A touchdown and a field goal and the Orioles would’ve been right back in last night’s endeavor at The Ballpark in Arlington. For the third time in as many series, the Orioles imploded in the final game, getting their pitching officially battered by the stout Rangers in a 19-6 drubbing. They’ll have the day off today before battling the Red Sox four times over the weekend at Fenway Park.
Meanwhile, earlier in the night the Caps gave up an ugly third-period goal and failed to capitalize on their power play, losing to the “other” Rangers 4-3 at Verizon Center. Game 2 is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Below are my notes from an evening “Rocking the Remote” with the O’s and Caps:
10:37 p.m. — If you’re going to lose, why not do it in legendary style? Ian Kinsler has just tripled to complete the cycle. It must be something about the Rangers, these blowout games. It’s 15-4 in the 6th inning. At least it’s not 30-3. Not yet, anyway…
10:27 p.m. — Jim Palmer just said Chad Moeller has “put the wrong fingers down” too many times this year. And he’s now heading toward 0-3 as the starting catcher. Palmer said he’d be better if he caught Jeremy Guthrie every night. I agree. Moeller just drilled one over the centerfield fence.
9:57 p.m. –Hendrickson, Liz…does it matter at this point? It’s 12-3 in the 5th inning. No need to recount the meltdown. But we all know the pitching sucks. But, even nine runs down, with the Rangers band of arsonists it’s hardly over.
9:49 p.m. –Hendrickson is nearing 100 pitches. He’s gotten 11 outs and has allowed five runs and the bases are loaded.
9:37 p.m. — Bummer. Nothing worse than losing Game 1 at home. Final: Rangers 4, Caps 3.
9:34 p.m. –Craig Lauglin just said “Sean Avery has some screws loose!” That’s pretty funny. Even if this outcome isn’t looking positive. The net is empty…
9:28 p.m. — The Caps’ powerplay is not getting it done tonight. The Rangers have taken some dumb penalties and the door has been ajar all night, even when they were down a pair of goals. They need a miracle. It’s the playoffs. Don’t wanna lose this one, not at home!
9:26 p.m. — Caps on powerplay, down a goal…with 5:00 left. They’re losing 4-3. It’s a doubly whammy from Rangers tonight.
9:22 p.m. — Hendrickson has come unglued. Three runs are in, Birds are behind 4-3 in 3rd inning. Two outs in the 3rd inning and Hendrickson’s pitch count is nearing 70. Yikes! At least he escaped with a nice pitch to Saltalamacchia.
9:20 p.m. — UNLEASH THE FURY!!!!!!
9:18 p.m. — Third period power play and the Caps don’t land a shot. En route outta the box the Rangers take the lead on Brandon Dubinsky left Jeff Schultz’s pride at the blue line. Wow, probably the biggest goat horns on one player I’ve seen in a while. That was just bad, bad defense.
P.S. This “beard-a-thon” looks like fun. Lots of fun if the Caps can get outta this hole!
9:14 p.m. –Caught the replay of the Ian Kinsler shot. Man, he’s good! Makes me long for Matt Wieters. It’s the third inning and Mark Hendrickson is still pitching. At least we’re en route to a “quality start.” Well, maybe anyway. Better than last night anyway…
Caps have a power play. Pass the remote!
9:04 p.m. –The Verizon Center has come to life! They’re killing Henrik Lundqvist from the roof. Alex Semin scored and the place has gone bonkers. Good to hear the noise!
8:45 p.m. –Kris Benson hasn’t improved. Adam Jones has. Benson just walked in a run with two outs and the bases loaded. The Orioles are up 3-1 in the 2nd.
Want some comedy? The Orioles official website says: “Cagey vet Hendrickson, O’s looking for sweep” I have a lot of adjectives (and perhaps some adverbs) to describe Mark Hendrickson. Cagey would not be one of them. His lifetime ERA is 5.05. His WHIP is 1.45. Perhaps “savvy” at business but not cagey on the field. Hey, he’s still collecting a multi-million dollar Major League Baseball check, so he’s doing something right. Must be great to be lefthanded!
8:36 p.m. — The New York Rangers have quelled the crowd at the phone booth. Mark Hendrickson has already given up a run. Ian Kinsler is a fantastic baseball player. The Caps are down 3-2 and working on some momentum after Viktor Kozlov’s late goal.
8:17 p.m. — Now I’m watching the Orioles. They’re wearing “42s” on their backs with no name. Everybody is. I forgot all about it (or maybe they did a crappy job of promoting it?) They’re also up 2-0. Leadoff walks are bad news, Kris Benson!
8:14 p.m. — Sixty nine seconds. (Something funny there…insert joke!) That’s how long the Caps had their 1-0 lead. It was a whirlwind! The game has taken on a different energy since Ovechkin’s goal and the subsequent follow up from ancient Scott Gomez.
7:59 p.m. — Here’s where it gets interesting. Caps-Rangers are revving up the second period. O’s are about to do first pitch with the “other” Rangers in Arlington. I have a feeling hockey is going to have a “little” more energy. Ha!
7:50 p.m. — I just flipped over to MASN2 for some pre-game from Peter’s boys and the first thing I heard was Rick Dempsey talking about a torn “rotor” cuff. Aye, yi, yi…
7:43 p.m. — The first period is always a “feeling out” kinda period. The Caps had a pair of early powerplays and netting one might’ve been a good idea. The Verizon Center is a sea of red. The crowd has been “less than rowdy” — which kinda shocks me since it’s the playoffs because usually the crowd is at a fever pitch. I hear the cheap seats roaring, but near the glass people look a bit subdued.
It’s 0-0. Nothing really exciting, unless you consider Sean Avery doing stupid stuff a treat. Hasty hockey. Quick first period.
7:35 p.m. — Tonight IS Opening Day for people like me. It’s a rough decision night and a tight grip on the remote control will be necessary in 25 minutes when the Caps are in the second period of what figured to be a war with the Broadway Blues over the next two week and the Orioles bring out their THIRD broom of the season and the season is only nine days old.
Pinch me…it feels like 1989 all over again, only I have the ability to share this with you via a live blog all night.
Given my history with emotional April hockey/baseball games, this oughta be fun!