As I’ve said on a few other occasions when the Baltimore Orioles have been shut out, it’s impossible to win if you don’t score a run. Baseball doesn’t operate like we’ve seen on numerous occasions in the World Cup whereby a team can not score and win in penalty kicks! The sad part is that the O’s got a decent outing (and a quality start at that) out of Chris Tillman yesterday afternoon. Tillman’s line: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K.
It took the Orioles until the fifth inning before scoring a base hit off of Greene, who was stingy with base runners all afternoon. The Orioles trailed 1-0 in the third after Mark Texeira sent an RBI-double into right field. However the highlight of the play was Nick Markakis combining with Ryan Flaherty and catcher Nick Hundley to put out Derek Jeter at the plate as he tried to score. Textbook relay throw(s) in, and a textbook tag at home plate.
New York’s lead held at 1-0 until the top of the seventh, when Kelly Johnson scored on Jeter’s RBI-single. Jacoby Ellsbury would score Jeter on an RBI-double later in the inning, and the Orioles trailed 3-0. With two outs in the inning Brian McCann singled to shallow center field, and Adam Jones showed once again why he’s one of the best center fielders in baseball. Jones
threw home to Hundley as Ellsbury tried to score, and the tag nailed him at the plate. Manager Joe Girardi tried to argue the call, however there was no challenge.
Incidentally, that play shows why my personal opinion is that the new blocking the plate rule makes no sense. Girardi tried to argue that Hundley was blocking the plate too early, thus without having the baseball. (The rule is that you can only block the plate if you have the ball.) At some point, we’ll find ourselves in a situation where we’re questioning if the catcher had control of the ball, if it was squarely in his glove, etc.
This sounds similar to the timeless argument of whether a wide receiver in the NFL had two feet down with possession of the ball. How often do we hear the question …oh did the ball move or change positions in the guy’s hand? I’d hate to start seeing discussions like that in baseball with regard to whether the catcher was “legally” able to block the plate or not. These come across as very petty points in the moment during games.
The Orioles went quietly in the ninth inning, and New York notched a 3-0 victory in game two of this series. Prior to the game the Birds made a roster move, sending Miguel Gonzalez down to triple-A Norfolk and recalling Baltimore-native Steve Clevenger. Similar to the Bud Norris move on Friday, this was done so as to keep Gonzalez on a steady work regiment during the all-star break. At some point I would expect both Norris and Gonzalez to be recalled during next weekend’s series in Oakland.
The series with New York concludes this evening, before a national television audience on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Game time is just after 8 PM this evening at Camden Yards, with Kevin Gausman taking to the bump for the O’s. He’ll be opposed by NY’s Chase Whitley.