That game took just under four hours, but it sure felt like longer. The Marlins won 1-0 with a walk-off hit by Martin Prado in the 13th inning. The Orioles had opportunities to score, but just couldn't convert any of them. Since the entire game was 0-0, there's not much point in me going through this inning by inning, so here are some key takeaways:
- MIke Wright made his second start, and like his last one vs. the Angels, he pitched great. Seven innings, four strikeouts, three walks, and three hits. That's good for any starter, but even better for a guy making only the second start of his major league career. Not only that, but he had the team's only hit with a runner in scoring position. That hit resulted in the closest the O's came to scoring a run in the game, and if it was anyone but Travis Snider trying to run in from 2nd, it may have been enough. Not sure I can completely blame Snider...I didn't see it in the reply, but I'm sure Bobby "Windmill" Dickerson was waving him for no reason. If Snider had held up, it would have been bases loaded for Machado. There were two outs, but I like the chances of Machado getting a hit there more.
- Chris Davis struck out four more times in this game. I think the first couple of those were looking, not sure if that's worse or not.
- The Marlins had a couple close calls too that, if they went the other way, may have gotten them some runs and ended things sooner. The first one came when Christian Yelich singled and tried to go to 2nd after Delmon Young bobbled the ball. But Young threw to 2nd (he does seem to have a good arm) and Yelich came off the bag just enough for him to be tagged out. The second close play came in the bottom of the 10th when Donovan Solano, who was on 3rd, tried to take home after a pitch got away from Caleb Joseph - but Oliver Drake (more on him in a minute) went to home. Joseph tossed him the ball and Drake tagged Solano out. It was very close, but he was definitely out.
- Oliver Drake became the latest played for the Orioles to make his major league debut tonight. He pitched well also, going three innings with two strikeouts, two hits, and no walks. After tonight, I wouldn't be surprised if the Orioles optioned him to bring up another arm. Not sure there's anyone else close enough to being ready to make their debut off the Tides' roster.
- Another reason the Orioles may need another bullpen arm is Brian Matusz. He was ejected in the bottom of the 12th for having a foreign substance on his arm. I couldn't see anything with the shots Fox was giving us, but the home plate umpire came over and rubbed his fingers over Matusz's arm a couple times and threw him out. It was very weird, and I'm sure more about this will come out soon. Pitching for the Marlins around this time though was Carter Capps, who I had never seen pitch before but about the strangest delivery I've ever seen. He would skip off the mound mid-stride before delivery fastballs in the mid to upper 90s. The announcers mentioned how he was actually called out in the minors for making an illegal pitch and that MLB had asked he drag his foot more instead of hopping. I know I saw him hop more than once though, and I'm not sure if that is what makes it illegal, but to see him flirting with that while Matusz is getting ejected for some phantom substance on his arm was weird. Whatever Capps was doing though worked - the Orioles lineup could not get a handle on it at all.
- I mentioned Wright got the only team hit with a RISP...that made them 1 for 10. Overall, they left 10 men on base. Considering how well they were getting to Dan Haren early, that's some cross between not getting the job done and bad luck. Haren went six innings, even though I thought he was done after five and at about 100 pitches.
- Nothing before the 13th mattered though because that was when the only run would score. T.J. McFarland, who came in to pitch after Matusz was ejected, gave up a leadoff walk to Adeiny Hechavarria. He then got two straight striekouts (which really makes what was about to happen with two outs even worse). But then Ozuna would hit a single, and they would intentionally walk Giancarlo Stanton to pitch to Martin Prado. I don't think that was a bad call - Stanton is the only person who seems to be able to hit the ball out of that park on a regular basis, and I wouldn't have pitched to him either. Prado was hitless until that point in the game - seemed like a safe bet. But Prado would hit one to right center field and drive in the winning run. The Marlins celebrated like they had won the World Series.
My wife (who is wonderful for hanging in there tonight for a game we couldn't turn off) said at one point around the 10th or 11th inning that this was the "most boring game in the history of baseball". It's hard to argue with that and it was certainly not the kind of game the Orioles usually play. On the other hand though, there were close plays, pitchers hitting, ejections, and a lot of managing strategy. I kind of liked it one time, but I hope it doesn't happen again for a while.
The O's get back at it tomorrow afternoon to try and get the series win.