Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer have this habit that's getting increasingly annoying: They try to sell we, the fans, on George Sherrill being "exciting."
This is a nice way of saying he stinks. Sherrill hasn't been pitching well since the All-Star break last season, and he wasn't that good prior to it, either. He was a horribly undeserving All-Star last season, and his starring in that game really means little all things considered.
With a 7-3 lead inherited going into the bottom of the 10th inning tonight, Sherrill did his all-too-familiar gimmick: 1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER. He managed to get Josh Hamilton to hit into a fielder's choice at third, which made the game 7-5. He got the next two batters (Blalock and Cruz) on long fly balls.
It's gotten to be way, way too much is all. There's a problem with our closer situation that needs to be looked at, but instead everyone laughs it off like, "Oh well! Hey, it's always fun!"
It's not fun. It's never fun when you're pins-and-needles every single time the closer comes in. We're talking about handing the closer a four-run lead and it never felt safe. That's not right, and it's going to kill the team in close games eventually. Period.
Other than Georgie, the bullpen tonight was outstanding. Alfredo Simon left after 1.1 IP with an injury, after allowing four hits, three of which were solo home runs. It was noted in the comments, and as much as I wanted to be positive about the team actually rewarding results, watching Simon pitch to major league hitters makes it clear: This guy is not a major league starter. Not close. Not even close.
Dennis Sarfate came on in emergency relief, and gave us 3.1 innings of one-hit ball. His fastball seemed to lack some bite, but he was effective. Chris Ray (1.1 IP), Jamie Walker (IP) and Jim Johnson (2 IP) held the Rangers in check for the remainder of the scheduled nine.
In the 10th, the O's went up 5-3 on an absolutel blast of a two-run homer from Adam Jones, and got two more from Luke Scott on a double. It should've been more than enough. Turns out it was pretty much just enough.
Scott also had a solo homer in the fourth. Aubrey Huff hit his first jack of the year in the second.
- Gary and Jim sang a song tonight.
- Jamie Walker bought the team cowboy boots. Koji Uehara was particularly thrilled.
- It's nice to be 6-2, and this has been mostly fun to watch, but you look at how we're winning (often too close for comfort) and how we're losing (blown off the field) and it makes you realize how unlikely this all has been so far. If this kept up over a full season, it would be utterly ridiculous.
- That said, the win clinches the O's third straight series win. They took two of three from the Yankees and the same from the Rays. If we can avoid being destroyed in the third game of the series against Texas as we were against NY and TB, that'd be butter.