Sunday, April 19, 2009

Red Sox 2 Orioles 1

There will be no 4th straight series win for the Orioles as they lost their 4th straight game and 3rd in a row to the Boston Red Sox.

This time around, the O's actually got a very good outing from Koji Uehara but couldn't get anything off Sox starter Jon Lester and when they did have chances, they couldn't deliver the big hit.

Uehara deserved better today as he held the Red Sox at bay over 7 strong innings. The only runs he gave up were a Paul O'Neill/Jorge Posada Memorial Bloop RBI Single (Posada and O'Neill were/are the masters of "excuse me" hits) to Mike Lowell and an RBI single to Dustin Pedroia. For most of the game, the O's couldn't touch Lester, who struck out 9. And when they did get some guys on base, the couldn't get them in, as witnessed by getting two on with none out in the sixth. Robert Andino had singled and Brian Roberts walked, and for the first time all day, Lester looked vunerable. But Felix Pie and Nick Markakis struck out and Aubrey Huff grounded out to end the O's rally. The O's only run came off Takashi Saito and even then, they squandered an opportunity for a big inning. Nick Markakis and Huff hit back-to-back singles but then Ty Wigginton hit into a fielder's choice (scoring Markakis but giving the Sox an out), Luke Scott flied out and Gregg Zaun, pinch-hitting for Ryan Freel, struck out to end the game. All told, the Orioles left 6 more men on base today.

Some Hangar Observations:

- Adam Jones left the game in the first inning after pulling up lame running out a ground ball. The postgame report says it was a sore hamstring. Not good.

- Felix Pie replaced Jones and turned several of the balls hit to him in center field into an advensture. At the plate, Pie came to the O's with a reputation as a big whiffer and so far he hasn't disappointed in the season's first two weeks. He's struck out 6 times in his last 12 at-bats. Somebody on the Orioles coaching staff needs to channel his inner Lou Brown and somehow convince Pie that with his speed he should be hitting the ball on the ground and legging them out. Perhaps make him do 50 pushups for everytime he hits the ball in the air? Pie is a guy with the skill-set to be another Al Bumbry/Omar Moreno type but goes to the plate with the mentality of Rob Deer. He's a slasher who thinks he's a home run hitter.

- It's not good for your offense when the light-hitting Andino is your best hitter.

- Ryan Freel has already begun complaining about playing time. Um, Ryan, when you're 1-for-14 it's hard to complain about PT. Here's a hint: Stop chasing balls up in your eyes like you did today. And when you do get in, get on base and rack up steals. It's the only way you're getting to get at-bats. If you're not doing that you're pretty much useless to this club.

- Chad Moeller did make a nice catch in the stands. Unlike Freel, Moeller at least does something when he gets in there. The shame is, he's likely to be out of a job the minute Matt Wieters shows up.

- Does David Ortiz look like he aged in dog years or what? He looks like the guy that got released by Minnesota back in the day, not the feared Big Papi. Injuries and not having Manny Ramirez around can do that but still, it's odd watching Ortiz struggle to hit pitches he either would have taken or mashed into the bleachers just 3 years ago. He's looked awful in a series where, most of the time, the Sox have been feasting on Orioles pitching.

- Brad Bergeson, who was the O's minor league pitcher of the year last year, will be getting the call on Tuesday against Chicago.

So one more O's loss in the bank. I knew I should have taken a picture of that 6-2 record, it would have lasted longer. One more game in Boston tomorrow at 11 a.m. for Patriots Day up there before coming home. With Mark Hendrickson on the mound, the potential for ugliness is at Defcon 4. But until then, one last time, let's get Otto von Bismarck's thoughts on the game.


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