I suppose that the scary thing for the Baltimore Orioles is that they’ve found different ways to drop three games in a row to New York this week. I’m not going to lie; part of this has been luck on New York’s part, and other parts of it shouldn’t have happened all together given that they have a player that shouldn’t be in the lineup right now. However the games still count in the standings, and whatever happens between the white lines is what’s recorded in the books. The good news for the O’s is that there’s lots of baseball left to play.
Wei-Yin Chen lasted longer than most people probably thought he would given his rocky start. Chen’s line: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 9 K. Chen came out a bit shaky after the teams sat through an hour and eighteen minute rain delay. Eduardo Nunez singled in the second inning, which was followed by a Mark Reynolds two-run homer to put the Birds in a 2-0 hole. I was in the group that said the O’s should resign Reynolds in the off season (to play first base). However in retrospect with the seasons that Manny Machado and Chris Davis have had (strictly in the field), they made the right move. Yet even in making that right move, if the damage Reynolds has done in this series is any indication they still made the wrong move – if that makes sense. Vernon Wells added a two-RBI single in the third, and the Orioles trailed 4-0.
The Birds started their comeback in the last of the inning when Matt Wieters scored on Manny Machado’s RBI-single. The teams swapped solo homers in the seventh (Granderson and Markakis), and we stood at 5-2. However it was the eighth inning that yielded the Birds their big scores. Following back-to-back two-out singles by Jones and Markakis, Danny Valencia hit a three-run homer to tie the game. However if at the time it felt like things were starting to swing the Orioles’ way, that abruptly changed in the top of the ninth. After the first two runners reached base on Jim Johnson (one on an E1), Curtis Granderson sacrificed them both into scoring position. Brendan Ryan would then score from third on a wild pitch by Johnson to give New York a 6-5 lead and victory.
I suppose that in this game along with the previous three, New York simply took advantage of what the Orioles gave them. However it’s pretty impressive when you see a team trade for a player hitting sub-Mendoza Line earlier in the week (Brendan Ryan), and then have that guy score the winning run a few days later. (New York abruptly traded with Seattle for Ryan when Derek Jeter‘s season ended with an injury.) That’s been the story of this series for the Birds – things happening that were totally against the grain and which shouldn’t occur. It’s almost as if this entire series was played in the Bizzaro world in a certain sense. However to their credit, everything that New York does seems to work out in their favor. They lost Brett Gardener early in the game with a strained oblique, and Granderson steps right in. They’re a tough team to keep down for long.
The Orioles will now head north of the border for a three-game set in Toronto, a park that’s haunted them to a point this year. They were swept there back in June, and somehow the home team always seems to get up to play the Birds up there. Jason Hammel will get the starting assignment tonight, and he’ll be opposed by Todd Redmond.