Much like Eric Carmen crooning in Dirty Dancing, the O's had huuuuungry eyes for the da sweep. You know who else had huuuungry eyes? Jeremy Guthrie. Guthrie pitched 8.1 innings, 5 strikeouts, 1 walk, and lowered his ERA from 4.13 to 3.94. I haven't checked any pitchFX data but he threw a lot of fastballs in the 91 to 94 MPH range with great location. The Angels mustered up a lot of flyballs but it seemed like none of the hitters could square up on Guts. He ran into some trouble in the 9th but Buck deftly managed the pen to bring home the win. Gut's opponent, Jered Weaver also pitched an excellent game. He mostly used a 88-90 MPH fastball and a 70 MPH change up in working his way through the lineup the first time. He then switched to fastballs and 78 MPH breaking balls to work his way through the lineup the second time before working back in his change up during the third time through the line up and later. Despite a pretty mediocre fastball, he kept hitters off balance by changing speeds and staying within the strike zone. The O's finally broke through in the seventh after Matt Wieters hit a deep sacrifice fly ball to left field to bring home Luke Scott for the game's only run.
Other than the top of the seventh, there were three critical sequences in the game. First, Josh Bell came rumbling home from second base in the 6th inning after Nick Markakis hit a single. I haven't seen the replay yet, but I thought Bell was clearly safe and I had a really nice view from my seats. From what I saw, he ran into Mathis while missing the plate but Mathis never put down a tag. Bell then reached for the plate for the first run of the game. Home plate Brian Gorman saw differently and called Bell out. Second, the Angels had runners on first and third in the bottom of the sixth before Guthrie managed to induce an inning ending, double play ball from Howie Kendrick. And lastly, Reggie Willits led off the 9th with a double to right field. I wouldn't say it was a cheap double but, to nitpick, Corey Patterson fielded the ball and threw it weakly to second base when he should have allowed Nick Markakis to field and throw it because Nicky would have had better momentum. Howie Kendrick followed with a single leading to runners on first and third with one out and lefty Bobby Abreu coming up. Buck brings in Mike Gonzalez to create a situational match up. Lefties have an OPS of 1.001 against Gonzo this year, but he's been much better since coming off the DL. Gonzo rewards Buck by striking out Abreu; Buck then brings in Koji to face Torii "Big Game" Hunter, at least that's what the signs said at Angels Stadium, who flied out to end the game. Game Over. The rally monkey goes back to Ross' apartment where he belongs.
Overall, the game was a pitching duel between Guthrie and Weaver who tautly traded moves like Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. I'm not going to get into who pitched the better game. Both pitched great, but in the end Guthrie gets the W and the Weave goes back to the corner.
302 votes total
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