Thats why they Play the Game!!

May 22, 2009 |

The Orioles and Nationals came into this series ranked 29th and 30th in respectively in pitching ERA so all signs pointed to outburst of runs and hits.  Nobody could have seen a 12 inning game in which  the teams combined for only six runs.

That’s why they play the game.

Adam Jones’ 12th inning two run double ended up being the deciding factor in a 4-2 Orioles victory over the Nationals.

The surprising part is not the extra innings or the result, but the fact that both starters and both bullpens pitched so well.

The two runs that the Orioles scored in the 12th were the first runs scored since Ryan Zimmerman’s two run homer off Rich Hill in the fourth inning.

The Orioles bullpen went 6 1/3 scoreless innings after Hill got pulled in the 5th while the Nationals bullpen went 4 scoreless innings after Zimmerman was pulled in the 7th.

With all the big hitters and big offensive numbers in both lineups, who would have thought that an infield single by the pitcher in the 12th inning would ultimately lead to the victory.

Thats why they play the game.

Offensively the Nationals and Orioles were both in the top 13 in the league and they have hit a combined 93 home runs. Both lineups would be hitting against pitching staffs that loved to give up the long ball.

The Orioles and Nationals staffs have given up a combined 107 home runs on the season(63 by the Orioles) so it was surprising to only see one ball leave the yard.

Thats why they play the game.

Bad pitching is often a result of bad defense and both teams have had bad defense this season.

The Nationals have a .973 fielding percentage and have made 43 errors which ranks worst in all of baseball.

The Orioles, who made major improvements to their defense, rank 10th worst in baseball with a .982 fielding percentage and 27 errors.

Despite these statistics 12 innings of error free baseball were played with each team making some sparkling defensive plays.

With all the bad pitching numbers this game was set up to be an offensive explosion, however, it was far from that. 

 I don’t expect this to happen in the other games but then again who knows.

That’s why they play the game.