I was at tonight's game, sitting up in the left field upper deck. Got my Aubrey Huff t-shirt, the O's won, all is well.
But let's face it, that was an ugly, ugly win. Mark Hendrickson was garbage. The baserunning was pathetic. The defense was shaky. Luckily, the few awesome things about the game were enough to get the W.
Like I said, Mark Hendrickson was just awful. AWFUL. The Rays knocked him all over the place in the 2nd inning, scoring 5 runs on 5 hits, a walk, and a sacrifice fly. Frankly, Hendrickson was lucky they didn't score more.
The O's gave the Rays a taste of their own medicine in the bottom of the 2nd, scoring 5 themselves. With Melvin Mora on first base, Lou Montanez hit a beautiful double to right field to score Melvin. Gregg Zaun followed with a single to right-center, and for unknown reasons Juan Samuel waved Montanez in despite the fact that Gabe Kapler came up with the ball before Montanez got to third. From where I was sitting, it looked like he was out by a mile. After a Pie walk, Izturis singled and Juan Samuel wisely held Zaun at third. With the bases loaded, Brian Roberts hit a sky high pop up to shallow center. It fell just in front of BJ Upton, who fired to 2nd to get Izturis, who appeared to be sauntering into 2nd base. Run, Cesar! For crying out loud! Zaun did score from third, thankfully.
Up to the plate stepped Adam Jones, who was tired of these pop ups and base running blunders. He crushed a 3 run home run to left field. It was just gorgeous, and also his second home run in as many innings, as he'd just hit a solo HR in the first. Words cannot express how happy Adam Jones makes me. Everything about him makes me giddy. Well, everything except how he dropped that fly ball in left field tonight. That bummed me out, although I imagined how upset Adam must have been at himself and couldn't be too mad. I said aloud, "Adam must be so upset at himself. I bet he needs a hug" and my 14 year old sister replied, "Oh, I'll give him a hug." I've taught her well.
Dave Trembley wasn't taking any chances by allowing Mark Hendrickson to return to the field. He brought in Brian Bass to start the third and Bass shut down the Rays, plain and simple. He pitched four innings allowing just three hits. Danys Baez, Jim Johnson, and George Sherrill pitched the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings respectively. They each walked one batter, just to make it interesting, but finished the game without incident.
The Rays and O's close out the series tomorrow as it's another one of these bizarre two game deals. Jeff Niemann goes up against Brad Bergesen as the O's go for their 5th win of the season vs. the Rays (they only won 3 against them in all of 2008).