Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The Orioles blew a game they really should have won last night.
Are you surprised?
It's becoming a common occurrence to turn the game on, see that the Orioles are winning by 2-3 runs in the 6th or 7th inning, and then change the channel knowing that they will find a way to lose.
And the Orioles did just that last night.
Brian Matusz pitched a brilliant game last night until the 8th inning, holding the Rays to zero runs in the first seven innings he pitched. He struck out 8 batters and walked only one. He'd allowed just 2 hits until the ill-fated 8th inning. After striking out the lead-off hitter, Matusz allowed four hits, and left the game with the bases loaded and a 3-1 lead.
Jim Johnson finally relieved Matusz, and got Ben "The Oriole Killer" Zobrist to pop out, but Johnson couldn't get Evan "The Oriole Murderer" Longoria to end the threat. Longoria doubled in 2 runs to tie the game at 3.
That's when I turned off the game, knowing the final outcome before it happened.
Unseen by me, the Rays got 2 more runs that inning, to go ahead 5-3. But Luke Scott tied the game in the bottom of the 8th on a pinch-hit 2-run home run that tied the game back up.
He was just delaying the inevitable.
The game went into extra innings, where Carlos "The Oriole Slaughterer" Pena hit a three run home run off Matt Albers in the top of the 10th to put the Rays up 8-5. The O's scored another run on a garbage Ty Wigginton home run in the bottom of the inning and lost 8-6.
It was a game that could have got the Orioles off a 4-game slide and given them a chance to come back this afternoon and win the series against the Rays.
Instead, the O's are hoping to avoid a winless home stand to open the season.
Trembley and Albers are the goats of this one. Trembley continues to flunk Pitching Management 101. After failing to remove an obviously fatigued Matusz in the 8th inning, the damage was done. Johnson was thrown to the wolves, having to face the heart of the Rays line-up with bases loaded and 1 out. And in the 10th, Trembley was forced to go to Albers, after Albers had pitched 2 days straight before last night, including an unnecessary outing on Monday night while down 4-1 to the Rays in the top of the 9th. And when Albers entered the game last night, he walked two and promptly allowed the 3-run bomb to Pena.
I'll be surprised if Albers is still an Oriole when the team makes the trip out west. He's just not good. But had he not pitched on Monday night in a game that was already lost, he might have been able to minimize the damage last night.
So there you have it. The Orioles are 1-7 and in the middle of a 5-game losing streak. They wrap up this miserable home stand this afternoon, before flying out west where they face the A's and Mariners before flying to Boston.
You almost have to feel sorry for Dave Trembley, who is now officially on the hot seat.