O’s today: Swept in Toronto, Birds on a 6-game slide

May 03, 2009 | Drew Forrester

Generating less hits (5) on Sunday than Bruce Springsteen had on “Born in the USA” (6), the O’s once again failed to produce the winning formula in Toronto today, losing 4-3 despite a more-than-acceptable outing from Jeremy Guthrie.

As has become their form, when the O’s pitch well, the hitters fail to show up.  

Such was the case today when the Birds produced only 5 hits against some guy named Scott Richmond, who improved to 4-0 on the year by surrendering just two earned runs while going 7 innings.  

Guthrie went eight innings for the O’s in what was probably his best outing of the year.  He gave up a 2-run homer to Vernon Wells in the first inning and the game-winning round tripper to Alex Rios in the bottom of the 5th.  In between, and afterwards, he was very good.  

But the O’s bats…not so good.  Other than a Luke Scott homer in the 2nd, the Birds looked listless at the plate all afternoon.

The defeat was Baltimore’s 6th straight and 14th in their last 17 outings.  So much for that 6-2 start that had Charm City percolating with O’s fever.

Manager Dave Trembley wasn’t around to see the game play out, as he was chucked by home plate umpire Chuck Tiller for arguing balls and strikes in the 5th inning.  If Trembley showed as much fire toward some of his under-performing players as he did during his argument session with Hiller, perhaps this glide to last-place wouldn’t be so out of control.  As for Huff – and who am I to tell him about hitting? – that strike 3 was strike 3 in any league anywhere on earth.

Site note: Too bad Trembs wasn’t booted in the 5th inning of Saturday’s 5-4 loss…the Birds might have won that one under the watchful eye of anyone else on the bench except for the over-managing manager.

Felix Pie got the start in left field after Lou Montanez sprained his thumb making a diving catch on Saturday and Pie’s afternoon got off to a rousing start with a 2nd inning double.  Typically – and unfortunately – Pie failed to produce in the 4th when it really mattered, stranding runners at first and third with a strikeout to end the inning.  He did make a superb catch in left field in the 8th inning, but I don’t think that makes up for his .167 batting average.

The Birds have boarded their plane and are heading down to Tampa Bay for a quick 2-game series with the Rays.  Monday’s pitching match-up doesn’t favor the Orange, as they’ll send the highly unpredictable Adam Eaton to the mound against Tampa’s Scott Kazmir.  After a Tuesday afternoon get-away game, the O’s will return home for a series against the Twins and Yankees.  

It’s not getting any easier, that’s for sure.

As for that series in Toronto, I’ll borrow a line from “Tin Cup” and the MASN advertising slogan, “What’s your defining moment?”

In “Tin Cup”, Kevin Costner’s character, Roy McAvoy, explains away a late-round collapse by talking about a shot that went astray.  “The reason I went for that shot,” McAvoy said, “is because that was a defining moment.  And when a defining moment comes along…you either define the moment, or the moment defines you.”  His caddy, Cheech Marin, follows with the classic line:  “Yeah…and the definition of that was — s**t.”

There weren’t many defining moments in Toronto this weekend — none worth worth quoting, anyway.

Unless you just want to steal the line from Tin Cup and sum up the weekend like this:   “The definition of THAT…was s**t.”