It seemed like I just watched this game yesterday...a strong performance by an Orioles' starter, a 4-4 tie in the late innings, the Birds struggling with the bases loaded in the ninth and the Yankees taking the lead in extra innings...and the Orioles lose.
But it really happened again. This time it only took 10 innings, but the results were the same. The Yankees swept the Orioles in three games at Camden Yards.
This time it was Adam Jones, not J.J. hardy at the plate with the bases jammed in the bottom of the ninth. Nick Markakis was intentionally walked to get to Jones, batting cleanup. Jones struck out swinging for the fences, sending the game to extras. Kevin Gregg got two outs before allowing a bloop double and a two-run blast to give New York a lead they would not relinquish.
There are quite a few positives to take from this game: O's starter Jake Arrieta was solid yet again, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five. He LOOKS like an ace. Jeremy Guthrie, by comparison, never was. Guthrie lasted just 3 1/3 innings tonight, giving up six runs on nine hits to the Giants. The O's are also proving they can hang with the Yankees. I know it's tough to lose, but at least we are close. I'd still rather see a game we could have and SHOULD have won instead of a blowout. The team is improving, and there are 15 games left against New York this season...
That being said, the O's need to improve if they ever hope to be tops in the division. Starting pitching is key, and it seems like the Orioles are where they need to be in that department. I blame the hitting for the last two losses. The O's have struggled all series with runners in scoring position, going 3-for-9 while stranding ten on base on Wednesday. They also struck out 12 times after whiffing 15 times the game prior. That's simply unacceptable no matter who is on the mound.
The 3-3 Orioles have Thursday off before taking on the Blue Jays Friday night. Tommy Hunter looks for his second win, and the Birds look to get back in the win column!