O’s take the series by winning 2 in a row
I love when I say something needs to happen, it happens, and what I thought would come out of it does come out of it. What I mean is this: I’ve said a few times how I think it’s crucial for the O’s to win this series, which they have, because it will help them turn things around and get back into the race in the division. Well with these 2 wins and the help of the Red Sox-Yankees series going on, the O’s have cut their 7 games back to 5.5 and have brought their season record to 28-31, just 3 games under .500. This is definitely a positive and I’m hoping that the O’s can sweep Oakland tonight and win the next series against the Jays. That’s the ideal situation right now.
Last night, Chris Jakubauskas made a spot start to keep the 4 men on the rotation on regular rest. I wasn’t expecting a win and I wasn’t expecting him to pitch very well since he hasn’t done well in the bullpen but I was wrong. Jabberwocky (yep, just came up with that on the spot) went 5 innings giving up only 3 hits and no runs. He only walked 1 and stuck out 5. That’s a pretty damn good start and he deserves a lot of credit. His last outing as a starter was in April 2010 when he played for the Pirates. In the first inning, he got hit in the head with a line drive and carted off the field. This time, Cliff Pennington hit a line drive that hit Jakubauskas in the 5th inning. He talked to trainers and Buck Showalter and they all determined he was okay so he went back out and finished the 5th inning.
The bullpen also deserves a lot of credit because they helped keep the shutout. Rapada pitched to 2 batters in the 6th and got them both out and then Jeremy Accardo came in to finish up the 6th and pitch the 7th and 8th, through which he only gave up 2 hits. Koji came in to pitch the 9th and did so in a 1-2-3 fashion.
I’m very excited that the pitching is getting back to its roots. The bullpen has been awesome the past few weeks while the starters have been struggling, but it looks like they are coming back around ever since Matusz has come back.
The offense plowed through another 9-hit, 4-run game. Showalter messed with the lineup a bit putting J.J. Hardy in the lead-off spot, which he said was his only option while giving Andino the day off. He hit a lead-off homer, a career first, to start off the game right putting the O’s up 1-0. Adam Jones went 3 for 4 and Luke Scott went 2 for 3 both with homers. Luke hit his in the 5th all the way to Eutaw Street. It went an estimated 418 feet and was his 7th homer of the season, but his first since May 3. Adam Jones hit his in the 6th. In the bottom of the 7th, Luke doubled and Mark Reynolds came up and also hit a double, to score Pie (who was pinch-running for Scott).
UPDATE: Brian Roberts will not begin baseball activities for at least another 2 weeks. He consulted with a specialist yesterday.