Zany loss turns tables, sends Orioles home


Wednesday night’s zany, 9-8 loss to the Pirates punctured the celebratory mood of Baltimore Orioles fans who were marveling at Chris Davis‘ 3-homer night Tuesday night. Have yourself a night, why don’t you, Chris.

Perplexing would be the only word for Chris Tillman recently, having spun a masterful, complete-game shutout last time out, and then being bombarded by Pittsburgh. So the Orioles have taken three of four from the Bucs and come home to face Cleveland for four games starting Thursday.

This week’s Sports Illustrated, with a piece about Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez, reminds Baltimore Orioles fans than they are not alone. The first-ball swinging, leadoff hitter has the Brewers atop the NL in first-pitch swing percentage, and he just wants to be who he is. The Orioles aren’t the only team with a good player who’s an enigma.

Gomez was offered to the Orioles for Erik Bedard. But they turned it down for Chris Tillman, Adam Jones and three others who are mostly historical footnotes. At times there are some who would take Gomez over Jones, but not over Adam and Tillman both. George Sherrill, Kam Mickolio, and Tony Butler were the other three in the trade. If the Orioles had Gomez instead of Jones, it might have taken a few years for him to seize the leadoff role and run with it, and the enigma with perplexing but good results would be him.

Jones’ 14-game hitting streak, during which he has hit .357 with five home runs, 11 RBIs and eight runs scored before Wednesday’s loss to Pittsburgh, is making some of his critics applaud for the time being.

In Wednesday’s game, he drew his first walk since April 19.

He even drew his first walk tonight since April 19, which approaches the mind-boggling.

If a leadoff hitter fell from heaven who hit 24 homers and swiped 40 bags with an .843 OPS last year, as Gomez did, then yes, I’d take that. A team may not have given the O’s that plus a promising young arm … but Seattle gave us Jones plus Tillman, who was 19 and in A-ball then.

Andy MacPhail had to be some wheeler-dealer to get that done.