Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado Executes Justice and the A’s


Aug 14, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) sprays third baseman Manny Machado (13) with water after his two run walk off home run in the thirteenth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Baltimore Orioles defeated Oakland Athletics 8-6 in the thirteenth inning. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In what was one of the more entertaining Baltimore Orioles games of the 2015 season, the O’s finally prevailed 8-6 in the bottom of the 13th inning on a walk-off two-run homer by #13 Manny Machado.

This was a game that the Orioles deserved to win. In fact, they had it won … all except for the final out in the ninth inning. Zach Britton suffered only his second blown save of the season in this his 45th appearance. His only other BS was on April 25th.

Speaking of BS, that is exactly what happened to Britton in the ninth inning. Two crap hits – infield chops that were beaten out for singles – were followed by two more infield chops to score a run before finally a legit base hit knocked in the tying run.

Britton’s stuff is so good that is could almost be classified as “too good.”  Those upper 90s sinkers end up so often being drilled into the ground and creating underserved 40-foot infield hits. Giving up two runs and being charged with a blown save on this night was one of the more unjust things I’ve seen in baseball.

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So therefore, when the teams remained scoreless until Caleb Joseph doubled and Machado walked it off in the bottom of the 13th, justice was served on Manny’s 25th home run of the season.

It looked bad for the Orioles through the first four and one-half innings, as the A’s jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Ubaldo Jimenez. It was a strange outing for the O’s pitcher. His stuff looked to have good movement, although the command was definitely off. Jimenez gave up four runs on nine hits and two walks. He spent much of the night pitching out of the stretch, throwing 48 of his 102 pitches with runners on base.

The Orioles simply could not tolerate a loss to open this 10-game homestand. They could not bear to fall any farther behind in the A.L. East (even though the Jays did lose to the Yankees – no kidding!).

Inside information here about writing: I am often writing the recap of the game before it ends, presuming a current score is more likely to stand than it is to change … especially with Zach Britton coming into the game. So the original headline for a nine-inning win was going to be, “Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones – HR #20 is HR #1.”  A three-run shot in the fifth inning from Jones truly breathed new life into a team that was about to go under the waves for the last time.

Jones would get a fourth RBI on a sac fly to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, just before Chris Davis would hit a monster shot — his 32nd — to put the Orioles in a position to win the game.

Perhaps the best inning put in by any Orioles pitcher (and most of them made it into the game!) was the 13th inning by Jason Garcia. He threw three consecutive ground balls on only six pitches to register his first career win. Oh my, the anger and angst that would have come forth from Orioles fans if the Rule 5 pitcher had blown the game. The frustration would have filled the comment boards that the O’s had truly sunk the season by carrying a pitcher who could not be counted upon in a pennant race.

Could this win be THE MOMENT?  Could it be the start of a final-third stretch such as carried the Birds into the playoffs in 2012 and 2014? That would be a great thing.

Next: How to explain a merely .500 Orioles team