Weird way to lose a game…notes from the ballpark

April 24, 2007 | Drew Forrester

Remember the scene at the end of Fast Times at Ridgemont High when Mike Damone and Mark Ratner almost get into a fight in the school locker room? 

At the end of that scene, after squirrely Ratner shoved Damone and the teacher broke it up, Damone stands their with his hands on his hips and says, “I woke up in a great mood – I don’t know what the hell happened…”

That’s precisely how I felt tonight in the 4th inning at the ballpark:  “What the hell happened?”

At one point in the top of the 4th, Casey Willet, Nestor and I were talking about a no-hitter…next thing I know, Nick Swisher hits a ball over by the University of Baltimore, it’s 5-0 Oakland, and my man Bedard is gettin’ shelled. 

Look, Bedard IS my favorite pitcher, but this outing and the one on opening night in Minnesota weren’t “ace-like”.  He needs to get on a little roll and get that ERA down and start working into the later innings – next chance for him…Saturday in Cleveland.

And while the relief corps has been OUTSTANDING thus far in 2007, I don’t have to be a baseball genius to consider that it might be harmful in June, July and beyond if Orioles starters don’t start working into the 7th inning on a fairly regular basis.  At some point, you can’t keep using 4-5 relief pitchers a night, right?  That’s just something that worries me…now…as I look ahead and wonder if the Birds can keep this kind of pitching going all season. 

Thank you, Aubrey Huff.  I was starting to wonder a little if all that jibber-jabber by O’s execs in the off-season was bad karma or something.  Remember, everyone said he’d fall in love with that short porch in right field.  He finally hit a HR at OPACY tonight.

Speaking of homers to right, Nick Swisher just hit another one in the top of the 9th.  I saw him up close today for the first time ever.  I’m not saying anything…but that dude has some freakin’ big arms. 

Mike Piazza might be the slowest player in all of sports.  Yao Ming could have beat out that grounder in the 5th inning that Piazza hit…and Huff muffed the throw…or Piazza would have been out.  Tejada fielded the ball over by Pickles Pub and still got Piazza by a half-step.

I guess when you’re making $8.5 million this year (and $119 million in his career after this season), the joke is on everyone else, but I’ve seen two fossils play in Baltimore this year and I’m not sure who looks MORE done…Piazza or Gary Sheffield.  Rumor in the press box two weeks ago was that Sheffy doesn’t dig the cold weather and a .110 batting average in April isn’t reason for concern.  Sure.

I’d take Oakland’s Dan Haren on my staff, any day.

If I’m doing the calculating right, the Birds see Curt Schilling (Wed) and Josh Beckett (Thurs) this week in Baltimore.  Hmmm…

OK, back to tonight’s game.  What on earth was that in the bottom of the 9th?

The Keystone Cops?

How does Patterson not score on Roberts’ single?  What was Mora doing?  Was he told to bunt?  Was the suicide squeeze on and Patterson didn’t catch it?  WTF?

Bad way to lose a game.

And why would Tejada swing at the first pitch there?  Make Street throw 2-3 pitches and see if you can coax a walk out of him if he doesn’t want to challenge you.  Don’t swing at that first pitch, bro.

Then again, Tejada’s making $12 million a year playing baseball and I’m just a guy who has to beg for a game-by-game media pass, so who am I to criticize HIM, right?

Anyway – weird, weird ending to that one.  Makes me mad I left in the 6th, but I want to watch some of this Game 7 between Dallas and Vancouver and I need sleep. 

Talk to you all in 8 hours…

DF

P.S.  13,000+ was the announced attendance.  Sure looked like 7k to me. 

P.S.S.  Almost forgot to mention this – not sure who’s in charge of the pre-game music at Camden Yards, but hats off to the guy or gal in command tonight.  Heard two Morrissey songs, a Smith’s tune and something from Dave Matthews.  Nicely done…

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