I left my house today just as Koji finished the 6th inning and the Orioles were up 3-1. I left my beloved birds to see Star Trek with my dad and after seeing the end result, I undoubtedly made the right decision. The movie was awesome and the end of the O's game was definitely not.
Koji Uehara had another good outing today. He's become the most consistent pitcher on the team by far. After allowing a first inning home run to Mark Teixeira, Koji settled down nicely. He allowed six hits but spaced them out perfectly. 2 hits in the first then 1 hit in innings 2-5. He finished the sixth inning 1-2-3. In hindsight it's easy to say that Koji should have been left in for the 7th, but I don't know. He'd thrown 94 pitches and has regularly started to tire around that time. They could have waited for him to show his tiredness, I suppose, but then he'd already be in trouble. I have no beef with him coming out of the game. His final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
The bullpen meltdown came from two unlikely pitchers. Jamie Walker was brought in to start the 7th. Jamie has had a great bounce back year so far, having only allowed 1 ER in 13 appearances. He wasn't so effective today, giving up a home run to the slumping Robinson Cano. He did retire Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera and left the inning to Jim Johnson to close out. Jim had some bad luck as Francisco Cervelli and Derek Jeter both reached on infield hits. Unfortunately not retiring either of those guys left the door open for Johnny Damon who has been on a tear lately. Damon made the O's pay for not retiring Cervelli and Jeter with his 9th home run of the year. That made the score 5-3, where it would stay.
The O's offense of the day came entirely on a 3 run home run by Aubrey Huff in the first inning. With Brian Roberts and Adam Jones on base, Aubrey crushed one to right center field. As he reached first base, Aubrey gave a dramatic fist pump in the direction of Joba Chamberlain and another as he crossed home plate. It was later revealed that the players had a meeting about Joba and how they felt he sometimes showed disrespect with his emotional outbursts. It was apparantly decided in this meeting that the O's would show him what's it like if given the chance, and Aubrey did just that. For the record, here is what Huff had to say after the game:
He does that stuff all the time as a pitcher, so I was just having a little fun with him out there. That’s just part of the game. You get excited in situations like that. I wasn’t showing anybody up. I was just having a good time.
It’s OK if pitchers do it. If batters do it, it’s kind of stupid. Everybody kind of frowns on it. So I wanted to have fun with it. I’m kind of a jokester guy; I enjoy messing around and stuff like that. It wasn’t a shot at him. He can do what he wants out there.
Joba got the last laugh, however, as he didn't allow another run and held on for the win. I think it was Jim Hunter who said that perhaps Aubrey's demonstration gave Joba just what he needed to bear down and be effective. I don't know about that, but I do know that I thought what Aubrey did was awesome, and so did Jim Palmer.
Not too many choices for MBP today, but here we go: