Last night's game looked, for 8 innings, like it would be the Orioles 13th win (and 4th in a row), and that the team would end the night only tied as the team the with the least amount of wins in baseball, rather than being all alone in that distinction as they have been for the entire year. It was apparently not meant to be, as the bullpen blew 7 innings worth of good pitching by Brian Matusz to turn a 2-0 lead into a 8-2 loss.
Brian Matusz pitched 7 shutout innings but his performance was uneven. He did strike out 6 but he walked 4 and allowed 7 hits. All 7 were singles and Matusz worked out of trouble a few times to hold the Indians scoreless. It was the first game Matusz has pitched this year where he hasn't allowed any runs so even though his stuff wasn't dominant, he more than got the job done.
The Orioles hitters were totally unable to figure out the Indians starting pitcher Mitch Talbot. It's as weird to type that as it was to see it last night. The one batter who could handle the wonder that is Mitch Talbot was our home run hero, Ty Wigginton. In the 2nd inning Wiggy crushed one that went deep into the stands in left field to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Then in the 7th he did it again, the ball landing in the same section of left field but not as deep. That gives Ty Wigginton 12 home runs on the year, second in the majors to only Paul Konerko (seriously), who has 13.
After Matusz pitched 7 innings, it was clear he was finished for the night. He'd walked two in the 7th and looked like he had lost it. So in the 8th inning, Dave Trembley turned to Matt Albers. Albers hadn't pitched since May 8th, despite Friday's game being the perfect opportunity as the Orioles led 8-1. In that instance Dave Trembley decided to use Will Ohman for a reason yet to be determined.
Albers pitched to one batter last night, inducing a fly out to right field. Instead of allowing him to finish the inning, Trembley thought it would be a good idea to bring in Ohman again since there was a lefty at the plate. Look, I like The O Man as much as anyone, but he's already made 19 appearances, the most in the American League this year. Ohman walked Travis Hafner and Trembley immediately removed him from the game. No hesitation. He brought in Koji Uehara who induced a pop up before walking Russell Branyan thanks to getting squeezed severely by the umpire. He then struck out Grady Sizemore to end the inning. Koji looked good, but Trembley didn't even think about bringing him in for the 9th inning. You know why? Because Alfredo Simon is the closer.
Prior to last night's game, Simon had faced 5 save situations and had saved all 5. We all heard a lot about that because it's really the only positive stat about Simon. He hasn't been very good. But he's the closer and he gets the job done. 5 for 5! I mean, you can't really say that the fifth game he saved was due to Corey Patterson throwing the tying run out at home because Simon stunk, and you can't say that in his appearances prior to last night he'd given up 7 hits and 5 walks, because that might make a person think twice about bringing him in simply because he's the closer.
So, the closer came into the 9th inning and did the following: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 HR. That's your closer. After the home run by Austin Kearns that gave the Indians a 4-1 lead, Trembley brought in Cla Meredith, who wasn't much better. When it was all said and done, the Orioles were down 8-2, and that's where it would stay.
A truly difficult loss. The Orioles now rely on David Hernandez to try and salvage the series. Hopefully he'll be on today.
Be sure to scroll down to see our first edition of "Diamond Dave's Daily WTF?" We all talk about Trembley's mismanagement in game, but now we'll be documenting it so that everyone can see exactly why he shouldn't be the leader of this team.