After escaping with two wins in the nation’s capital over the weekend (Palmer called them “fortunate” to win on Friday and Saturday…wonder if he’ll get a memo?), this one was almost expected.
The O’s blew an early 3-0 lead, fell behind, 4-3, then went ahead again in the 7th on an Adam Jones home run.
Unfortunately, the Birds relief corps – ever-reliable all weekend – couldn’t spit the hook this time around, as the Nats rallied for an 8-5 win on the heels of an Adam Dunn grand slam in the bottom half of the 7th.
Brad Bergesen was the starter for the O’s and there’s an argument he was more effective with the bat in his hands than the ball in his right palm. Bergesen had a single, got on base another time via an error (shoulda been a hit too…but who cares?) and, if nothing else, showed he can be a threat if the O’s make the World Series this year and he has to pitch in the National League Champion’s ballpark.
On the mound, though, Bergesen was serviceable, at best. He’s pretty good the first time through the lineup and holds his own the second time around too. Once he’s seeing guys for the 3rd or 4th time, though, it’s not very pretty. He was able to work into the 6th inning (8 hits, 4 earned runs) before giving the ball to Chris Ray and Jamie Walker, who combined to end the O’s modest 2-game winning streak with a horrific 7th inning. I wonder if Adam Dunn took it personally when Dave Trembley intentionally walked Ryan Zimmerman to get to Dunn? 420 feet later, I’d say the answer was “yes”.
There’s not much to debate about the 7th inning. Ray was the reasonable entry there (just get SOMEONE out…even the mascot) and it made sense to bring in a lefty to face Dunn. Sure, Hendrickson could have been the choice, but Walker got the nod and promptly served up the grand-salami to the big lefthander. Bad pitch by Walker…not necessarily a bad decision by Trembley, who makes his fair share of those when it comes to hurlers.
The Birds return home to face Toronto tomorrow afternoon, with “Pay Cut” going to the mound for the O’s. After Guthrie’s start on Memorial Day, all eyes and ears will be focused on the Tuesday night starter at OPACY. Trembley has said it’s NOT going to be someone currently on the 25-man roster, eliminating the likes of Brian Bass (as deserving as anyone…actually), Matt Albers (as an emergency? sure…) and Mark Hendrickson (NOT deserving…). It’s still anyone’s guess: Chris Waters? 40% chance. Jason Berken? 30% chance. Troy Patton? 20% chance. David Pauley? 10% chance.
Odds that the O’s will make a choice that leaves everyone scratching their head? 77%