Jorge Lopez made it into the fifth inning for the Baltimore Orioles last night. Not an awful start, and in fact given the quality of the opponent (ChiSox) it was decent. Lopez’s line: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
After the game Lopez indicated that he was hopefully going to be able to re-charge his batteries a bit during the All-Star break, but that he still felt good:
For me, I’ve just got to keep working and get better,” he said. “I’ll take these four days and take a rest and clear my mind and just keep competing. … I just need to keep improving. Physically, I don’t feel tired. Probably mentally to be over and over and over in the same spot, it kind of takes you down. But I’m a strong man. I have a family and that’s giving me strength.Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
The O’s took a 1-0 lead in the last of the second when Ramon Urias smacked a solo homer. Chicago would tie it in the third on Godwin’s RBI-double. One inning later the O’s appeared to have a runner in scoring position. Then they had the lead back – or did they?
Anthony Santander led off the fourth with what appeared to be a double. As Santander asked for time to adjust his equipment, he got the signal that it was actually ruled a home run. And my personal opinion was that was the right call. The ball had appeared to go over the wall, hit on the other side of the wall, and bounce back into the field of play.
Chicago challenged the call. Again, my personal opinion was that it should remain a home run. At worst, there didn’t appear to be “clear and convincing evidence” that the call on the field was incorrect. Yet the umpires ruled it a home run. And end of the day, the Birds couldn’t ultimately bring Santander to the plate.
Thus the game remained tied – until Abreu’s RBI-single in the fifth. One inning later Anderson’s two-RBI single ran it to 4-1. The ChiSox would put four runs across in that sixth inning, then three in the seventh and three in the ninth. This sending the O’s to a 12-1 defeat.
You don’t lose by eleven and blame one call. The Birds walked enough people and gave up enough two strike and two out RBI to hurt themselves. But they did have the lead at 2-1 for a few minutes during that replay review. And had that play stood, it would have been a different game.
The O’s can’t seem to catch a break in that sense. But World Series contenders like Chicago get calls like that. Again, I thought it was a home run to begin with. But was there “clear and convincing evidence” to overturn the call on the field? Personally I think not.