Man, this was one that clearly got away. The Orioles had several opportunities to win this one, but made all of the wrong moves late in the game.
First, I’ve never been a fan of Danys Baez. Your job, when coming out of the bullpen, is not only to protect a lead, but to “stop the bleeding” when your team is trailing. Baez did not do that on Monday. Instead, he gave up a ninth inning homerun to Nick Swisher. That proved to be the game winner as the Orioles lost by one run.
Secondly, I was told years ago, in youth baseball, that when you are on second, with less than two outs, you automatically advance if the ball is hit behind you. If the shortstop is going to his glove side, it is nearly impossible for him to turn and throw you out at third base.
Having said that, there is no reason for Corey Patterson to head back to second base on the ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the ninth inning. Brian Roberts did an excellent job of hitting the ball where it was pitched, and Patterson ruined a golden opportunity.
In the same inning, Melvin Mora, who’s been one of the team’s best run producers, laid down a bunt with runners on first and second. The problem with that is it appears that Patterson, who was standing on third base, had no idea that Mora was bunting. Completely a lack of focus on someone’s part. I don’t want to pass judgment, but it certainly look as if Mora acted on his own.
Finally, to end the game, Huston Street walked Nick Markakis to load the bases and face the dangerous Miguel Tejada. I’m thinking the Oakland A’s have to be pretty stupid. Why would you make a guy like Tejada mad by walking the guy in front of him?
Before I could finish my thought, Tejada grounded to second to end the game. An appropriate ending for a strange game. Thankfully, I don’t have to wait until next week. In baseball, I have tomorrow.