What can be said about tonight's win against the Philadelphia Phillies? I'm sure that a lot of folks felt like me, upset for spending more than two hours watching the game just to have THAT happen. And by that, I mean a three run home run by Ryan Howard in the 7th inning to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead. And if you weren't listening, Howard was in the hospital with a 104 fever last night, so this was all set to get played up on ESPN and everything.
And I'm sure a lot of folks ALSO felt like me, and said to themselves that it was late in the game, might as well stick around for the rest of it, unless something really bad happened. You never know what could happen, but it did not look good. The reason I was personally pretty upset, and why I still don't feel super-elated (but elated, definitely), was that Howard's homerun shouldn't have given them the lead. The Orioles should have been ahead 7-5, or at the very least, a tie game.
And that is because the Orioles left 14 runners on base. Only one (or two) of those 14 runners came after a two-out, bases empty reach. We horribly left runners on tonight. In fact, the folks in the gamethread were doing inning by inning tallies. Hold on, it's not going to sound good. I'll get the ugly one out of the way first: Luke Scott struck out with the bases loaded in the first inning. Two hits and two walks resulted in no runs. The Orioles left two more on in the second. And thanks to Timmy L. , I can tell that we had 9 LOB through 5.
The Birds did score three runs through all of this, however. Adam Jones did his best Willy Mayes Hayes impression in the fifth, bunting for an infield hit with none on, and then motoring all the around on AUbrey Huff's double. In the next inning, Robert Andino hit a double, and the Orioles used a sac hit from Bergesen and a sac fly from Roberts to bring him home. After adding one more in the 7th, it was 3-0 Birds with the Hambergeresen still on the mound. What happened next was horrible, yet almost predictable looking back on it (an oxymoron, sure). He fell apart, really really fast. After four straight hits, Trembley pulled him for Baez. Baez got an out, and that happened, and then he got the other out. After 7, the Phillies had a 5-3 lead with only six outs they had to get.
The 8th inning went by quickly, which probably helped a lot of us stick around to see the 9th. It's hard to ever leave a baseball game in the 9th inning. Baseball, obviously, doesn't end after a set time limit or anything like that. No, the Orioles themselves get to choose when the game would end.
The Phillies closer Ryan Madson who had already blown two saves this week got things started off by getting rid of Wigginton. As I was watching, I was looking foward to something like Reimold, Wieters coming up. Although many in the game thread were incensed by the non-PH for ZAUN, he did already have two hits on the night. He was also super-scruffy looking tonight. Gritty. And socks up. All of those things added up for his third hit, an absolute monster shot, a dozen or so rows back in right. It was a no-doubter even before the camera shot got turned around. With only two outs left, our birds were only down by one. Still not promising. Still deserved to lose for not driving in all of those runners.
Nolan Reimold was pinch hit for Andino, who had a hell of a night himself. He caught everything, made great throws, got a couple hits, scored a run. Nolan popped to third for the second out. With not much power coming up in the line-up, it still didn't look promising. Trembley inserted Oscar Salazar to pinch hit for the pitcher, and the not-hard hit ball magically found its' way between first and second for a basehit. We inserted Pie as a runner. Noooow we're talking. I could do a whole post just about what our defense could look like in the bottom of the inning. But there was not a bottom of the inning to be played just yet.
Roberts came to bat, and that, my friends, is where this story gets a happy ending. A line drive home run for the lead! I was watching TV through a window in the backyard (drinking and smoking), and being outside awarded me and my "homies" the opportunity to jump up and down a lot. And that's what I'll remember the most from this game. Just jumping for joy.
George Sherrill got the final three outs quickly and without drama. Wigginton was the shortstop at the time.
I don't want to jinx anything, but I have a final note: The Orioles are going to have a winning record on Sunday games after last Sunday's game. I feel change afoot.
Most BIRDLAND player for 6/20/09
Brian Roberts (4 RBI, GW HR in 9th) (150 votes)
Robert Andino (Glovework, two hits, run) (16 votes)
Gregg ZAUN (3 hits, solo HR in 9th) (12 votes)
Brad Bergesen (6.1 IP, only stopped looking great at the end) (7 votes)
Dave Trembley (for outsmarting everyone about pinch hitting) (10 votes)
195 total votes