Bullpen Blows Another In 7-6 Loss

W – John Lackey (2-1)     L – Matt Albers (0-3)     SV – Jonathon Papelbon (5)

At least the bats woke up.. The Orioles had 17 hits last night, but it only added up to six runs, which just wasn’t enough since our bullpen blew up again and wasted another quality start. This time it was Brian Matusz on the mound. He breezed through the first six innings, the only run coming on a solo homerun from Jason Varitek. But he walked the lead off batter then allowed a line drive single to right field to leave runner on first and third. He was right around 100 pitches at the time so I can’t really fault Dave Trembley for taking him out, but I can fault him for bringing in Matt Albers yet again while Jason Berken is sitting out there fully rested. Albers had just pitched the night before, ineffectively, and Berken has been great for us this year. I guess Trembley is trying to keep everyone in their defined roles, does that mean that Berken can only pitch when the Orioles are trailing by five runs or more? Thats a joke. You put the best pitcher out there that gives you the best chance to win the game. I get that Albers is a groundball pitcher but if you’ve been watching him pitch this year you can’t rely on him to stop a rally. After striking out David Ortiz, Albers promptly gave up a three run homerun to Marco Scutaro to give the Red Sox a one run lead. That followed with a double and a walk before he was mercifully taken out of the game. Kam Mickolio came in and he too served up a three run homer, this time to Kevin Youklis, before getting out of the inning. Alberto Castillo finally made his season debut for the birds and had an easy 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts in the 8th.

Aside from the leadoff spot and 9th hitter in the order, the offense was scorching base hits all night. In the second inning Matt Wieters led off with a single and scored on Luke Scott’s double. Rhyne Hughes made his major league debut with an RBI single with a runner in scoring position. In the 6th Ty Wiggington hit a solo homerun, one of his four hits in the game. Surprisingly the O’s made a comeback attempt in the 9th down 7-3. Adam Jones hit a solo homerun with one out, Nick Markakis crushed a double to center field, Miguel Tejada singled, Wieters singled to score Markakis, and Scott singled to score Tejada. That made it a one run game with runners on first and second. Unfortunately Jonathon Papelbon struck out Wiggington and Hughes to end it. Jones, Tejada, Wieters, Hughes, and Markakis each had two hits in the game. Nick also walked twice. Scott had three hits and Wiggington four, as noted earlier. So maybe this puts our team wide slump to sleep, but I would’ve much rather had it come with a win. Trembley is hanging on by a thread.

Player of the game: Ty Wiggington (4-5, solo HR (6) (.333 AVG))

The Orioles will try to avoid their second three game sweep in a row today with David Hernandez (0-3, 4.67) pitching against the knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (0-1, 6.38).

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