June 23, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Who knows where this ball may end up. Probably not in the Mark Reynolds Glove Region. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
There are some games that just seem like after the first inning there is no shot of even winning the game. This was one of those days. The offense made Edwin Jackson throw just 8 pitches in the first inning and from that you could tell, it was going to be a low scoring game for the Orioles. Indeed, the Orioles would score just one run, on a solo homer by Adam Jones, as the Oriole offense continues to be beyond bad, needing gems from starters to win.
The difference in this game was an error by Wilson Betemit which allowed two runs to score on a routine ground ball with two outs. Despite the fact that only one of the runs scoring on the play was called unearned, it's safe to say that the play determined the outcome of this game. Wei-Yin Chen pitched a solid game otherwise, only going 5 innings, he gave up a solo homer to Adam LaRoche as the only other run in the game. With another great outing from the bullpen, the pitching was there to win this game, but failures in the field and at the plate sunk the Orioles in this one.
Chen started off the first inning by working quickly and throwing strikes getting a 1,2,3 inning thanks to a little help from his defense. Unfortunately, the O's also went down 1,2,3, in their half of the inning making Edwin Jackson throw only 8 pitches.
To start off the second, Michael Morse had an 8 pitch at-bat and then roped a single to right. LaRoche would also grab a two strike hit and Chen was in trouble early with runners on at first and second and nobody out. Chen got Ian Desmond to ground out, but the runners moved up to second and third with one out. Chen was able to get a big time strikeout against the number seven hitter, Tyler Moore, with an up and in fastball. Then with a .160 hitter at the plate Wilson Betemit would prove, once again, why opposing hitters should just hit the ball to him. Xavier Nady hit a slow bouncer which Betemit ranged to his right to glove, then did his signature spin move before throwing a low ball to Reynolds which Mark couldn't scoop. This resulted in two runs scoring. Chen would get the next hitter to ground out to JJ Hardy to end the inning, but not before Wilson Betemit did his damage.
To start off the 4th Adam LaRoche hit a solo bomb, giving the Nationals a three run lead. Tyler Moore grabbed a one out single. He then walked Xavier Nady on four pitches. Chen then got a double play ball hit back to him, but he bobbled it and only got the one out at first base. He was able to avoid anything more than the one run after getting Espinosa to pop out.
In the bottom of the fifth Adam Jones hit a 2-1 pitch to 3rd which Zimmerman couldn't field giving the Orioles their first baserunner. Wieters would fly out to bring up Wilson Betemit up with 1 out. Having already had a rough day, Wilson was able to get a little bit of goodwill back with a base knock to right field moving AJ to third. Reynolds was unable to drive in a run though, swinging at multiple breaking pitches out of the zone and striking out. Nick Johnson then worked a 5 pitch walk. That would load the bases for Steve Pearce. All Pearce could do was whiff at the first pitch and then pop up the second pitch. A classic Oriole at-bat.
Adam Jones finally got the Orioles on the board in the bottom of the 7th with a line drive solo home run over the left field fence. After a deep Wieters fly out, Betemit got a single, his second of the game. Reynolds worked a full count with one out and one on, and roped a single to left, knocking Edwin Jackson out of the game. That's when former Oriole, and scrooge of Camden Chat and Orioles fans everywhere, Michael Gonzalez came in. To avoid the lefty-lefty matchup, Buck put Ronny Paulino in to pinch hit for Nick Johnson. Paulino then lined one up the middle that Ian Desmond grabbed as it headed into center field; he then stepped on second base for the double play. Another chance for runs gone by the wayside for the Orioles.
In the bottom of the 8thSean Burnett came in for Washington. With one out, Brian Roberts worked a nice at bat and on the 13th pitch of the at bat he smacked a single back up the middle, bringing up JJ Hardy as the tying run. Hardy, 0-3 already on the day, worked the count as well. But on a 2-2 pitch he bounced into ANOTHER double play. It's so predictable, and so exhausting to see it happen time and time again.
Against Tyler Clippard in the 9th, Chris Davis led off with a fly out, making him 0 for his last 28. Adam Jones would get to a full count before striking out. With 2 down, Wieters would bounce out to second to end the agony.
Darren O'Day came in for the 6th inning which was scoreless thanks to a double play. Luis Ayala came in to pitch a scoreless 7th inning. Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless 8th inning and Troy Patton pitched a scoreless top of the 9th.