Saturday, April 18, 2009

O's-Red Sox, Eaton's ERA Balloons To 11.25

The O's jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first game of their series against the Red Sox, but Jeremy Guthrie got knocked around for 8 runs (5 earned) on 8 hits and 4 walks in 4.2 IP. On the bright side, he did strike out 5. Danys Baez gave up what turned out to be the winning runs in the 10-8 game, with Matt Albers pitching the only scoreless innings for the Birds (two of them) though he did give up four baserunners. The top of the order did go 6-12 with 3 walks and 7 RBI (5 by Markakis, with 4 coming his second home run of the year). And every starter except Cesar Izturis got on base again.

The 6-4 Orioles will send Adam Eaton to the mound against Josh Beckett and the 4-6 Red Sox, as the try to even up the series. The Sox have three guys in their line-up with an OPS over 1.000 (Jason Bay at 1.281, Kevin Youlikis at 1.150, and JD Drew at 1.066) and the O's counter with three of their own (Adam Jones at 1.259, Nick Markakis at 1.063, and Brian Roberts at 1.037).

Top 1:
  • Brian Roberts can't catch up to a 94 mph fastball on the outside corner, and starts the game with a strike-out.
  • First-pitch curveball to Adam Jones buckles his legs a little and is in there for a called strike. High fastball swung on and missed for K number two.
  • Nick Markakis takes an 0-2 curveball into center for a single. The pitch was down and out of the zone, but Nick just dropped the head of the bat on it.
  • Aubrey Huff checks his swing on the first pitch a hits a slow roller to third to end the inning.
Bottom 1:
  • Jacoby Ellsbury flies out to right.
  • Fastball on the outside corner gets Dustin Pedroia looking. The strike-zone is fairly large tonight, as the ball was almost certainly off the plate and low.
  • 3-2 curveball gets David Ortiz looking. Great pitch by Eaton, and it's nice to see a 1-2-3 inning.
Top 2:
  • Ty Wigginton grounds out to third.
  • Luke Scott single in-front of JD Drew in right.
  • Gregg Zaun doubles off of the Green Monster in left-field, with Scott holding up at third.
  • Felix Pie swings and misses a curveball in the dirt. Then he takes a curveball for a strike. Then a few pitches later he takes another one for strike three.
  • Cesar Izturis grounds up the middle, but the shortstop was shaded that way and makes the play. The O's threaten, but can't get a run across.
Bottom 2:
  • Kevin Youkilis with a lead-off double into the left-field corner.
  • Hanging curveball to JD Drew is caught by Jones in center.
  • Jason Bay draws a walk. Not the worst thing in the world with first-base open and Mike Lowell coming up.
  • Line-drive to left snagged by Pie.
  • Jason Varitek doubles down the right-field line to give the Sox a 2-0 lead.
  • Nick Green grounds back to the mound to end the inning.
Top 3:
  • Roberts takes a fastball way out of the zone for a strike. Jim Palmer says that he wants to go down and pitch given the size of the zone. Roberts is talking about it with the ump, and Dave Trembley comes out to defend his player. Brian ends up flying out to left.
  • Jones grounds out sharply to third.
  • Markakis draws a walk. I was worried that given his high batting average, Nick would stop walking. He has, but he's kept his plate discipline in tact (18.2% of balls outside the zone swung at this year, compared to 18% last year). He may actually improve for a third straight year. $66 M is a steal.
  • Huff thought he walked on four pitches, but the ump calls a 3-0 fastball almost a foot outside a strike. The second one is called a ball, and Aubrey goes to first-base.
  • Wigginton flies out to leave a couple stranded.
Bottom 3:
  • Ellsbury flies out to center.
  • Pedroia bloops a single into right-field.
  • Ortiz bloops a curveball into left-filed. Eaton isn't pitching poorly, but sometimes the hits just fall in.
  • Youkilis isn't happy about the zone either, as a couple of calls aren't to his liking. Doesn't much matter, as a he takes a high change-up over the Monster for a three-run homer. 4-0 Boston.
  • Curveball off the plate gets Drew looking. It wasn't the worst call of the night.
  • Bay walks again, as Eaton doesn't even come close to getting one into the gigantic zone.
  • Big jump lets bay steal second despite a nice throw from Zaun. Single by Lowell brings him in on the next pitch. At least Pie plays the ball well off the wall to keep it at one base.
  • Varitek flies out to center. You have to be pretty bad to give up five runs with this strike-zone to work with.
Top 4:
  • O's go down in order in the fourth.
Bottom 4:
