Dan Farkas sent me a blog comment today and chastised me for not blogging about Sunday’s O’s win over Cleveland the superb pitching effort from rookie Brian Matusz.
I tried to explain to Dan that I was “off” on Sunday and, therefore, didn’t really pay any attention to Matusz’s gem. With that in mind, I couldn’t really blog about it on Monday.
That said, I also took Dan’s blog comment to heart. With these games being so vital to the playoff race for a bunch of teams the O’s are playing in September, perhaps I should be more attentive on a daily basis.
With that, I eagerly tuned in to this evening’s game at Yankee Stadium Mid-Atlantic, where the first-place Bronx Bombers put a 5-1 pasting on the Birds that wasn’t as close as the final score might otherwise indicate.
Andy Pettitte – who once used steroids to help hasten his return from an elbow injury – was simply brilliant tonight, producing a perfect game for 6.2 innings tonight before ex-Oriole Jerry Hairston botched a routine ground ball in the bottom of the 7th inning. Moments later, Nick Markakis muscled one down the left field line to end Pettitte’s no-hitter and the only drama left was to see how many times Baltimore TV announcers Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez said, “this Orioles team has a lot of pieces in place to start competing in the next couple of years” (I counted three during the broadcast. The over/under was 4.5. I took the over. I think I lost.)
Pettitte eventually gave up a home run to Melvin Mora in the 8th inning that ended his shutout bid, but that still can’t take away from the effort he gave tonight in front of 15,000 or so Yankees fans who slithered their way into the ballpark.
Nick Swisher was a man-beast tonight, with a home run, double and single. All he needed was Felix Pie to come up for him and rope a triple into the corner and “Swish-a-licious” would have produced the cycle.
The O’s eventually scratched out three hits in the game before bowing out gracefully.
Afterwards, Dave Trembley was quick to remind everyone that his team never gave up.
God Bless that man.
As for Pettitte, his masterful performance on Monday might have marked the last time he tortures the Orioles in Baltimore. He can’t pitch forever. I think his career record against the O’s is something like 113-5 now. I’ll be glad to see him retire.
Too bad Brian Matusz didn’t pitch this evening for the Birds. I would have enjoyed writing about him.