Adam Jones slid into home plate in the last of the tenth and the Colorado catcher dropped the ball, allowing the Baltimore Orioles to win 3-2.
The Baltimore Orioles won a game of inches last night as Adam Jones scored the winning run in the last of the tenth. All sports are games of inches. Some might argue football moreso than any other sport because you physically have the measure the yard lines – but I digress. Game of inches refers to the fact that the line between winning and losing can be so fine, and one thing here or another thing there can tip the scales.
Yovani Gallardo gave the Orioles a good outing, however he tired at the end. He was probably left in for one batter too many, however he put the Orioles in a position to win the game – which they eventually did. Gallardo’s line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K.
No matter how you spin it, that’s a quality start for Gallardo. He stymied the Colorado hitters for much of the game. Which was a good thing because Colorado starter De La Rosa seemed to be doing the same to the Orioles.
Jones’ second inning RBI-single gave the O’s a 1-0 lead. Mind you that on paper the Orioles are a much better team than Colorado. However part of the “magic” of interleague play is that you end up playing teams you don’t normally see. Therefore it’s tough to say how you match up with those teams. In this case, Colorado seemed to match up well with the Birds and thus played them tough.
Colorado tied the score at one in the fourth on an Arenado solo homer, and we played on – in a pitcher’s duel. Gallardo began the top of the sixth with a walk, and as we know…nothing good ever happens after a walk. Especially when you’re starting to tire. Reynolds’ RBI-single later in the inning gave Colorado a 2-1 lead over the Orioles, who were having trouble getting anything across against De Le Rosa.
However De La Rosa wasn’t a machine. He tied as well, and was replaced midway through the last of the seventh. Colorado’s bullpen isn’t quite what that of the Orioles is, and the Birds imediately took advantage. Adam Jones grounded into a force out, which allowed a runner to score from third. This tied the game at two – and we played on!
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The game ended up going to extra innings, and the O’s put runners on the corners in the last of the tenth. With Machado at the plate, Jones found himself at third. Machado hit a soft comebacker to the pitcher, which he appeared to mishandle just a bit. This prompted Jones to run from third, and the throw home was dropped by the Colorado catcher. Jones slid in safely, and the O’s had a 3-2 extra innings win.
And that’s why baseball’s a game of inches. Jones appeared to be dead in the water at home plate in terms of the timing of the play. But the throw wasn’t the greatest and it was dropped. At the end of the day when you go to extra innings it doesn’t really matter how you score runs, it just matters that you scored. Especially when you’re the home team.
The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Chris Tillman will take his 14-2 record to the mound for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Colorado’s Chad Bettis. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.