As Jim Hunter put it, “A Christmas of Orioles”
By Editorial Staff
I just wanted to let you all know that I’ll be on vacation until Thursday with no internet access unfortunately so I won’t be able to write until then.
As for today’s post, in case you weren’t aware, the Orioles ended their 9-game losing streak last night by scratching out a win against the Indians. What my title means and what Hunter means is that everything was there for the Orioles last night. The offense was good, the defense was good, the pitching was solid. It was a well-rounded (“Christmas”) game.
Let me just start by apologizing to Alfredo. I gave him no credit and he must have read my blog before pitching because he showed me. Simon went 7 full innings giving up 2 runs on only 3 hits and a walk in just 79 pitches (56 being strikes). He also struck out 5 in the first 7-inning game by a starter since July 1st. He looked like the ace of a staff on the mound. He faced the minimum amount of batters in the first 5 innings; he gave up one hit but got a double play. He came out there throwing strikes and really established his split-fingered fastball early. Maybe instead of being distracted about going back to the Dominican Republic (like I thought he would be), he took that as motivation to get one good, strong outing before he left for who knows how long and to see his team win with his help.
Since the pitching was so great, the Orioles had a little more pep in their step, spring in their stride, or however else you want to put it out in the field. The defense was getting it done with more energy, speed, and style. They looked good out there like they wanted to be there and like they were actually having fun. Yes, it is possible.
And the offense looked good as well. They got a run early on in the 1st with a lead-off single by Hardy and a sac fly by Markakis and Adam Jones to score him. They made it 2-0 in the 4th when Markakis doubled and was scored by Derrek Lee’s RBI single. After Simon allowed a game-tying double in the 6th, Markakis got the lead right back for the O’s by smacking a solo shot. It was looking like the game would end 3-2 until the 8th inning when the O’s went on to add 3 runs. Markakis doubled followed by AJ hitting an RBI double. Wieters was intentionally walked followed by a walk to Reynolds to load the bases. Felix Pie came to the plate where he had gone just 1-for-19. He came through with a 2-run double.
So, it was looking to be a 6-2 victory as soon as Kevin Gregg came out and got the final 3 outs. Easier said than done. He got a strikeout but then walked the next 3 batters in a row to load the bases. Then he got another strikeout. 2 outs bases loaded and Cabrera hits a base-clearing double to make it a 1-run game. Gregg was out and Mike Gonzalez was in and he got the 3drd and final out on the first pitch he threw to secure the Oriole win.