This is really starting to get depressing writing about every day and watching. I’m sure it’s depressing for everyone else to be reading it every day too. But, yet again, the O’s allowed the Braves to win 2 of 3 in their weekend series. The Orioles just can’t seem to win 2 games in a 3-day span. They salvage 1 game and avoid the sweep but just cannot WIN a damn series against National League teams (minus the Reds). This time, they were sweating it out in Atlanta.
Friday: Braves 4 Orioles 0
Yep, yet another no-run-support game for Guthrie. It’s really pathetic. Guthrie had an okay game giving up all the runs to the Braves. 3 of them were earned. The game had no score until the 6th when Guthrie gave up a 2-run shot to Jason Heyward. Then, in the 8th he gave up back-to-back singles to take him out of the game and put Pedro Viola in. Viola then gave up an RBI single (Guthrie was responsible for the run) and then a fielder’s choice which scored the 4th unearned run because of Derrek Lee’s throwing error. You can get mad about that but the Braves were already up 3-0 and Lee has only had 1 other error this season I believe. Even if he’s had a few more, it’s not a huge deal unlike the Mark Reynolds error situation.
As for the offensive issues, this is the sort of situation where you HAVE to give the other team credit. Jair Jurrjens threw a 1-hit complete game shut-out. That’s some pretty serious and amazing sh*t. He deserves all the credit. He also threw 7 perfect innings. The only hit came in the 7th, a blooper hit by Adam Jones. He also walked Mark Reynolds in the 6th, his only walk, and committed a balk in the same inning. He was 1 hit away from a no-hitter and 1 hit and 1 walk away from a perfect game so it’s really hard to fault the Orioles on this one. Oh and Nick Markakis ended his career-high 19-game hitting streak
Saturday: Braves 5 Orioles 4
This game sucked. Arrieta was back on the mound for the first time since June 20 (with elbow inflammation) and was looking for his 10th win of the season. Unfortunately, he didn’t get it and he didn’t deserve it at all. More on that later. In the 4th, Mark Reynolds started it off with a 2-run homer (also scoring Luke Scott). But, the next inning, Arrieta messed up. He gave up a double to Chipper Jones then hit Freeman with a pitch. This is all with 2 outs, by the way. He gave up an RBI single putting the Braves within one. He then walked Nate McLouth loading the bases. Of course, Buck Showalter left him in. There was 2 outs, he believes in the youngsters to be able to prove it to him that they can handle pressure and get out of it, and it was only the 4th, he didn’t want to tax the already depleted bullpen. But, this time Arrieta did NOT get out of it. He actually allowed the worst thing possible. A grand slam to none other than David Ross who was getting a rare start at catcher over All-Star catcher Brian McCann. So, the Braves went up 5-2. Obviously the worst situation happened, but it was still only a 3-run deficit. There’s still a chance to win.
In the 6th, Mark Reynolds got to work and hit another home run, this time a solo, putting the Orioles within 2. In the 7th, red-hot and hottie Nick Markakis jacked a solo shot making it only 5-4 Braves. Could it really happen?? Yeah…..no. They came close in the 8th when Blake Davis got to 3rd and Andino to 2nd with 2 outs but Nick couldn’t get his 4th hit of the night to get the job done.
Sunday: Orioles 5 Braves 4
The Orioles finally snapped their 5-game losing streak to salvage a win from Atlanta. And it was an exciting win. Britton got the start and gave up 6 hits and 3 runs in the no decision. But, more importantly, he started things off in the 3rd hitting his first career home run to right field. In the same inning, Mark Reynolds hit a sac fly to score J.J. Hardy who had hit a single. In the 5th, Nick Markakis did his thing with an RBI double (scoring Britton) to put the O’s up 3-0. Nick Markakis also went 5 for 5, that’s a career high for him.
In the 6th, Britton got into some trouble. He issued a lead-off walk to Chipper Jones followed by a single. This took him out of the game to be replaced by Jim Johnson. He gave up a single to load the bases followed by an RBI ground-out and a 2-run RBI single before ending the inning (Britton was responsible for 3 of the 4 runs scored). This put Atlanta up 4-3. Thankfully, in the next inning, Mark Reynolds cranked his 18th homer of the season, a 2-run shot to but the O’s up for good (Markakis also scored).
Although it’s very disappointing to lose yet another series, the positive to take out of the series is the offense and how hot it is. I’ll run some numbers for you in the game preview for tonight that I’m sure will surprise you. The negative side is that the pitching can’t get it done. Even with a hot offense, the boys can’t win because the pitching allows even more offense to the opponent.