Baltimore Orioles: Huge Inning Sinks Detroit Tigers


Oct 2, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles left fielder Alejandro De Aza (12) celebrates with designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) after scoring a run during the eighth inning in game one of the 2014 American League divisional series against the Detroit Tigers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles won the opening game of the American League Divisional Series over the Detroit Tigers 12-3, scoring eight runs in the eighth inning to bust open what had been a close game.

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Max Scherzer was not at his best, but he was still very good for most of the game. The defending Cy Young winner allowed a two-run blast in the first inning by the new “Mr. October” Nelson Cruz, and a second-inning run on a dinker by Nick Markakis. After that, Scherzer settled into a nasty groove, while giving up only a solo home run to J.J. Hardy in the seventh. That Hardy home run put the Orioles ahead 4-2 at the time.

Chris Tillman gutted his way through five full innings and 105 pitches. Though he powered his way to three strikeouts in the first inning, Tillman allowed back-to-back home runs to lead off the top of the second inning. Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez both “went yard” to right field. The rest of the way was a lot of bend but no break, as Tillman pitched his way out of a bases-loaded situation in the fifth inning.

The final score – which appears to be a blow-out – suppresses the actual tedious nature of the bulk of the evening. It was a classic Tillman game with deep counts – where the batter simply cannot square up a pitch, but neither can Tillman put the hitter away. A total of 30 of his 105 pitches were against Ian Kinsler, including a 14-pitch at-bat that ended in a soft, broken-bat lineout to third base. 

Ian kinzler saw 41 of 179 pitches from Orioles hurlers.

The Orioles pitchers threw a total of 179 pitches in the game, and Kinsler saw 41 of them! The Tigers hit 46 foul balls on the evening, with 35 of them against Tillman over his five innings. That is tedious!

Several of the primary themes written about by everyone in anticipation of this series were evident …

  1. The Tigers have some powerful hitters. The two Martinez home runs mentioned above were added to in the top of the eighth by a Miguel Cabrera solo shot. The O’s were fortunate that these came with no runners on base, especially the Cabrera homer that followed a double play.
  2. The Tigers’ defense in not particularly good. The Orioles took great advantage of the outfielders by taking extra bases, looking like a speed-oriented team. A critical error by shortstop Andrew Romine really kicked open the barn door that led to the eight runs in the eighth inning.
  3. The Tigers’ bullpen is really bad. After Scherzer was taken out in the eighth inning, the Detroit bullpen gave up six hits and two walks before they could get the two final outs. The current ERA for Joakim Soria in the ALDS is now at 108.0!
  4. The Orioles bullpen is really good. Though Darren O’Day gave up the solo home run to Cabrera (no shame in that!), the bullpen gave up only that one run in four innings on four hits.

This is a great start for the Orioles, and it should serve as a confidence builder. And what a night at The Yard! The visual blast of orange was amazing, and the energy of the crowd was unmistakable even on TV.

Check back for another post later on the critical plays and moments of the game.