Where to begin regarding the Baltimore Orioles losing 7-3 to Boston last night…? We saw quite a few different theatrics in last night’s game, which on one hand are all worth mentioning. However none of them directly affected the outcome of the game; so are they truly worth mentioning? Stephen Drew hit what was originally ruled an inside-the-park homer in the sixth (despite Drew scoring on a botched rundown by the Orioles). For some unknown reason, manager John Farrell came out to argue that the ball had gone out of the park. The umpires reviewed the play at Farrell’s request, and “overturned” the call (making it a straight up home run). Yet the score remained the same; heck Drew’s home run total remained the same!
Boston’s David Ortiz provided the true fireworks on the evening however. On a 3-0 count in the top of the seventh Ortiz appeared poised to head towards first base before Orioles’ reliever Jairo Asencio even threw his pitch. The pitch appeared to be high, but it was close enough to where umpire Tim Timmons felt comfortable calling it strike one given Ortiz’s apparent non-chalance. Here’s the kicker; after the pitch was called a strike Ortiz still flipped his bat as if he were going to jog to first base. Ortiz eventually struck out, and got into a bit of a verbal kerfuffle with Timmons as he walked back to the dugout. But wait…there’s more. Once he entered the dugout he proceeded to destroy the dugout phone with his bat, and endangering teammate Dustin Pedroia (who was sitting right there) in the process. Ortiz then started swearing towards the umpire, which got him ejected from the game.
Again, neither of these incidents affected the score of the game per se, but they were both entertaining in their own ways. I just don’t see a reason for a manager to argue inside-the-park vs. a straight up homer given the fact that the score didn’t change. And Ortiz’s antics disrespected the umpire, and quite frankly the game of baseball itself. I doubt that he went up to bat with the idea of showing up the umpire, but his presumption certainly did just that. And getting ejected is one thing; but doing so while destroying a telephone? One would imagine that the Orioles will be sending Ortiz a bill in the mail.
Scott Feldman took the loss for the Birds, although not a horrible outing by any means. Feldman’s line: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K. Feldman induced a lot of ground balls, which accounts for the low walk and strikeout totals. I would submit that he made one really bad pitch in giving up a three-run homer to Stephen Drew in the fourth inning (with Boston already leading 1-0). The Orioles tried to rally a few times, however Boston starter Ryan Dempster was able to shut them down each time. J.J. Hardy‘s RBI-single scored Brian Roberts in the fifth, but Stephen Drew smacked his aforementioned second home run of the game in the top of the sixth (of the two-run variety) to add to Boston’s lead.
Ultimately you win some and you lose some, and while the Orioles mounted a bit of a late comeback attempt to close to within four, this was Boston’s game. The good news for the Birds is that the loss sets up a rubber match this afternoon at the yard, which means they can still win the series. I’ll be interested to see what reaction the league has (if any) to David Ortiz’s antics in last night’s game. Certainly he’ll be given an equipment fine for his outburst on the telephone, but he pretty blatantly disrespected home plate umpire Tim Timmons. Might a suspension come down the line? I would submit not, due only to the fact that Farrell and Boston’s third base coach immediately stepped in front of Ortiz to prevent him from adding fire to the situation. However after the game he said that he felt that he was disrespected by the umpire in that situation. So we’ll see.
Jason Hammel will head back to the mound this afternoon against Boson, in a big start for the team and for Hammel. If there’s ever a day when the Birds need Hammel to bring his A-game, it’s today. Hammel is 0-5 since defeating Washington on May 27th, and he’ll try to reverse that trend today. The Orioles are expecting to recall L.J. Hoes from the minor leagues either today or tomorrow, presumably sending out a reliever given the fact that they’ve been operating with a larger ‘pen the past few days. During last night’s game several national MLB writers also tweeted that the O’s were interested in both Jake Peavy from the ChiSox, and Michael Young from the Phillies. As we approach Wednesday’s trade deadline, it’ll be interesting to see if they’re able to pull off a trade for either or both. Incidentally Boston is also in on both of those players, and we know that the Birds traded for Francisco Rodriguez last week partially to block Boston from getting him…form your own conclusions.