Baltimore Orioles announcer Rick Dempsey is of course famous around Birdland for his statement, “Nothing good ever happens after a walk.” Well, on Wednesday night (actually Thursday morning) something good happened.
A moment later, Nick Markakis drilled a hard and deep line-drive single into right-center field. Lough was flying around the bases and was being waved home by third-base coach Bobby Dickerson. But he stumbled over the bag and landed on his face… fortunately! The throw home looked good and he would have likely been out, and I’d be cursing Dickerson here today.
The Birds had runners at first and third and none out. And the O’s are very, very, very capable of not scoring in a situation like that.
After a series in which the Orioles were a combined 5-for-27 with runners in scoring position, it was a relief to Baltimore fans everywhere to see Daniel Webb spike the first pitch to Steve Pearce and give the Orioles a walk-off wild pitch victory. Put it in the win column. Who cares how it happened!?! Though it happened after a walk! And yes, I understand that this affirms Dempsey’s main point – that from the perspective of the pitching team, nothing good happens, as proven by the events that gave the Oriole this series-winning 5-4 victory.
Speaking of the mere five hits in 30 innings with RISP, one of those hits this evening was the eighth inning grand slam of Nelson Cruz to right field that erased the 4-0 Chicago lead. The Orioles could get nothing off the Sox starter Hector Noesi, who demonstrated the pitching wisdom and skill in pounding the bottom half of the strike zone. It was the most pitch efficient effort seen in a Baltimore Orioles game (by either side) this season. There is a lesson to be learned in it.
Ubaldo Jimenez was not great in this game, but he was decent. At least he controlled his walks by only giving up two in 6.1 innings.
Great credit should go also to the Orioles bullpen, as six relievers gave up no runs and only three hits over 5.2 innings of work. It is a good thing the O’s have an off day on Thursday before beginning a four-game set with the Rays that features a day/night doubleheader on Friday.
So mark it down … June 25, 2014: The day something good happened after a walk.