In every Orioles game, there's at least one managerial move made by Dave Trembley that confounds intelligent baseball fans, a move that causes observers everywhere to smack their palms into their foreheads and unleash a string of curses.
Sometimes the move is based on some ridiculous notion of "old school" baseball which ignores how the game has changed over the years. Other times, it's based on an obsession with "small ball" or late inning matchups. But most often, it's simply a move that leaves O's fans confused and speechless, unable to do anything except turn to each other and say: WTF!?!
These are some of those moves.
Before I get into yesterday's DDDWTF, I want to address something. We are not writing these daily to attack Dave Trembley and we don't do it because we hate him. Dave Trembley seems to be a fine human being and he certainly hasn't been given the most talented team to work with. I don't believe that any manager could make this team a contender; that isn't what this is about. This is about the fact that on nearly a daily basis, Trembley does things that hurt the team. Rarely does the local press ask Trembley about these moves; I don't know why. What I do know is that in post game press conferences we consistently hear reporters ask questions like, "How big was that win tonight?" and "How much of a boost do you get from Kevin Millwood?" I'm not necessarily saying that in a win like last night's the first thing Trembley should hear is about a move he made that could have lost the game. But what about in the losses? Where are the questions then? Nobody is asking them and we don't have access to do so. So instead we're posting here that we do see what is going on. Maybe someone will notice, maybe not. But it's not just because we're haters.
Now, onto Diamond Dave's Daily WTF? The Orioles went into the 8th inning down by one run, having been stymied by Zack Greinke. With Greinke out of the game and one down, Corey Patterson homered to tie the game and Ty Wigginton singled into left field. Yes, Wiggy represented the go ahead run. But there was already one out and Ty is, again I say, arguably the best hitter on the team at this moment. Instead of leaving the best hitter in a tie game, Trembley opted to pinch run with Cesar Izturis. MAYBE if there was a guy on the bench who could hit, I wouldn't have immediately thrown my hands in the air at such a move. But the Orioles are playing with a three man bench that last night consisted of Izturis, Lou Montanez, and Craig Tatum. There are players in the lineup that are either slumping or just plain bad at baseball. You cannot take Ty Wigginton out of a tie game and replace him with hitter whose OPS is .487. Oh, and to add insult to injury, Izturis tried to steal and was thrown out to end the inning.
Luckily for the Orioles and the fans who were watching, it ended well. With the game tied in the bottom of the 10th inning, the O's got the first two men on base. Then, instead of Ty Wigginton coming to the plate, it was Cesar Izturis. Izzy grounded to to the right side and Billy Butler booted the ball, but still threw to the pitcher, Bryan Bullington, in what appeared to be plenty of time. The umpire ruled that Bullington's foot wasn't on the bag although it didn't look that way in a replay. That loaded the bases for Nick Markakis to hit a single to win the game. All's well that ends well? I don't know about that.