The O's won their second straight low scoring game in a row against the Nationals. While the offense was pretty much non-existent, the Orioles bullpen turned in a gem of a game to keep the Nats to just one run.
Koji Uehara had to leave the game after pitching just three innings. In game it was described as a hamstring strain, but as Jim Palmer and some posters in the game thread speculated, it turned out to be more of an issue of dehydration and cramps. In his post game interview, Dave Trembley confirmed that Koji was feeling ill and crampy due to dehydration and that they'll have to watch him closely in the future as he had the same issue in Spring Training.
Washington's starter Ross Detwiler handled the Orioles easily for 6 innings. His only trouble came in the third inning, when he'd give up his only run. He had no control and walked Zaun, Koji(!), and Brian Roberts. With one out and the bases loaded there are no two batters you'd want up on the O's more than Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, but they were unable to break it open. Detwiler made Adam Jones look just silly as he blew fastballs by him for the strike out. Nick couldn't get a good swing either, but managed to chop an infield hit to the hole between SS and 3B which knocked in Zaun. Melvin Mora flied out to right to end the inning, and that would be the last time the Orioles would get to Detwiler. He pitched three more innings without allowing a hit.
Luckily, the Nats bullpen took over in the 7th. Aubrey Huff, who had been given the day off, came up to pinch hit with Cesar Izturis at first and two outs. He drilled a ball to the deepest part of Nationals Park. I thought for sure it was going to be a home run, but it hit off the top of the wall. Izturis raced home with the go ahead run and Aubrey huffed and puffed his way into third base with his first triple of the year. Brian Roberts stranded Aubrey at third, but the O's wouldn't need any more.
After Koji's early exit, the bullpen put together six excellent innings. Mr. Reliable Brian Bass pitched innings 4, 5, and 6 and allowed the Nats only run on a solo HR by Cristian Guzman. Matt Albers, Jim Johnson, and George Sherrill each pitched one inning to close it out. Only JJ had any troubles as he gave up 1 H and 1 BB. It was surprising to see JJ as he pitched 2 innings last night, his longest outing since June 29th of last year. George Sherrill continues his recent awesomeness by striking out the side in the 9th.
- The resurgance of George Sherrill has been a sight to behold. Since Dave Trembley announced that he wouldn't be the automatic choice for closer, Sherrill has pitched in 7 games and has allowed 0 runs on 2 hits and 4 walks. In his last 4 appearances he has not allowed a base runner.
- Chris Tillman was removed from the game in Norfolk this evening after pitching just two innings. He was pitching well and does not appear to have an injury, so speculation has begun that he'll be the one to replace Adam Eaton in Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays. Of all the pitchers to call up, I'll be shocked (but excited) if it's him. (EDIT: Per MASN, he left with tightness in his groin. Should have known they weren't going to bring him up)
- The game took place in a brisk 2 hours 31 minutes. Good pitching/inept offense will do that.