I know I’m a game behind but I wanted to write about the first game in this Jays series that was played last Tuesday because it was a really interesting, pretty bad, and nerve-wracking game to watch even though the Orioles won 6-5 in 10 innings. As for last night’s, 13-0 loss, I’m not going to talk about that exactly, but I have a pretty long post coming that has to do with last night’s game and the organization as a whole so look for that soon. For this post, I’m really just going to go player by player that I took notes on (yep, I’m a nerd and take notes about the game as I watch to write about later) because a lot of them impressed me or pissed me off majorly.
First up, is Mark Reynolds.
I know that he has played third base for his career and is only at first to fill in for Chris Davis, who’s currently on the DL and is most likely out for the rest of the season. However, it seems like he was actually born to play first. When he plays third, he can make some really exceptional plays sometimes that land him on ESPN’s Top 10; however, he also commits way many more errors than normal. So, moving him to first, which is usually considered one of the easiest defensive positions to play, he looks like an animal. Since he has the skills to play third somewhat, when you move him to the easier position at first, he rocks. On Tuesday’s game though, he wasn’t just providing good defense, he made 3 or 4 amazing plays where he stretched out as far as he could to catch a bad throw to get the out or at one point he had a weird moment where it looked like the batter would reach on an infield single but he did some awkward move to get to the base. I know that once Chris Davis is back, he’ll move right back over to 3rd, which is kind of unfortunate since I don’t like him in the hot corner but there’s really no where else for him to go. Unless they make him the DH…
Piggybacking off that, I go to Robert Andino.
So while Reynolds is at first, we need someone to fill in at 3rd. Blake Davis had a few games at 3rd but didn’t impress very well as he committed a few errors. So, Showalter put Andino at 3rd since Ryan Adams is getting the playing time at 2nd (more on him later). And surprisingly enough, Andino plays 3rd pretty freakin well. He has made quite a few heads up plays that could have been errors over the past week or so and has made some really good play, one that was even number 1 on Top 10.
Onto Matt Wieters.
This may be the one time I ever say negative things about his defense in a game. He had two mis-plays in Tuesday’s game that were his entirely his fault that cause some damage. The first came when a batter hit a very high pop-up in fair territory and Wieters was waiting under it to catch it, but just plain ole’ dropped it, which allowed the runner to reach first. I guess that’s why you always run just in case something dumb like that happens on a routine play. The second was a little weird. I don’t remember who was pitching but he threw his pitch that was very down and away (but I don’t think it actually hit the dirt) and I don’t know if Wieters was looking for the pitch in a completely different spot or what but he just didn’t catch it leading to what was officially scored as a wild pitch, but was really a passed ball. That doesn’t sound horrible except that this was the top of the 10th and a run scored on this passed ball by Wieters.
Speaking of Kevin Gregg…
Like I just said, he gave up a lead-off triple and allowed a run to score to yet again blow his save. However, that wasn’t the end of it. He then allowed the bases to be loaded and if it wasn’t for Markakis (see below), Escobar would have gotten a hit, not a sac fly, to do more than tie the score. Somehow he got out of his bases loaded jam with a tie game, but it still sucked.
So like I said, top of the 9th bases loaded, Jays down by one and Yunel Escobar hits the ball towards right where Nick has to run what seems like 5 miles (the outfield was playing no-doubles deep) and make the diving catch an inch above the field to get the out. This play was the play of the game because Escobar’s would-be hit turned into an out and a sac fly so that the game was only tied.
Now back to the offense and Jake Fox.
In the top of the 10th, the Jays had scored a run so now it was either score or lose. After consecutive walks, Jake Fox was put to the plate as a pinch-hitter and did he deliver with an RBI game-tying pinch-hit single. At this point, the O’s were safe for at least another inning but could still win now…
Then we have Ryan Adams
Who was at the plate with the possibility of winning the game for his team. He had previously popped up with the bases loaded in this game disallowing the O’s to get some extra insurance runs. So this was his chance. I’m already pretty smitten with him and like him as our 2nd basemen of the franchise but thought this would be a true test: a great pressure situation for him. And he delivered! He was trying to just hit a sac fly but ended up with a walk-off single deep to right field to win the game! It was really exciting. He also got completely trampled by the team and a pie in the face of course.
Now I said earlier that this wasn’t a good game. It was definitely exciting and had a happy ending but there were problems. The O’s had quite a few chances to add insurance runs over their 1-run lead all game, including the bases loaded. However, they failed to do it. Then Kevin Gregg yet again screwed up to allow the game to tie and then Willie Eyre allowed a guy to get on who then scored on his “wild pitch” (Wieter’s passed ball) to take the lead in the 10th. Thankfully, the offense could get it done in extras when it counted and they won.