12:26 a.m. — George Sherrill threw three straight balls to start the ninth inning but did his best Don Stanhouse escape, ultimately shutting the door on the middle of the Seattle order as the Birds defeated the Mariners 1-0 in a hastily played, well-pitched “old time” ball game.
Rich Hill was extraordinary, going seven innings and allowing just two hits while retiring the final 14 Mariners in order before exiting to perfect relief from Jim Johnson and Sherrill.
It’s a good homecoming for Adam Jones, who scored the lone run of the game.
1-0 games don’t happen too often. Savor them! It was a great night to stay up late watching baseball.
12:18 a.m. — Rick Dempsey: “You never would’ve thought that the Orioles could get pitching this good!” An odd thing to say, but Dempsey is great for these one liners. And for the record, about two weeks ago I would’ve agreed with him. This team is finding energy from the young pitchers. That much is obvious!
12:14 a.m. –We’ve come a long way from the days of waiting for The Baltimore Sun and the little black boxes on the front page, haven’t we? Jim Johnson has pitched a stellar eighth inning and George Sherrill is about to come in and shut the door. The pitching tonight has been superb. Hasty baseball. Lots of strikes. Almost “National League-esque” in its efficiency and execution. One thing Orioles pitchers can do to win back the fans: work fast! The four-hour games over the past decade have been glacial, boring and LATE. The pace tonight has been a joy to watch even as the midnight hour approached. Matt Wieters just struck out looking to end the eighth. He’s 0-for-4 tonight if you’re wondering…that’s 2-for-15 on the weekend. That means Matt Messiah is batting .133. Hey, even Brooks Robinson struggled.
Be nice on the message boards and no calls tomorrow calling for Gregg Zaun!
12:03 a.m. — Not only was Rich Hill in command on the hill tonight at Safeco Field in Seattle, he is making it even harder for the Orioles to decide what to do once Koji Uehara comes back from the disabled list.
What a night for Hill! Seven innings, two hits, ZERO runs, 106 pitches. A helluva effort. Just fantastic by any measurement. Along with Adam Eaton’s gem six weeks ago, this was the best-pitched game of the season for the O’s.
Offense has not been at a premium tonight but the effort by the Birds three times zones away is there. They had their chances to get some insurance runs in the sixth inning, but came away empty when Melvin Mora and Luke Scott ended a little rally which netted the Birds only run on a Aubrey Huff sacrifice fly that scored Adam Jones.
No matter. The roadtrip is off to a nice start and Matt Wieters can join David Hernandez and Jason Berken, who are all “feeling their way” through the big leagues and their first big league hotels and per diems. They’re just rookies tonight in Seattle. No one in Safeco was there to see Matt Messiah. They just came for a ballgame.
And they got a pretty good one. How many games go to the ninth as a 1-0 game?