Saturday, April 25, 2009

O's-Rangers, Hendrickson Deserves The Loss

The O's looked like they were going to take the first game in there series after Koji Uehara gave the team another solid start (6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K), but Jim Johnson (a run on four hits) and George Sherrill (a two-run home run by Michael Young) blew a 4-2 lead, and the team fell 5-4.

Mark Hendrickson will to try to even up the series - as well as the O's season record - against one of the league's best offenses. On the other side of the ball, Nick Markakis is looking to extend his hitting streak to 12 games (and his on-base streak to 26) against Scott Feldman, who's getting his first start of the year for Texas after three appearances out of the pen.

Top 1:
  • Not a good start for the Birds. Hendrickson got ahead 1-2, but Ian Kinsler fouled off a couple of pitches and got a fastball in the middle of the plate that he promptly deposited into the O's bullpen. Early 1-0 lead for Texas.
  • Michael Young grounds out to short.
  • Josh Hamilton lines the first pitch he sees into center for a single.
  • Andruw Jones draws a walk. That apparently was the first walk allowed by O's pitching in 23 innings. I wonder if those pitchers knew what team they played for.
  • Marlon Byrd pops out.
  • Nelson Curz grounds out to short.
Bottom 1:
  • Brian Roberts, who hit his first home run of the year yesterday, flies out ot right.
  • Adam Jones fouls a bunt attempt off of his hand. That was a really stupid thing to try to due, and the execution wasn't particularly good either. Jones ends up grounding to second.
  • Nick takes ball one down low. It looked he knew exactly where the ball was going as soon as it left the pitcher's hand. Feldman does a nice job to jam him on a subsequent pitch though, and Nick grounds out to second.
Top 2:
  • Hendrickson can't keep this up. Chris Davis hits a towering home run over the scoreboard to lead off the inning. 2-0, Texas.
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia lines a single up the middle.
  • Elvis Andrus grounds to short, with Izturis getting the force at second. Andrus is far to fast to turn the double play on such a slow grounder, but Roberts tries anyway and overthrows Huff at first (though the bounce kept the runner from advancing).
  • Kinsler goes deep again. 4 outs, 3 HR for Hendrickson. And 4-0, Rangers. I'm not ready to call the game yet, but Mark is not pitching well at all - leaving high 80's fastballs in the middle of the plate and not being able to get his slow curveball over consistently (or in the case of the Davis blast, getting it over but in a bad spot).
  • Young and Hamilton both flyout to right.
Bottom 2:
  • Aubrey Huff swings and misses at a nice slider in under his hands for strike three.
  • Ty Wigginton grounds out to first, which will drop his .516 OPS a few points.
  • Luke Scott flies out to right.
Top 3:
  • Andruw Jones lead off the third with a home run to center. Now I'm done. Not with the game so much as with Hendrickson. I assume that this has never happened to a starter before, but I imagine we'll hear all about that from all of the game recaps. Just awful.
  • A groundout and a couple of K's ends the inning. 5-0 Texas, and there's action in the O's pen.
Bottom 3:
  • Gregg Zaun is hitting just .116, but 4 of his 5 hits are doubles and he has more walks (8) than strike-outs (7). And now that BA will go down, as he grounds out weakly to third.
  • Felix Pie strikes out looking and he knew it - as soon as the catcher caught it he turns around and went back to the dugout, even before the umpire made a call.
  • Cesar Izturis puts the O's in the hit column with a single to short right-field.
  • Roberts pops out. Usually we only see this kind of listless play from the Birds on a Sunday.
Top 4:
  • Salty might be hurt or something, because he only singles (off of a diving Wigginton's glove) to start the fourth.
  • Andrus lines out to second, but Salty gets back to first before Roberts can double him off.
  • Kinsler strikes out on a 3-2 fastball on the inside corner.
  • Young strikes out swinging. It's amazing what a pitcher can do once he stops throwing batting practice.
Bottom 4:
  • Jones grounds out to short.
  • Markakis doubles into the left-field corner. The pitch was down and away, and Nick just flicked his bat at it.
  • Huff flies out to left.
  • Wigginton lines a single to center. They send Markakis, and the throw beats him, but a great slide under the glove lets Nick score. The O's are on the board.
  • Scott draws a walk.
  • Zaun pops out to leave the runners stranded.
Top 5:
  • Hamilton gets on with a slow nubber down the third-base line. Wigginton charged it, but didn't even bother to make a throw.
  • Jones hits a pop-up into short left-field, and neither Pie (who got there a little late) nor Izturis (who had the ball go off his glove) could make a play.
