Game 1: The Orioles won the first game of the series 6-3. Brian Burres improved his last start and got his first win. His control was wild and he gave up 7 hits and 5 walks, but he found a way to keep the runs off the board, only surrendering 2. He struck out 3 batters. I think he deserves another start after this one. The bullpen took care of the last 4 innings, with 5 pitchers combining to give up only one run. On the offensive side, two players stood out. Nick Markakis went 4 for 5 with a couple of doubles and Melvin Mora went 4 for 4 with a double. Ramon Hernandez knocked in a couple of runs with a double as well.
Game 2: In game 2, the O’s hung around for 6 innings before getting blown out 13-4. Steve Trachsel started and didn’t have his best stuff, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) and 4 walks in a little over 4 innings. And here was the start of a terrible weekend for Sam Perlozzo. He brought in freshly called up Jon Leicester to finish the 5th, which he did. Then he let him pitch the 6th, which he did only giving up one run, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to continue to hold down the Red Sox offense. Leicester came out for the 7th (ok, lets see how far he can go), walked the first batter on 6 pitches, walked the second batter on 5 pitches, and walked the 3rd batter to load the bases on 4 pitches. And nobody was warming up. He went to 2-0 on the next batter before basically taking himself out of the game with an injury, then Todd Williams got to come in and get ready. Perlozzo’s explanation? He was trying to rest the bullpen. ….Yeah, lets rest the bullpen by letting the worst pitcher on our team pitch clinging to a 1 run lead against the Red Sox, who we have a chance of beating twice in a row. Maybe its just me, but thats when you want to USE the best players in your bullpen. You can rest them when its a blowout on either side. Needless to say, Williams came in and got shelled, giving up all of Leicester’s runs plus 5 of his own. Jay Gibbons went 3-3 with 2 doubles as the bright side for the offense.
Game 3: Oh boy, heres the big one. On offense, the O’s scored 5 runs. Every starter had a hit except for Ramon Hernandez, and Jay Payton had a double. That should have been more than enough to easily win the game with the way Jeremy Guthrie pitched. Guthrie went out there and just stumped the Boston line up. He cruised through 8 innings, only giving up 3 hits and 2 walks while striking 2 batters out. He did all that with 85 pitches, so he should be able to go for the shut out no problem right? Yeah… He went back out there for the 9th and quickly got a ground out. Next batter, he gets him to pop up near the third base side of the mound. Except that Ramon Hernandez dropped the ball, so the batter reached first base. Ok, no big deal. Guthrie is still only at 90 pitches, hes not tired (he would say so after the game), and he doesn’t want to come out of the game (ditto). Well, Sam Perlozzo takes him out of the game of course. The Red Sox players would say after the game that they were stunned when they took Guthrie out and felt a little relieved, like they had renewed hope. So Danys Baez comes in and gives up 2 hits, allowing the runner to scores from first on a David Ortiz double. Then our “manager” brings in Chris Ray, who only started warming up after Baez came in to the game a couple pitches ago, and he is clearly not ready. He gives up 2 more hits to go along with 3 walks, before a ground ball to first base that would have gave the O’s a victory ended the game. In favor of the Red Sox. Chris Ray was late to get over to the bag and dropped the ball as it hit his glove. O’s lose 6-5. Sigh.
Now, the O’s have to travel to Toronto with a 3 game series with the Blue Jays. We’ll see if Sam Perlozzo can lose any more games for us. Go O’s….. Fire Sam Perlozzo.