Bruce Chen is the freakin' man. Buck Martinez constantly noted how similar he was to Jamie Moyer tonight, and I think that's a fair enough comparison, at least for this game. Chen worked corner-to-corner, changed speeds, and really kept the Yankees off-balance with his changeup. His curve was sharp and he threw his heater for strikes when he thought he could sneak it in there.
The back-to-back homers from Tejada and Sosa that sparked the huge seven-run sixth inning were glorious, the kind of thing that makes you get up and clap your hands and think that this silly group might do something.
More and more every day, I am growing to love this group of players like I haven't loved an Oriole team in a long time. There's personality and confidence. The batters know they're expected to hit and they are. Lopez, Chen and Bedard are holding up their end of the bargain, and the bullpen, despite some problems, still seems fair enough to me on paper.
Now, there's only Raffy Palmeiro, who is just sort of looking overmatched at the plate right now, like he doesn't know if he's trying to hit singles or home runs, where the pitch is ever going to be. He's gotten good wood on the ball only a couple of times.
But whatever - we're 6-4 and 3-1 against the New York Yankees, and for ten games, that is cause for a salute to this club. We won five games against New York last year, so this has been a lot of fun.
Also, I want to send well wishes to bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks, who is currently hospitalized in Florida and continues to have tests run after suffering dizziness and numbness in his left side yesterday. Elrod has been an Oriole for 37 years as a player and coach. He was also very briefly a Cub and very briefly a Yankee.
The deal that sent him to New York in 1976 (with Doyle Alexander, Jimmy Freeman, Ken Holtzman and Grant Jackson) brought 1983 World Series champion team members Rick Dempsey (another current Oriole coach), Tippy Martinez and Scott McGregor to Baltimore. I was one year old, so when the Orioles last won a World Series, I literally crapped my pants.
Tomorrow's game is at 4:35.