  • Double steal without a throw on the first pitch to Byrd. And it pays off, as Marlon flies out to deep left to bring in a run. And Jones was able to tag-up and get to third with just one out.
  • Finally - mercifully (for me anyway) - the O's go to the pen. Brian Bass will try to keep the score where it is and hope the Birds can get some more runs on the board.
  • Cruz hits a ball off the end of the bat about 3 feet in front of the plate. He thought it was foul, but Zaun quickly recovers the fair ball and tags him for the out.
  • Davis draws a walk.
  • Salty strikes out to end the inning, but the Rangers extend their lead to 6-1.
Bottom 5:
  • Pie pops out.
  • Izturis bounces out to the pitcher.
  • Roberts doubles to deep right-center - the 270th double of his career, which moves him into 5th all-time for the Orioles.
  • Jones does a nice job to lay off of a 2-2 curveball out of the zone. It's a pitch he would have swung at last year, and almost swung at this year. Unfortunately he grounds the 3-2 pitch back to the mound.
Top 6:
  • Single to center for Andrus. Another inning, another lead-off hit.
  • Kinsler goes down swinging.
  • Andrus takes a little too much of a lead at first, and Bass is able to spin and pick him off. Don't see that too often with right-handed pitchers.
  • Young strikes out swinging.
Bottom 6:
  • Rookie left-hander and top prospect Derek Hooland takes over for Feldman.
  • And he is throwing some cheese - 96 mph fastball on the outside corner strikes Markakis out looking.
  • Huff is out in-front of a breaking-ball and flies out to right.
  • Ty Wigginton sure likes hitting against lefties. He deposits Holland's first pitch - a fastball at the letters - into the O's pen.
  • Scott bounces out to second. The Orioles get one back; it's now 6-2.
Top 7:
  • David Murphy - in for Hamilton - grounds back to Bass.
  • So does Andruw Jones.
  • Byrd singles into left, right in-front of Pie. I had though that Felix would show better range out there.
  • Cruz with a flyball to deep right-center, but Markakis is able to run it down at the warning track.
Bottom 7:
  • Zaun does a nice job to work a walk. That's why I'm not really concerned about his low batting average - once his BABIP normalizes (it's a minuscule .139 right now), his BA should move up near .220 and so his OBP (.255 coming into the game) should like-wise increase into the very solid .340 area, since he is still adept at getting on base via the walk.
  • Luis Montanez, hitting for Pie, strikes out swinging.
  • Izturis gets on with an infield hit.
  • Roberts with a line-drive to left, but Murphy is there to make the catch.
  • Jones grounds out to third. Big opportunity wasted there.
Top 8:
  • 1-2-3 inning for Bass, including another K. He has done a great job out of the pen today, both in keeping the game from getting our of control and in eating some innings.
Bottom 8:
  • The O's need baserunners, and Nick does his job and draws a walk. Markakis is on pace to draw exactly 99 walks for the second year in a row. And he's been a slow starter in his career.
  • Huff pops out.
  • Wigginton flies out to short center.
  • Scott flies out to left.
Top 9:
  • Matt Albers in to get some work.
  • Kinsler flies out to left, even though it was Jones ranging over to make the catch.
  • Young strikes out swinging.
  • Murphy flies out to center. Need for in the ninth, with the bottom of the order coming up.
Bottom 9:
  • Zaun grounds to short, but Andrus throws the ball low and Davis isn't able to scoop it. Runner on second to star the ninth.
  • Montanez single to right-field to put runners on the corners.
  • Izturis with a soft liner into left. Murphy dives, but can't come up with it and the ball goes all the way to the wall. Double for Cesar, and the score is now 6-3. This was all against lefty CJ Wilson, though the Rangers have closer Frank Fransisco warming in the pen.
  • Roberts swings at the first pitch - a fastball up and out of the zone - and pops out to second. Bad at-bat in that situation for Brian. It will by Frankie coming in for the save opportunity.
  • Adam Jones with a line-drive single to right-field. Two runs in, and the deficit is down to one run.
  • Markakis strikes out swinging. It looked like he was trying to win the game with one swing, and Fransisco blew the fastball by him.
  • Huff flies out to left to end it.
The O's made a valiant comeback, but Mark Hendrickson dug them into too deep of a hole. When your starter gives up four home runs, you're not going to win very often. At least Bass pitched well in relief (3.2 shutout innings, with 4 K's) and the offense woke up a little in the later innings. The Birds will try to avoid losing the series tomorrow, with Brad Bergesen making his second start.

No comments: