Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another O's game, another loss

The Orioles lost to Felix Hernandez and the Mariners last night 4-1, which dropped the O's to 2-14 on the season. With 12 straight games against the Red Sox and Yankees coming up after a badly needed off day today, it's safe to say that the O's are approaching extremely dangerous territory -- not that they haven't done so already.

I tried to watch some of the game and made it to the bottom of the fourth when the Mariners scored four runs, which was all they needed considering how terrible the O's offense has been. Hernandez ended up throwing 113 pitches and a complete game: 9 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 K, 0 BB. The lone run Hernandez allowed, an RBI single by Matt Wieters in the first inning, only scored because of an error that allowed Nick Markakis to advance to second base after a single to left field.

Anyway, Hernandez was phenomenal, and he was able to scatter those nine hits -- all singles -- by the O's. Markakis had three hits, and Lou Montanez and Garrett Atkins each had two.

I'll be honest: I'm surprised that Kevin Millwood lasted the entire game. He labored a little bit in the fourth by giving up those four runs (more on that shortly), but he ended up pitching all eight innings and only gave up six hits and three walks while striking out four. He wasn't as good as Hernandez, but there's nothing wrong with giving up four runs in eight innings. Millwood, now 0-3 despite a 3.37 ERA, has deserved better.

I called for Justin Turner to get more playing time, but he didn't do anything constructive yesterday. Not only did he go 0-3 with two strikeouts at the plate, but an odd play at second base in the fourth opened up the Mariners' four-run inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Rob Johnson hit a ground ball to Turner. The ball was hit up the middle, but Turner was still able to get in front of it, yet his flip to second base didn't come quick enough and the runner (Matt Tuiasosopo), who hustled all the way, beat the flip. On the one hand, it was a great hustle play by Tuiasosopo, but on the other, it's a play that has to be made. Three more runs followed after that play, which essentially iced the game with Hernandez on the mound.

One bright spot: At least the O's don't play another late game until June.

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