The Orioles fell to the Mariners tonight thanks mostly to an offense that went MIA for seven innings, but also to share some blame was a pedestrian start by Wei-Yin Chen and a TOOTBLAN late in the game by Jimmy Paredes. But at least we got to see Tyler Wilson make his major league debut!
Before we get into the details of tonight's snooze fest, let me tell you about a Twitter account that I follow. It's called Emergency Kittens, and it's always there when you need to feel better by looking at a cute kitten. Here are some kittens in pockets:
POCKET KITTENS pic.twitter.com/ASQZhDBUv6— Emergency Kittens (@EmrgencyKittens) May 21, 2015
So, the game. Roenis Elias started for the Mariners, and he really hasn't been bad this year. So..at least you can take solace in that? The lefty had made four starts before tonight with just nine earned runs allowed in 25 innings. That was good for a 3.24 ERA, which dropped to 2.76 after his 7 2/3 innings tonight.
Through the first six innings, the Orioles managed just two baserunners. Adam Jones singled with two outs in the first inning and was stranded, and Manny Machado "singled" in the third inning on a fly ball to right field that was misplayed by our old friend Nelson Cruz. That's it through six innings. Elias has been good this year, but come on guys!
It looked like something might be brewing in the seventh inning, but there wasn't. Jones started things with his second single of the game, but before you could say rally time, Delmon Young hit the first pitch he saw to shortstop to start a 6-4-3 double play. Argh! Chris Davis then doubled, which is always nice to see, but Steve Pearce popped out for the third time in the game to end the inning. After a 2-for-4 night last night, Pearce looked terrible again.
The only bit of excitement came in the eighth inning, but it ended with disappoitment. Elias came back out and got two outs before giving up back-to-back singles to Rey Navarro and Machado. He was pulled from the game for Carson Smith, and Jimmy Paredes singled to right field. Yes! Navarro came in to score as Cruz again bobbled the ball. Paredes saw that happen and idiotically took off for second base, where he was thrown out. There was some drama while the umpires reviewed the play, but the call stood and the rally was snuffed on a TOOTBLAN.
Isn't it cute when kittens play in boxes?
Just when you think you've got life figured out. pic.twitter.com/TmTxjrfT1w— Emergency Kittens (@EmrgencyKittens) May 19, 2015
As for Chen, it wasn't his best night (or his worst). It was the first time this year that he'd given up more than three earned runs, and he only did that once! The thing Chen did well was to keep the game in hand to give the offense the chance to come back. The offense just wasn't interested in doing that.
The O's fell behind for good in the second inning. With a Justin Ruggiano on second, two outs, and an 0-2 count to #8 hitter Mike Zunino, Chen hung a breaking pitch. It was a bad idea, and Zunino hit it over Adam Jones's head in center field for an RBI double.
Ruggiano helped his team some more in the fourth inning with his second home run of the year. Nelson Cruz was on base, so the dinger made the score 3-0. The final run came in Chen's final inning. It was combination of misplays be Rey Navarro (he fell down fielding a ball) and Delmon Young (he's just not that good at playing right field). The ball to Young was hit by Chris Taylor, who ended up with an RBI triple.
Chen got out of the seventh with no further damage, and that was the end of his night. Not a great night, not a terrible night. A 40-degree day.
Look at this little guy!
Mitten the kitten pic.twitter.com/4zrTlu3uH0— Emergency Kittens (@EmrgencyKittens) May 8, 2015
After T.J. McFarland and Tommy Hunter combined for an almost disastrous but ultimately scoreless inning, we had some excitement in the form of Tyler Wilson making his major league debut. He has a very strong chin. Wilson got the first batter he saw on a pop up, then the Mariners sent up back-to-back lefty pinch hitters against him (the jerks). Both singled to right field, putting runners on the corners. But Wilson calmly induced an inning ending double play ball off the bat of Robinson Cano. Well done, kiddo!
With the score 4-1 in the ninth, the Mariners turned to their closer, Fernando Rodney. Coming into tonight, Rodney had nine saves despite an ERA over 5 and a WHIP of 1.6. He has one blown save and one loss in a non-save situation this year. His stuff can be nasty, but he's also kind of a mess even if he gets the job done the majority of the time. The Orioles jumped on him right away. Back-to-back singles from Jones and Young put runners on the corners with no outs, and then Chris Davis did his darndest to take a walk. He took a ball that was inside, but not too far inside, for strike three on a full count. It was a disappointment.
After a terrible at bat by Pearce that resulted in a strike out, J.J. Hardy hit a fly ball that looked for sure like it should have been the third out. It somehow fell between Cruz and Reggiano. Still alive! A run came in to score and suddenly it was a two-run game. Pinch hitter Travis Snider just needed to keep things alive. He didn't. One ground ball and the game was over. Is it more frustrating that they came close or more exciting? I'm gonna go with frustrating because where were you for the first seven innings, Orioles? Argh!
I'm off to look for more kitten pictures.