Baltimore Orioles: Through rain, and wind, and snow…
Okay maybe there wasn’t much wind, and no snow whatsoever, but the Orioles’ 12-0 win over Toronto last night did involve some rain. That’s in the literal sense as well as in the metaphoric sense as well. While it had rained all day in the greater Toronto area, the good folks that operate the Rogers Centre decided to open the roof in the early innings. Go figure, it started to rain again; and go figure again, the roof got stuck as they tried to close it! So in the middle of the game we had this bizarre scene where it was raining in an indoor stadium. Not only that, but it was pouring for part of that time. From Toronto’s standpoint you have to say that when it rains it pours!
However during the storm however the blonde sun was shining on this Baltimore Orioles team. There’s really no other way to describe an 11-0 game. Zach Britton started a little wild in the first inning, but he settled down and then some. Britton’s final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Toronto starter Carlos Villanueva looked posed to battle Britton to the death in a pitchers’ duel, however from the fifth inning on the Orioles’ offense was churning out hits and runs in any way and every way possible. Mark Reynolds got things started with his fifth multi-run homer in the last five games which sent the Orioles on their way with a 3-0 lead.
As much as we talk about the Orioles not quitting in games, that homer seemed to end the effective part of Toronto’s evening. When all was said and done, the Birds scored 12 unanswered runs in the game. In the 8th the O’s just seemed to rain runs down on Toronto one by one. At one point the pitcher, Beck, had a sure out grounded right to him, only to misplay it and allow another runner for the O’s. As a person that’s seen the Orioles do that exact thing so many times, I did feel a small twinge of sympathy for Toronto. Orioles fans should know what it’s like to see your team not being able to get out of their own way.
With this victory, the Orioles improved to 76-59 on the year, and combined with New York losing to Tampa they have moved into a statistical tie for first place in the American League East. However let’s not count their chickens before they hatch here or ever. Before their showdown with New York and next week’s with Tampa (both at the yard) the Orioles have one more game in Toronto this evening that counts just as much as the seven after it. However anyone that was on twitter last night in the aftermath of the Orioles’ win saw how it seemingly blew up with people (fans and pundits alike) posting about this Orioles team. There’s most certainly a buzz about them now, and for the first time in 15 years it’s a positive one.
The Orioles got some good news before yesterday’s game when they found out that there was no structural damage found from Chris Tillman‘s MRI. There is some inflammation, and Buck Showalter seemed to indicate that Tillman might miss a start or so. However that’s why the Orioles have the depth that they do in the form of Tommy Hunter, Jake Arrieta, et al. I’m not even sure that you can call it a rotation anymore since on a daily basis the starter seems to be the next man up. However that’s part of playing in September while in contention. Tonight in the series finale in Toronto Miguel Gonzalez will take the mound once again as he looks for his 7th win on the year. He’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Brandon Morrow, who’s allowed three earned runs in his two starts since returning from the DL.
I’ll be appearing on the podcast of my counterpart, Ricky Keeler of Yanks Go Yard talking O’s/Yankees. We’ll be taping the broadcast at 8 PM this evening, and I presume that it will post some time between the end of play tonight and tomorrow night’s series opener at Camden Yards.