Angels 13, Orioles 1: A game worth ignoring

Yeah. Pretty much.

I knew tonight that I'd miss the start of the baseball game because instead I'd be attending my niece's 8th birthday party. But the birthday parties of eight year olds don't last too long and I figured Jason Hammel would keep it on lock down until I had a chance to turn the game on in the car on the way home.

That didn't exactly happen. We tuned in to hear Tom Davis calling play-by-play just as Chris Davis struck out in the bottom of the third inning with the Angels leading 3-1. "Really, Jason Hammel? Three runs already?" I said to the radio. Turns out that after Hammel had given up a home run to Torii Hunter in the top of the first inning, the O's came back to tie it in the bottom of the inning when Adam Jones doubled in Chris Davis. But the Angels had added two more in the top of the third thanks to a 2-RBI single from Kendrys Morales.

So there we were in the car, listening to the top of the fourth inning. Alberto Callaspo doubled, then came around to score on a single from Howard Kendrick. Can someone please tell me when he stopped being called Howie Kendrick? I prefer Howie, and you'll note that the SBN auto tagger agrees with me. At any rate, Hammel got an out but then gave up a single to put runners on the corners. That's when fill-in announcer Tom Davis, who is keeping Fred Manfra's seat warm while Fred suns himself on the beach or something, said, "And here comes Buck Showalter to the mound, that'll be it for Hammel. Well, maybe they aren't taking him out. Actually that's Rick Adair."

Whatever Adair said had little effect as the next batter, Mike Trout, hit an RBI single to the pitcher. I don't really know how that even happens and Tom Davis wasn't interested in explaining it to me, but it sounded ridiculous. So I said to my traveling companion, "Mind if we turn this off?" We switched to 90s on 9 and jammed out to some Paula Abdul for the rest of the drive home.

I wanted to give the Orioles a chance to get their acts together, so when we got home we decided to watch a new summer series called The Great Escape, which pits three teams against each other in a race to get through some obstacles and such and "escape" their surroundings, which tonight was Alcatraz. The show wasn't that great, but when it ended and I turned the baseball game back on, I realized I'd definitely been watching the better of two options.

The score at that point was 11-1 in favor of the Angels, and Darren O'Day had just come in to pitch. It seems that after I turned the radio off on the drive home, the Orioles had gone error happy and that, combined with an intentional walk, a stolen base, and four singles had resulted in four more runs and a 9-1 Angels lead. The hits kept on coming in the fifth inning when new pitcher Kevin Gregg got the first two outs then loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Gregg then got Morales to hit a ground ball to second base that looked like it would be the final out. But Brian Roberts let the ball go through his legs and two more runs scored. Oh, Brian.

So with the score 11-1 I watched Darren O'Day give up a double to Bobby Wilson to start the sixth inning. That was all I needed to switch to something new. The boyfriend and I have been working our way through The X-Files so we thought an episode of that would be better than seeing the Angels score more runs. We're in the third season and the episode we watched was titled Oubliette. The plot revolved around a girl who had been abducted (by a pedophile, not an alien) years ago going through the same trauma that the current abductee was facing. Of course Mulder figured out what was happening right away, as he tends to do. It wasn't the best episode in that outstanding series, but just like The Great Escape before it, was preferable to the game.

While we were mocking the wardrobe of early X-Files Scully, O'Day struck out Trout and Hunter to get two outs, but then gave up back-to-back RBI hits to Peter Bourjos and Morales to give the final score of 13-1. Dana Eveland, fresh off paternity leave, pitched two scoreless innings to close out the game.

You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned the Orioles offense since the second paragraph. Well, that's because it sucked. J.J. Hardy almost homered but was robbed by a sensational catch from Trout. Angels starter Jered Weaver held the Orioles to 6 hits over 6 2/3 innings, and five of those hits were singles. Former Orioles LaTroy Hawkins pitched 2/3 of an inning without allowing a baserunner, and David Carpenter finished it up.

As our episode of TXF ended and we went back to the game, we saw Rick Dempsey and Tom Davis on the set of O's extra with the scoreboard glowing 13-1 behind them. Not a bad game to miss, really.

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