  • Three hits brings in the sixth Boston run, but Eaton is able to get Drew swinging to leave a couple runners on.
Top 5:
  • Izturis drops a great bunt down the third-base line. Not even a throw, and Cesar singles to start the inning.
  • Roberts doubles into the left-field corner. Breaking up this shutout would be nice.
  • Jones walks to load the bases. Beckett tried to get him to chase a pitch out of the zone with two strikes, but Adam wouldn't do it.
  • Markakis walks for the second time to bring in a run. Great at bat, not trying to do too much.
  • 2-0 fastball up in the zone gets driven off the Monster by Huff to clear the bases (with an assist to Nick Green in not coming up with the throw from the outfield). Just like that it's 6-4, with still no outs.
  • Wigginton hits a line-drive, but it goes right to Lowell at third.
  • Scott grounds back to the mound, and Beckett catches Huff too far off base. Aubrey gets tagged out, but he stays in the run-down long enough to allow Luke to get to second.
  • Zaun flies out to right-field, but the O's are right back in this game.
Bottom 5:
  • Brian Bass in to start the fifth. Another four-inning performance from Eaton, who's line once again looks a little worse than his pitching would have implied.
  • Lowell with a one-out double into left-field. Pie made a bad throw, where a good one might have had him.
  • Varitek walks.
  • Green pops out to Huff.
  • Ellsbury grounds to short, with Izturis' throw jsut beating him at first. Nice job by Bass to get out of the inning.
Top 6:
  • O's can't keep the momentum going, being retired in order.
Bottom 6:
  • Pedroia gets drilled in the leg with a fastball, and limps down to first-base.
  • Given that, it seems strange that he would try to steal second. Zaun makes a great throw, and Pedroia is out pretty easily.
  • Ortiz grounds out, on a play that would have been difficult if - as Gary Thorne says - the big DH could run at all.
  • Bass strikes Youklis out swinging with a good breaking-ball.
Top 7:
  • Okajima in there for Beckett.
  • Jones strikes out looking.
  • Markakis strikes out swinging.
  • Huff pops out on the first pitch.
Bottom 7:
  • After a double by Drew, Chris Ray comes in to pitch.
  • He strikes Bay out swinging.
  • Lowell flies out to center.
  • Varitek gets intentionally walked (despite being a pretty bad hitter) to bring Green up.
  • Actually it won't, as lefty-swinging Chris Carter will pinch-hit. I might have preferred to pitch to Varitek, even without considering the extra runner aboard. Doesn't much matter, as Ray strikes him out looking.
Top 8:
  • Wigginton rips a single to center off Saito. Ty somehow steals second, despite the throw beating him to the bag.
  • Scott strikes out swinging.
  • Zaun can't check his swing, and goes down as the second K of the inning.
  • Pie flies out to right. If there will be a comeback tonight, it'll have to be off of the closer.
Bottom 8:
  • Jim Johnson will try to keep the defecit at two.
  • JJ gets Ellsbury to ground to second, with Roberts making a nice play to throw across his body to get the speedy runner.
  • Pedroia chases a 94 mph fastball up and out of the zone (probably - hard to tell in this game). First strike-out for JJ.
  • Ortiz flies out to medium-depth right-field, and it's Roberts raging out there and dropping the ball. Brian was already on the outfield grass due to the shift, and that's why he was the once to attepmt the catch with Nicl playing very deep.
  • Youkilis doubles into left for his fourth hit of the day.
  • Drew gets the intentional walk to load the bases for Bay. I don't like where this is going.
  • Johnson gets Bay to flyout to right, a couple of pitches after a ball falls a 2-3 inches foul down the left-field line.
Top 9:
  • Jon Papelbon in for the save.
  • Izturis starts things off and takes a fastball nowhere near the inside corner for a strike. Cesar works the count full, but ends up popping out.
  • Roberts gets ahead 3-0, and singles through the left side on a 3-2 pitch. Tying run coming to the plate.
  • Jones gets hit on the elbow with a first-pitch fastball. The tying run is now on base.
  • After falling behind 0-2, Nick works gets it to a full count before flying out to right. It's up to Aubrey Huff.
  • Pop-out to short ends the game.
The minor comeback was nice, but it wasn't enough. The bullpen didn't give up any runs, at least. And this time it was every Oriole expect Pie getting on base. The O's will try to stay above .500 tomorrow, as well as keep there undefeated streak in series going.

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