Myworld had a long day yesterday, seeing two games in two cities. The last time we did that was watching a day game in Wrigley and driving to Milwaukee to see a night game. That was when Geoff Jenkins was patrolling left field for Milwaukee.
The surprising Orioles won a four game series from the first place White Sox in the opener 5-3. Oriole fans are either asleep, or they all lived in Virginia and are now watching the Nationals play. Only 40,000 attended the four game series. If you had told any Oriole fan their team would be just three games behind the Yankees from first place and it was two days till September they would be pretty excited. That excitement has not translated into attending the games.
The Oriole bats connected against Jose Quintana in the third inning for five extra base hits in a row to score four runs to prove the difference in the game. Taylor Teagarden started the inning off with a solo homerun into the right field pavillion. Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy ripped back to back doubles almost in the same spot along the left field line to score the second run. Adam Jones ended the scoring with a monstrous shot almost clearing the seats in the first row of the left field bleachers to make the score 4-1. Mark Reynolds followed with a double off the top of the left field wall that the umpires had to review to determine if it was a homerun. It was not a homerun and Reynolds was stranded at second.
Zach Britton was carving up the White Sox bats. He had nine strikeouts after five innings and finished the game going eight innings with ten strikeouts. The White Sox collected four hits off him in the second but could only one run. A.J. Pierzynski was thrown out at home on a Alexi Ramirez single to Adam Jones. They scored the first run of the game on a Gordon Beckham single to center scoring Dayan Viciedo, who runs a little faster than Pierzynski.
After the second inning the White Sox could get only two more baserunners off Britton. They rallied for two runs in the ninth off Pedro Strop. Buck had to bring in Jim Johnson after Alex Rios and Hector Gimenez hit back to back singles off Strop. Johnson gave up a 2-run single to Ramirez, but struck out Beckham to pick up the save.
The White Sox relievers Nate Jones, Hector Santiago and Donnie Veal struck out seven hitters in the last three innings. Nate Jones throws the hardest of the three, hitting the high 90s, but he likes to show the hitters the ball in his delivery, cocking his arm behind his head and advertising where the ball is. He could be more effective if he did a better job of hiding the ball, but perhaps that is how he generates his velocity.
In the second game the Nationals had an easy time over the Cardinals 8-1. Bryce Harper started off the festivities with a 2-run line drive homerun in the first inning. It was his third homerun in two days. He also sent one deep to the centerfield warning track in his second at bat.
Edwin Jackson was on his game, striking out 10 Cardinals. He had seven strikeouts after the first three innings. A Ryan Zimmerman error in the eighth inning when he sailed a ball over LaRoche’s head and into the seats ended a Cardinals 28 inning scoreless drought. You look at the bats they have in their lineup and you have to wonder how they can go 28 innings without scoring a run.
Jaime Garcia was not sharp for the Cardinals. Jayson Werth continues to shine from the leadoff spot. He was on base his first three times up, scoring all three times. He walked to lead off the first, singled in the third and then jacked a solo shot into the left field bullpen off Garcia. In the sixth the Nationals strung together three hits in a row to score two runs, ending the day for Garcia and taking a 6-0 lead. A Bryce Harper single just over the glove of a leaping shortstop Daniel Descalso scored one run, giving Bryce three RBIs for the game. Rafael Furcal had to leave the game in the inning after making a throw to home.
Game Notes: The Baltimore Grand Prix was being held in the streets of Baltimore. When you look at the trucks and the booths you recognize a lot of money goes into putting on these events. The big container trucks filled the Camden parking lots, so maybe it was good the Oriole game could only draw 9,000 for the game. What hurt is on Tuesday the Astros outdrew the Orioles. The last place Astros. It appears Baltimore has lost its pride as a baseball city…A.J. Pierzynski was taken out of the game after making three feeble swing and miss attempts against Britton. After he had been thrown out at home in the second inning, without making a slide he struck out in his next two at bats…Ryan Zimmerman still does not look good when he makes an overhand throw to first. He looks much crisper when he fields the ball and has to make a sidearm throw.