Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Scenes from an ugly O's win

The Orioles beat the Blue Jays last night, 6-5, in what was not the best-played game of all time, to say the least. Still, the O's did get the win (in extra innings!), so it's not all bad.

Here were some of the good, and embarrassing, plays from the game. Some of these videos are embeddable, while others are not, which is weird.

Bottom of the 2nd: With the O's down 3-0, Matt Wieters jacks a two-run bomb to center field. That gives him 15 home runs for the season.

Bottom of the 4th: On a swinging bunt by Nolan Reimold, Brett Cecil makes the mistake of attempting an off-balanced throw to first, which allows Robert Andino to score from second, tying the game at 3. Cecil had no chance to get Reimold.

Top of the 5th: Can't find a video of this, but after a leadoff double by Eric Thames, Jose Bautista hits a pop-up in front of the pitcher's mound. Wieters is the guy to get under the ball first, but Mark Reynolds, playing first base, also has plenty of time to call Wieters off, since the play is easier for him to make. Reynolds doesn't call him off, and Wieters drops the ball. Luckily, with the bases loaded and no outs, the Blue Jays fail to score any runs after a double play and a fly out to center.

Bottom of the 5th: Still tied at 3, Vladimir Guerrero hits a double off the scoreboard in right field, scoring Adam Jones. Unfortunately, Guerrero tries to advance to third (with one out at the time) and is thrown out. Vlad seems to get thrown out a lot on the basepaths, or maybe I'm just imagining that. Either way, it was both a good and bad play for the O's. O's now lead, 4-3.

Bottom of the 7th/8th: Still up 4-3, the O's start off both innings by getting runners on first and second with no outs. In the seventh, Jones grounds into a double play, which basically kills the inning. But in the 8th, the O's try to play small ball, and it fails. There doesn't appear to be any video of Andino's adventures at the plate (more to come), but in this instance he doesn't get a very good bunt down, and the Blue Jays get the force out at third for the first out. After a Reimold walk to load the bases, Ryan Adams and J.J. Hardy are both retired to end the inning.

Top of the 9th: Here's where things get really crazy; predictably, Kevin Gregg is involved. In typical Gregg fashion, he allows a leadoff single and then walks Mike McCoy. So, yes, he allows both the eighth and ninth place hitters to reach base. With pinch-runner Dewayne Wise on second and McCoy on first, the Blue Jays, with Yunel Escobar, who, keep in mind, is trying to give himself up to advance the runners, end up with runners on second and third after the O's fail to cover both third and second while worrying about Escobar's potential bunt. Most of this disastrous play can be attributed to miscommunication, which is embarrassing. Miraculously, the Blue Jays only score one run on Escobar's sacrifice fly to right field. But even that play requires a diving catch by Nick Markakis. In the blown save, Gregg allowed a hit and three walks, while also throwing just nine strikes in 26 pitches. Can't wait to watch him next year, too!

Bottom of the 9th: The O's get another leadoff batter on (via a Markakis walk), but Jones grounds into another double play. Vlad then grounds out weakly to first. Extra innings!

Top of the 10th: Willie Eyre relieves Gregg and allows a leadoff triple to Kelly Johnson. Matt Angle, in for Reimold, probably overruns the play a bit, but either way there was no chance he was going to make the catch. With one out, Johnson scores from third on Eyre's wild pitch, giving Toronto a 5-4 lead.

Bottom of the 10th: Brian Tallet is in to pitch for the Blue Jays, and he helps out the O's by walking the first two hitters (Wieters and Reynolds). Andino is up next, and Buck Showalter asks him, again, to get a bunt down. Showcasing bad technique and understandably looking frustrated, Andino fails and ends up striking out after bunting the ball foul with two strikes. Thankfully, pinch-hitter Jake Fox ties the game with a single to right field (though, on the play Wieters got a horrible jump from second and probably could have been thrown out at home if Bautista is paying attention). Then with the winning run on third and one out, Ryan Adams hits a walk-off single that bounces on the warning track and over the fence in right field. O's win, 6-5.


There's not a whole lot to say, other than I wish allowed more of these videos to be embedded. I guess not enough of them were home runs. There were also some solid defensive plays that I didn't include, including a nice defensive play by both Andino and Reynolds. But, for the most part, this was an ugly game. Tom Emanski would not have approved.

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