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Blue Jays 5, Orioles 4 (11 innings): Georgie strikes again

SC covered this the last time George Sherrill blew a save, so I won't waste my time outlining all the reasons George Sherrill doesn't belong on the closer's role. It's nothing we don't know. In fact, the only person who doesn't seem to realize Sherrill doesn't belong there is Dave Trembley.

Brad Bergesen pitched a pretty good game today. He started off well, needing only 10 pitches to get through the first inning. He couldn't seem to get the ball down in the 2nd, which is when the Blue Jays scored all three of the runs he allowed. Vernon Wells smoked a ball to center that Adam Jones decided to try and dive for; if he'd played it on a hop Wells would have only gotten a single. Nick Markakis was in good position to back Adam up, but dropped the ball allowing Wells to go to third. After a groundout that scored Wells, Bergesen gave up a couple more hits and walk that resulted in two more runs.

Bergesen got into more trouble in the third, allowing two singles (one erased on a double play) and walking one more. He wasn't looking good and in fact prompted me to stop what I was doing, head for my laptop, and proclaim in the game thread that he looked like crap. Perhaps Brad could feel my disappointment, because he then settled down. The Jays went three up three down in the fourth and fifth. He did walk one more in the sixth but thanks to a double play he only faced three in that inning as well. When it was all said and done he'd pitched 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. He struck out one.

Toronto countered Bergesen with a rookie making his major league debut. Robert Ray got into trouble in the first inning when Adam Jones launched a ball to left field for his fifth home run of the year. Then in the third, Ray walked Roberts. Adam Jones singled to left and Brian, trying to go first to third, got thrown out by a mile. Markakis followed Adam with another walk, and both scored on Aubrey Huff's double off the scoreboard that I thought was gone for sure. Robert Ray finished his major league debut with a line of: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 2 K.

Both teams bullpens picked up where the starters left off, pitching innings 7-9 without allowing a run. Then, in the 10th inning, the Orioles took the lead. Markakis led off the inning with a ground ball to 2nd base. Aaron Hill dropped the ball and Nick was safe at first. Huff then singled, putting runners on 1st and 2nd. Mora flew out to right and Nick tagged up. With runners on first and third with one out, Ty Wigginton (pinch hitting for Luke) bounced a grounder to short. Scutaro got the ball but thanks to Aubrey being on the move, he had no chance for a double play. Instead he threw home to get Markakis, but the throw was high and Nick slid in safely. One run was all they'd get.

We all know what happened next, right? George Sherrill did what he does best, he blew the save. On the second pitch of the inning, Aaron Hill just crushed a ball to left center field. It was the kind of home run where the outfielders don't even move, they just watch it sail out. It would have been easier on everyone if George had just finished the loss, and he tried, allowing a single to Adam Lind and a walk to Jose Bautista. Up to the plate stepped Kevin Millar, last night's runner up for MBP. I was convinced Kevin was going to end the game right there, but instead he flew out to left and the inning ended.

The loss came on Kevin Bass's watch, but I don't blame him. I blame Sherrill and, by extension, Dave Trembley. Rod Barajas singled to right and after a sac bunt, Aaron Hill singled to center to end the game. Another game lost.

Game notes:

  • Nick Markakis' 17 game hitting streak came to an end, though he still managed to get on base three times. He walked twice and reached on an error, scoring two runs.
  • Prior to the game Terry Crowley announced that Felix Pie's playing time will be reduced and that the Orioles will be going with the "hot bat." Today the hot bat seemed to be Lou Montanez,. He went 1-4 with a 2B. I guess Dave's patience finally wore out with Felix, although I think they should have given him more of a chance. What's it going to hurt?