I saw it, but I can’t believe it.
The Orioles and their manager – plus a bad call and a bad bounce – put together one of the great late game collapses in recent memory tonight at the ballpark and for the first time all year, I honestly feel REALLY bad for the organization. The Birds squandered a 5-2 lead and allowed five runs in the 8th inning to lose to the A’s, 7-5. There are bad losses and then there are BAD losses, in all caps. This was a BAD loss.
The sight of Adam Jones sitting on the dugout steps by himself after Garrett Atkins struck out to end the game…that one made me misty eyed.
The Birds led the game 5-2 in the 8th inning. Oakland’s half-decent offense hadn’t even reached the half-decent level on Brad Bergesen through 7 innings. He threw 93 pitches on the night and was in full command. Adam Rosales led off the 8th with a single, but not before he looked at strike 3 that wasn’t called. Mark Ellis came up next and drove one into left field. And with that, Dave Trembley came out and yanked Bergesen, ending his evening.
It’s easy to second guess, now, of course, but I remarked right away on our live chat: “Bad move”. If for no other reason, I thought the concept there should have been, “OK, kid, you got yourself into a mini-jam here…let’s see what you have under the hood.”
The team is 15-32 (well, now 15-33). Just go out, settle him down, and let him try and wiggle out of the tight spot he put himself in. Seeing how Bergesen handled the heat, there, would have been interesting and, perhaps, a good teaching lesson for the young pitcher.
Instead, Trembley went to Jason Berken. And Berken delivered, getting a fly ball out.
That was the end of his night, though, as the manager brought in Mark Hendrickson. Hendrickson gave up a single off his shin and then an inning ending grounder to Cesar Izturis took a wild hop off the infield dirt and the inning was still alive.
Time for Cla Meredith to come in with the bases loaded.
And when Kevin Kouzmanoff delivered with a 3-run double, that was all she wrote.
The O’s put runners on 1st and 2nd in the 9th inning, but Adam Jones (fly ball out) and Garrett Atkins (strike out) couldn’t deliver in the clutch.
Everything that could have gone wrong in the 8th inning, went wrong. A missed 3rd strike from the umpire. The manager coming out and doing some managing. A grounder off the shin of the pitcher. A bad hop on an inning ending bouncer to the shortstop. And a roped double off the wall.
I don’t know what else to say.
It’s pretty painful now.
And it’s evident, to me anyway, that everyone’s trying their best to win — but they’re just not good enough. Or lucky enough. Or…I don’t know…”something enough”.
You can’t lose games like the one the O’s lost tonight.
But they did.
To borrow a line from a great song by The Smiths: “Heaven knows I’m miserable now…”