Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis orange crushes Tampa
You had to know that at a certain point, the bats of Chris Davis and the rest of the Baltimore Orioles would have to come to life. It was just a matter of whether or not it would happen this year (and for that matter whether or not Davis specifically would be with the O’s when it did). But the good news is that as of last night, the bats overall woke up and they did so with Davis still being on the Birds in 2015.
The game got off to an inausicious start, as Kevin Gausman struggled. Gausman’s line: 2.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 earned), 2 BB, 1 K. Gausman was rolling along until Tampa got a huge break. J.P. Arencibia hit a deep shot to left which was ruled a home run in the third. The umpiring crew went to instant replay, which seemed to back up the fact that the ball was foul. Unfortunately for the O’s, this was evident to everyone BUT the umpires. The call was upheld, and the Orioles were subjected to Arencibia’s schoolgirl-like dance in the dugout.
To be blunt, that was a terrible call and quite frankly I’m not sure how it ended up being upheld. But it was, and it seemed to throw Gausman off. Later in the inning Longoria’s two-run homer ran the score to 3-0, and a Loney RBI-single made it 4-0. Had a runner not been thrown out on the base paths, and had the Orioles’ defense not saved two runs earlier in the game with stellar plays, it would have been a lot worse.
But for the first time in what seemed like ages, the Orioles fought back. Manny Machado plated a run in the last of the third with an RBI-single, and Gerardo Parra with an RBI-double. Later in the inning Davis came to the plate with the bases empty, and suddenly the game was tied – after his solo homer. Unfortunately for the Birds however, Tampa would take the lead back in the sixth on a Sizemore RBI-double, and then in the ninth a Longoria homer would run the score to 6-4.
That sent some folks to the exits at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Certainly this team wasn’t capable of coming back at this point, right? I might understand why people might feel that way given how things had gone lately. But also keep in mind that the final story of the 2015 season isn’t written until at the very least September is over.
Wieters led the inning off with a walk, which brought Jonathan Schoop to the plate. On a 1-1 count, he hit a “no-doubter” deep into the night which tied the game. It was so sudden and so unexpected if you had followed the team for the past few weeks – yet so typical if you were a longtime O’s fan. Whereas Tampa was already getting ready to get on the bus to the airport with a three-game sweep in their back pockets, the O’s had other ideas.
Through an inning-and-a-half of extras, nobody scored. And from the Birds’
Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
perspective that was a good thing. Home team bats last, right? So the last thing the O’s wanted was to come to bat in the last of an inning while trailing. As we went to the last of the 11th, it was the aforementioned Chris Davis who was leading off…
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…and you know the rest. Davis’ second home run of the night went deep into the Baltimore night. However it wasn’t just any homer – it was a walk off homer. That means the home team wins. In defeating Tampa 7-6, the Orioles broke a five-game losing streak and they hope that they might have woken up their bats.
This was one game, but sometimes that’s all you need. The Birds now have an off day today, which is probably more welcome than the win last night. While it’s been fashionable to pile on this team for their recent struggles, it shouldn’t go unnoticed by anyone that they haven’t had a day off since August 13th. And in fact while they won’t technically play today, it’s really more of a travel day as they head north of the border to Toronto.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this win saved the season. That’s something we don’t know yet. But as I said, the final story of the 2015 season isn’t written yet. But let’s say they catch fire in September and muscle themselves back into the race…you without a doubt point back to this moment as a catalyst.
Next: Baltimore Orioles: J.P. Arencibia trolling the Birds?