting a solo home run over the Green Monster to give the Birds a 1-0 first inning lead.

* It's nice to see Garrett Olson back as well. He needs to trust his stuff a little more and not nibble so much. He doesn't in the bottom of the first and walks the bases loaded before getting out of it by striking Jed Lowrie out swinging.

* Not so lucky in the bottom of the second; Olson gives up back-to-back homers to Jason Varitek and Jeff Bailey as Boston takes a 2-1 lead. He did look good striking Coco Crisp out swinging on a down and in breaking-ball right after the two homers, though.

* Juan Castro ties things up at 2-2 with the game's fourth solo home run. Apparently Jones' plate discipline hasn't improved in his time off, as Paul Byrd gets him to chase a pitch way out of the zone.

* 1-2-3 third for Olson. The guy may not have plus stuff, but he had a strong K rate in the minors and enough of that should translate (if he doesn't change the way he pitches) to allow him to be successful at the major league level.

* I was a bit surprised that Andy MacPhail didn't pull off any other waiver wire deals. I thought that Jay Payton or Kevin Millar might be useful bench players for some contender, or that a team might look to upgrade their line-ups for the stretch-run with Aubrey Huff or a pre-injury Melvin Mora. Oh well.

* After a single by Castro to lead-off the sixth, Roberts sacrifices him to second. One of the O's best hitters purposefully makes an out in a game on the road. Dave Trembley, please stop doing those kinds of things - they are dumb. Nick Markakis (with two outs) ends up bringing Castro in with a bullet up the middle. The run was credited to the sac bunt, but maybe both Castro and Roberts would have scored if Brian had been allowed to swing away (say, if he doubled - like he's done a league-leading 46 times this year). A Huff double and a walk by Ramon loads the bases for Luke Scott. Scott flies out and leaves three stranded. The O's played for one run and that's all they got. If Roberts doesn't give away an out maybe they're up by three or four instead of just one. I guess Trembley has faith that his pitching staff will hold the Sox to two runs. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)

* Back-to-back doubles by Bay and Lowrie gets that run right back. A bloop single by Crisp makes it 4-3 Boston. An infield single by Ellsbury loads the bases and knocks Olson from the game. All things considered, I think he pitched pretty well. Unfortunately, he didn't get a chance to get out of this jam. The season is already lost - find out what the kid is made of. Pedrioa singles off of Dennis Sarfate to make it 6-3. The Red Sox didn't give away outs to play for one run, and they had a big inning - one that effectively puts the game away.

* Kevin Millar hits a high flyball that just goes over the Monster for another home run.

* Jim Miller makes his ML debut in the eighth. After a one-out single by Pedrioa, Miller intentionally walks Ortiz. He gets Youkilis to ground back to the mound, but Miller has it bounce off his glove and everybody's safe. He strikes-out Bay, but walks Lowrie to force in a run. Radnor Bierd comes in to end the inning by getting Varitek to groundout. Miller did a pretty good job, showing a low 90's fastball and two breaking-balls - a hard slider and a slower curve. As with most O's pitchers, control is the main issue with him.

* Two-out singles in the top of the ninth by Millar and Payton brings the tying run to the plate in the form of pinch-hitter Oscar Salazar. After a nice at-bat, Salazar grounds out to end the game.

The O's lose 7-4. A season without an August/September collapse by the team would be nice.

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laugh said...
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