Angels 17, Orioles 8 (13 innings): Marathon game ends in a whimper

This won't be a proper recap as I missed most of the game, but a game like this needs a post game, so here you go.

I had a wedding shower to attend today at 2 p.m. and was a little annoyed at having to miss the game. My favorite way to spend a Sunday in the summertime is lazing around the house, watching the O's game in between naps, gearing myself up for work the next day. I listened to the first inning on the radio in the car and by the time I got to the party I wasn't feeling so bad about missing it considering the way that particular inning went (Guthrie gave up three runs in the top, O's went 1-2-3 in the bottom).

Towards the end of the shower I checked my phone, thinking I'd see the final score. Instead what I saw was the O's down by 1 in the bottom of the 9th with Brian Roberts on 2nd base via his 45th double of the year. I felt a glimmer of hope. When I checked the phone a few minutes later, the game was tied via a sacrifice fly by Adam Jones. The party had pretty much broken up, so I hastily said my goodbyes and ran out to my car to listen to the game. I got there just as the bottom of the 9th was ending with the scored tied 8-8.

How did it get that way? Guthrie pitched another bad game, allowing 7 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks in 5.2 innings. About the only good thing you can say about Guthrie's outing is that he made it into the 6th. Had this only been a 9 inning game that could have been important in keeping the bullpen rested for tomorrow's finale. That turned out to be a moot point as the bullpen got totally wrecked with Cla Meredith being the only pitcher left in the bullpen at the end of the game. Following Guthrie in the game was Mark Hendrickson, Chris Ray, Danys Baez, Jim Johnson, Brian Bass, and Matt Albers, with those last two doing the more damage that should ever be allowed by a major league reliever. 

For the offense, most of the team contributed in scoring those 8 runs. Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, and Luke Scott all homered. Roberts, Reimold, Moeller, Scott, Wigginton, and Andino doubled. The 8 RBIs came from 6 different players, and the tying run in the 9th scored when Brian Roberts doubled, stole third, and scored on a sacrifice fly (we call that sequence of events "Brian being Brian") that was just inches from being a walk off HR for Adam Jones.

But back to the part of the game I witnessed. Jim Johnson came on to pitch the top of the 10th and was just great, retiring the side in order with a strikeout and two groundouts. The offense was unable to do anything in the bottom of the 10th, and JJ returned for the 11th and immediately got into trouble, giving up a single and two walks to load the bases with one out. Torii Hunter lined the first pitch he saw to Brian Roberts who threw to Huff at first to double up Kendry Morales.

The O's went quietly again in the 11th, with only Nick Markakis getting on base with a two out single. Brian Bass took over for JJ in the top of the 12th and I felt an immediate sense of impending doom. Brian Bass, who was the bullpen rock early in the season, has been just awful for quite some time now, and today was no different. After a leadoff groundout, Bass allowed back-to-back singles and hit Chone Figgins to load the bases. But for the second straight inning the Orioles would be on the good side of an awesome double play. Maicer Izturis chopped a ball towards first. Aubrey Huff made a nice pick, went home for the first out and go to first to receive the throw from Matt Wieters and complete the 3-2-3 double play.

Despite his horrible 12th, Brian Bass returned to the mound in the 13th (the O's offense again went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 12th). Again he was bad, this time giving up 4 straight singles to put the Angels up 9-8. With the bases loaded an no outs, Dave Trembley turned to Matt Albers. Albers has been straight up awful in the month of August, giving up 11 ER in just 5 IP.

This, friends, is when it got just awful. I kept wanting to change the channel, to flip over to the PGA Championship, but I couldn't. It was a train wreck. Here is the play log courtesy of Yahoo!:

- M. Albers relieved B. Bass
- E. Aybar singled to right, J. Rivera and K. Morales scored, T. Hunter to third
- M. Napoli struck out swinging, E. Aybar stole second
- H. Kendrick grounded out to third, T. Hunter scored, E. Aybar to third
- C. Figgins doubled to right, E. Aybar scored
- M. Izturis singled to shallow left, C. Figgins scored
- B. Abreu walked, M. Izturis to second
- J. Rivera homered to left, M. Izturis and B. Abreu scored
- K. Morales grounded out to first

When it was all said and done, the Angels had scored 9 runs in the 13th inning, which I have to think is some kind of record. The Orioles batters struck out 1-2-3 to end the game. What an awful way to lose in extra innings, although it was just so absurd that it was at least a little comical there at the end.

O's look to split the series tomorrow as David Hernandez faces off against Ervin Santana. I hope young David is prepared to pitch a complete game because the bullpen needs a day to recuperate. Although getting rid of Bass and Albers and replacing them with Mickolio and another AAA'er would certainly help.

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