The Orioles ended the season on a high note as they swept the Blue Jays for their fourth win in a row. It took 11 innings and a few errors by the Blue Jays, but they got it done. When I said prior to the first game that I wanted a sweep I didn't actually think it would happen, but I'm glad they listened.
Jeremy Guthrie had a personal goal this year of reaching 200 innings pitched, and going into today's game he was at 192.1. He ended up pitching 7.2 innings to give him 200 innings on the nose. He didn't pitch horribly, but he did do what we all expect him to: give up home runs. Three of them, to be exact. Overall he allowed 4 runs on 9 hits. I have high hopes that Guthrie will be able to bounce back in 2010. I don't have anything on which to base that, but I have those hopes all the same.
Nick Markakis had a good final game, collecting 2 hits to make his total on the year 188, the most on the team in 2009. With Brian Roberts on 2nd base in the first inning, Nick hit his 18th home run to give the O's a 2-1 lead. Guthrie gave back that lead with single runs in the 4th and 5th innings. In the bottom of the 6th inning the Orioles loaded the bases with zero outs but after a Matt Wieters ground out and a Markakis strike out it looked like they might waste their opportunity. With two outs Dave Trembley sent Justin Turner in to pinch hit for Melvein Mora. It seemed strange to pull Mora on his last game as an Oriole, but Melvin didn't seem upset at all. He was grinning on the bench receiving congratulations from his teammates, and it turned out to be a good move. Turner lined the first pitch he saw right up the middle to score Roberts and Andino and give the O's a 4-3 lead.
Between innings the fans gave Melvin Mora a standing ovation in appreciation of his years of service to the Orioles. I didn't see the entire game as I mostly checked in during commercials during the Ravens game. I did happen to see the ovation as well as Melvin's teammates giving him hugs and handshakes, and I admit I got a little emotional.
Just after all that, however, Guthrie unfortunately gave up the lead in the top of the 7th inning with another home run. After light hitting John McDonald hit his 4th HR of the year (and 2nd against the Orioles), the score remained tied at 4-4 until the bottom of the 11th, when the O's walked off with a little help from Toronto's pitcher Brandon League.
Michael Aubrey led off the 11th inning with a single, and Lou Montanez followed with a very good bunt up the first base line. League fielded with plenty of time to get Montanez, but threw the ball away. With runners on first and second with on zero outs, Jeff Fiorentino bunted in an attempt to get the winning run to third. Again League fielded, and AGAIN he made a throwing error. Michael Aubrey raced home to score the winning run and end the Orioles season.
For the final time, who was today's Most Birdland Player?
Nick Markakis (2 run HR) (68 votes)
Brian Roberts (2 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs, 1 stolen base) (63 votes)
Justin Turner (pinch hit 2 RBI single to give the O's the temporary lead) (35 votes)
Jeff Fiorentino (sac bunt that lead to the winning run) (7 votes)
173 total votes