Baltimore Orioles: Hoodwinked Part II?
The Baltimore Orioles didn’t roll over for NY in this afternoon’s series finale. It looked like they might have at first, but they got their act together behind Dylan Bundy‘s effort, which put the Birds in a spot to win the game. Bundy’s line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K.
Richie Martin gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the second when he grounded into a force out allowing a run to score. NY would strike back on a solo homer by Frazier in the fifth. That tied the game at one, however one inning later New York would take a 3-1 lead on a two-RBI single by Urshela, which chased Bundy.
Romine’s seventh inning RBI-single and Voit’s eight inning homer put New York ahead 5-1. Things didn’t look so good for the O’s, however they got on the board again in the last of the eighth on an RBI-single by Trey Mancini. The O’s proceeded to put two more runners on base, bringing Renato Nunez to the plate…
…and Nunez didn’t disappoint. He smacked a three-run homer, tying the game up at five. This was exactly the type of spark for which the O’s had been looking for some time. It was late-game heroics, and perhaps a precursor to Orioles Magic, at it’s best. The O’s were in business…or where they?
Mychal Givens came in to pitch the ninth, and recorded two quick outs. Things appeared to be setting up nicely perhaps for a walk off Oriole win. Then NY pinch hit Torres, who had done so much damage to the Orioles already. The good news was that they kept him in the ballpark. The bad news was that he walked.
That walk set up a sequence that involved New York loading the bases, and Hicks walking in the go-ahead and eventual winning run. Givens all but came unglued in a sense with the game on the line. At least that’s how it looked on paper.
The 2-2 pitch to Torres was borderline at best. In saying that I mean that it appeared to be strike three. Givens was already walking back to the dugout, expecting ol’ blue to ring Torres up. I think even Torres thought it was strike three. But the only guy at Camden Yards who thought it was ball three was home plate umpire Jim Reynolds. There wasn’t one person at Oriole Park at Camden Yards who wasn’t shocked when Reynolds called ball three.
Obviously it’s easy to suggest that Givens has to have better control than that. But he also did everything except strike Torres out. In reality, he did strike him out in his mind. And that’s exactly the type of thing which can throw a pitcher for a loop in a game.
As I’ve said before, it’s unfair to blame one call made by one umpire on a loss. But that was fairly glaring to anyone who saw it. Generally pitchers try not to engage umpires when they leave the field, but when the inning finally ended Givens walked off the mound while giving a long, cold, and calculating stare to Reynolds. Almost a threatening stare. And one can’t really blame him.
The O’s now head back out on the road for a three-game series and road trip to Coors Field to take on Colorado. John Means gets the call for the Birds, and Colorado is yet to decide on it’s starter. Game time is set for just after 8:30 PM.