Baltimore Orioles: Strange Moments during O’s Win over Red Sox


Apr 18, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Steve Pearce (28) makes a diving catch on Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) during the fifth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s 4-1 win of the Baltimore Orioles over the Boston Red Sox was one of those games filled with a lot of odd moments and unusual circumstances. Both teams allowed a lot of runners in scoring position to be left on base. The Orioles were 3-for-9 in RISP situations (with 10 left on base), while the Sox 0-for-9 (7 LOB).

Bullpen Saves the Day – This was the first Orioles game of the season where the bullpen did not give up a run. Chris Tillman put up 5.1 innings of hard work, suffered through dozens of foul balls, and endured a squeezed strike zone at the end. Brad Brach looked the best he has this year in 1.2 innings, O’Day had a great double-play ball help him through the 8th, and Zach Britton did what he does best – 1,2,3.

Davis Earns another Day in the Three Hole – After three more strikeouts (along with a single), I was thinking that Davis simply has to be dropped down the order until he gets something figured out. The encouraging thing, however, was that the Sox were insisting on pitching him outside rather than busting him up and in. I’d rather see this. It allows him to extend, and he extended a 9th-inning two-run homer over the green wall. Nothing could help this team more than Chris Davis getting it together. Ever hear anybody else make that analysis?

Scary – I caught the first inning on the car radio before getting home to see the rest of the game. Tillman threw a high and tight pitch, called as such by the announcer who suddenly yelled, “And Tillman’s been thrown out of the game! … no, just kidding.”  Geez, I had to put my heart back inside my body. It shouldn’t be so believable.

Big Papi Speed – Is there a slower runner in baseball than David Ortiz? Anyone name Molina, I suppose. Certainly Cecil Fielder… but that’s about it! In fact, in a Bleacher Report article on the slowest players in baseball history, Papi ranked #12 (Fielder was #2).

Add to this the fact that practically NOBODY even tries to steal against Chris Tillman. Runners are 2-for-13 over two years! That is a crazy statistic.

So, in the bottom of the fourth inning, with the shift on against Pablo Sandoval, the big guy takes off for third base, and he made it – because Sandoval grounded out to first. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened. He and Manny Machado had a big laugh about it at third base.

Actually, Ortiz scored the only Boston run, racing in from third base on a 50-foot infield grounder muffed by Tillman. Weird.

Ryan Flaherty Gets Base Hits! – Unbelievable. He got two hits off Clay Buchholz, though he did strike out and leave the bases loaded in the 5th inning – not the only Oriole to leave ducks on the pond. In his final at-bat, he drilled a very hard liner to right field. He’s going to be playing more, now that Jonathan Schoop is on the disabled list. And if Scott Coolbaugh can make even a marginal hitter of Flaherty, I say sign the guy to a doubled salary – Coolbaugh, that is.

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Outfield Defense – The value of defense to the Showalter Orioles is the stuff of legend. It was on display with two fine plays by De Aza in left field and a great diving catch by Steve Pearce. But Hanley Ramirez looks as lost in left field as anyone you’ve ever seen in front of the Green Monster. Drifting back against it, he blew what should have been a catch. On Friday night he total misjudged caroms off the wall. In the spirit of the sesquicentennial of the passing of Abraham Lincoln, one of his most famous quotes was to say that General Rosecrans “looked stunned and confused like a duck hit on the head.” That’s was Ramirez looks like in left field.

Grinding it Out – I don’t think Adam Jones says anything to a baseball writer without using the words “grind” or “grinding.”  This game was a representation of what that means. Good win!

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