Sure it's the Yankees, but how much antipathy can you work up for Freddy Garcia? Raul Ibanez? Ichiro!? At times it felt like the Orioles were playing the 2006 Mariners. Remember those intense battles against the 2006 Mariners? Neither do I, although something tells me Ichiro! would have gone 4-4 off Daniel Cabera if only Cabrera could get through 5. Anywho.
To that actual game: Miguel Gonzalez, he of the averagish ERA of 4.58 but not as pretty FIP of 5.50 and WHIP of 1.46, faced off against the infamous Yankees, who have been averaging 4 runs over thier last 10. I'm not really sure what to make of Gonzalez, and tonight would not change the meter all that much.
After an easy first and some careless baserunning in the second by Adam Jones, the Yankees opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Ibanez would single, get to second on a balk and score on a groundball hit to right off the bat of Eric Chavez. Wilson Betemit would lead off the top of the third with a homer to tie the game. In the bottom of the third, relevant of nothing, Fred Manfra noted that Derek Jeter "respects the game" which likely increased my blood pressure, if ever so slightly.
The Orioles would break through again in the 5th, following a lead off Betemit single who plodded along to third after a double off the bat of Mark Reynolds. Sacrifice flies may not be sexy, but Omar Quintanilla and Nick Markakis would each drive in a run via the sacrifice. To make those runs even sweeter, Markakis is well on his way to earning the label as a professional hitter. Speaking of people paid to play baseball for a living, Raul Ibanez would hit a homer in the bottom of the 5th, cutting the lead in half. Manfra would describe Ibanez's blast as a "pretty well hit ball," in case you were curious.
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After retiring Swisher and Ibanez, Gonzalez gave up a homer to Eric Chavez. Following a coaching visit, Gonzalez than suffered the indiginity of surrendering Ichiro's first homer as a Yankee, and his 100th career. And on comes Darren O'Day. He would do his thing, and retire Russell Martin. Nothing especially interesting happened in the 8th, outside of Mark Teixeira being pulled. Pedro Strop took care of business in the bottom of the 8th. Both teams would threaten in the 9th, but neither would score. For some reason a Yankee fan in the first rown behind home plate was flashing the crowd. He may or may not be a typical Yankee fan.
In the end, I am trying what to make of Gonzalez. On one hand, he's 28 and has bounced around. His FIP is still well over 5. On the flip side, through six and two thirds tonight, he was 4 hitting the Yankees. He likely won't amount to very much, for tonight he was on it.
Orioles win, now let's hope the Orioles don't do anything stupid at the trade deadline!