So, my car today is at the Firestone store getting new tires. As I begin my wait and sit to write this, the first guy through the door is wearing a Red Sox cap … so of course, I’m all over him about the 13-inning Orioles win last night (being so bold since I actually know the guy).
But the second person through the door has a Cardinals cap, and so I say, “Well here comes another sinner – though not as bad as this first one” … and in a good-natured way, he tells me he is actually an Oakland A’s fan. So now, knowing his boys from the west beat the Yankees last night in 18 innings, I realize I have a new friend (since the enemy of my enemy is my friend – that sort of thinking).
While this is happening, the third guy through the door is wearing a Pirates cap. So I say, “What is going on around here, don’t you people know you are living in Maryland … the home of the Orioles?” And this fellow (not catching on to the baseball theme) takes off on a political rampage about living in Maryland – one that I heartily agree with – and even though he’s wearing that evil black hat, I realize I actually have made another friend.
The last guy through the door was by all appearances and speech a recent immigrant, and I don’t think he had any idea what everyone else was yucking it up about – but he was smiling at the crazy Americans and diversity on display!
After the bullpen (in the form of Brian Matusz) came into the game in the 7th inning and blew a 4-2 Orioles lead, I was sure that, in the event of a loss, the fan base would be calling for the head of Matusz in the same way they wanted Pedro Strop from the night before. (I have a full article on Strop on the Birds Watcher blog that you may read by clicking HERE.)
As it turned out, the 13-inning affair last night had much the look of the 2012 Orioles – hanging on and hanging on until they somehow squeak out a run to win the game.
And it indeed was a squeaky sort of score – made with a two-out walk to Nick Markakis, a solid single by Adam Jones, and then a “flare” that by good fortune and clean living of Chris Davis fell into left field between defenders. Game over.
A part of my delight along with the win was simply seeing the over-shift burned. I understand why most teams now do this, and surely the statistical analyses will prove it to be advantageous on most occasions. But the old-timer in me hopes that enough hitters break its effectiveness that it goes the way of white cleats and softball style shirts, and that this softball style defense disappears too.
It was good to see a pitcher get his first career win last night, and though it probably should have been Kevin Gausman, it turned out rather to be T.J. McFarland. Though Gausman did not go far enough to have it registered as a quality start, it was a good effort. The Orioles have now had eight good starts in the past 10 games… and they REALLY need another one tonight from Chris Tillman!
The Orioles have moved ahead of the Yankees now into second place. If only we could see a sweep this weekend, it would really tighten up the division. That is likely too much to hope for, since the only sweep this year has been a two-gamer over the Nationals. But this would be a great time for it to happen.
Oh boy… late news… Jake Arrieta is being brought up for bullpen depth. I’m going to go pray now for Chris Tillman to give us at least 8 innings.