Since my golf plans were thwarted by rain, fog and wet today, I'm home to watch the Orioles take on the Blue Jays. Roy Halladay is pitching for the Jays and Rich Hill for the O's. Stay tuned for live updates with thoughts about the game!
Update, 1:36 pm: Wow, the stands are empty, which is hardly surprising given that this is a day game against the Blue Jays and the weather is yucky (that's a technical term). I wonder if there will be a smaller announced crowd than yesterday's record low of 10,130.
Update, 1:45 pm: With a 3-1 count to Vernon Wells and runners on first and second, Rich Hill needs to throw a strike. His go-to pitch? His big, sweeping curveball. Same thing on full count. And that's why you don't give up on an arm like his.
Update, 1:47 pm: On a related note, Felix Pie threw a strike from left field to nail Alex Rios, who tried to score from second on a ground single through the hole. And that's why you don't give up on talent like his.
Update, 1:51 pm: Adam Jones: .354, 11 HR, 34 RBI. Any day now, Dave, feel free to move this guy to the cleanup slot.
Update, 2:06 pm: Welcome back, Luke Scott! And just like that, the O's have a 2-1 lead. A Luke Scott/Nolan Reimold/Felix Pie combo at DH/leftfield could pay dividends.
Update, 2:13 pm: Well, that was a quick inning. Felix Pie easily tracked two flies to left and Hill induced a pop-up from Rios. Six in a row set-down for the lefty.
Update, 2:25 pm: Buck Martinez: "A lot of the video specialists aren't baseball specialists (excessive laughter)." Hmmmm... I'm thinking that these guys are actually very smart, very talented students of the game that are seeking to move into the front office an MLB team. Those young and entreprenurial people who are capable of teasing valuable insights from Pitch F/X data and the myriad of other technological developments are precisely those people clubs employ to mine video for an advantage. Stick to talking about the game, Buck. It's where you shine; don't let Gary Thorne rub off on you.
Update, 2:29 pm: Gary and Buck get into an interesting discussion about what to expect from Matt Wieters (starting Friday!), particularly where he will hit in the line-up. Based on Dave Trembley's history breaking in young guys, I expect Wieters to hit 6th or 7th most of the time, but that he'll force his way into the middle very quickly. My ideal Orioles line-up for the rest of the season:
Brian Roberts 2B
Melvin Mora 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters CA
Aubrey Huff 1B
Luke Scott/Nolan Reimold DH
Nolan Reimold/Felix Pie LF
Cesar Izturis/Robert Andino SS
Update, 2:34 pm: The free pass caught up with Rich Hill in the top of the 4th, as a pair of walks led to two runs on a single by Kevin Millar. There is still no one out.
Update, 2:39 pm: Doubles from Jose Bautista and Marco Scutaro bring in another three runs and chase Rich Hill. 3.1 IP, 6 hits, 3 BB, 4 K, and he's on the hook for the runner on second. Looks like my blogging won't have a happy ending.
Update, 3:56 pm: I woke up from a nap just in time to see Adam Jones reach on an infield single to load the bases for Nick Markakis. Trailing by five runs in the 7th, this is the key at-bat of the game. In true ace fashion, Halladay induces a foul fly ball from Markakis and quashes the rally. The Jays looked poised to pick up the victory.
Update, 4:15 pm: Back in business! With the bases loaded and a run already in, Robert Andino stroked his fourth hit of the game. Now, with Brian Roberts due up, the O's down by just three, one out and the bases loaded, the Orioles are very much back in the ballgame. Cito Gaston comes out pull Jesse Carlson. On comes Scott Downs to try and get the Jays out of the jam.
Update, 4:21 pm: A Brian Roberts sac fly brings Adam Jones to the plate; he ropes a single to left. And Nick Markakis has a shot at redemption. I think this Adam Jones kid is going to work out ok for the O's.
Update, 4:23 pm: Markakis doubles down the line! Tie game! Jones out at the plate!! (and it wasn't really very close). What an inning from the O's! When the ball was hit, I thought for sure that Jones would score. But Rios fielded the ball cleanly off the wall, made a perfect throw to the cutoff man and the relay hit the catcher in the chest. Text book relay drill from the Jays.
Update, 4:29 pm: Baez retires the side, and the O's go the bottom of the 9th needing just one run for the win. A great job from the bullpen today has kept the O's in the game, and made the comeback possible.
Update,5:01 pm: I realize that this is only the 11th inning of the 3rd game of the series, but Gary, his name is Aaron Hill.
Update, 5:02 pm: I guess that Mr. Hill took exception to being called Adam (repeatedly), and he hits a 2-run homer to put the Jays up 10-8.
Update, 5:16 pm: Nick Markakis singled to lead off the bottom of the 11th, and after Aubrey Huff popped out, Melvin Mora singled to bring the winning run to the plate in the form of Luke Scott.
Update, 5:18 pm: Luke Scott singles to right! Markakis scores from second and Mora makes it all the way to third base. Tying run at 3rd and the winning run at first for Nolan Reimold.
Update, 5:19 pm: Cesar Izturis pinch runs for Luke Scott. Do you steal?
Update, 5:20 pm: Nolan Reimold!!!! Walk-off homer!!! What a ballgame for the Orioles!!! I can't wait to go to the game on Friday night for Matt Wieters' debut.