Battle Of Interim Managers Lost 7-5

W – Ricky Nolasco (6-6)     L – Brian Matusz (2-8)     SV – Leo Nunez (16)

Orioles fans can only hope Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos speed up the hiring process for our long term manager. Juan Samuel is not that man. With the Orioles trailing the Marlins 6-4 in the bottom of the 8th inning we had runners on first and second after Luke Scott walked and Adam Jones singled to lead off the inning. There were no outs and Matt Wieters was up next. Wieters has shown signs of breaking out of his major slump and with Scott Moore and Cesar Izturis due to follow him I figured this would be our best chance to get back into the game. Instead Samuel decides to have Wieters attempt a bunt, something I’m sure he hasn’t done in a game for a very long time. Predictably he didn’t lay down a good one, tapping it two feet in front of the plate and the lead runner was thrown out at third. If you’re dead set on bunting in that situation why wouldn’t you use Julio Lugo to do it since hes shown the ability to get the job done? Scott Moore followed with a strike out, Jake Fox walked pinch hitting for Izturis, and Corey Patterson reached on an infield single to score a run. That would be it though for the ruined inning. Our other runs came in one of our better innings of the year. With one out in the 2nd inning Scott and Jones went back to back with homeruns that were both crushed. Wieters singled, Izturis doubled, and Patterson singled to make it 4-0. Miguel Tejada singled twice in the game.

Brian Matusz had a very similar outing as Jeremy Guthrie had the night before. After the offense gave him a four run cushion to work with he immediately gave it right back. Two two run homers tied the game back up in the top of the third. Matusz was good for most of the night but just left two balls in the middle of the plate and paid for it. Thats nine homeruns over his last seven starts after only giving up two in his first eight. He gave up two more runs in the 7th inning as he looked like he was starting to tire. A lead off walk scored on a double and another double brought in the other run. David Hernandez was brought in and looked very good, striking out three batters over 1.2 innings and only allowing a single in the process. Hes the best pitcher in the bullpen and I think it was too hasty to remove him from the closers role after one bad outing. Alfredo Simon did nothing to dispel that notion in the top of the 9th, giving up a run on back to back doubles. It would’ve been worse too if Jake Fox didn’t throw out Chris Coghlan trying to steal third because the next two batters each singled to make it four hits in a row. The ending finally ended on a line drive to center field. Just another game we snatched from the jaws of victory to lose.

Player of the game: Adam Jones – 2-4, 2 R, RBI, HR (10) (.266 AVG)

The O’s try to avoid another sweep tonight. Kevin Millwood (1-8, 5.12) will try to achieve the unthinkable, two wins in a row. Nate Robertson (5-5, 4.44) pitches for Florida.


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