O’s Take it On Chen

Camden Yards was rocking as in the old days.  A wave was surging in the late innings that went around seven times.  It was a sea of orange, scattered with shades of red.  It didn’t help the O’s to victory, but the more than 46,000 saw a good game that the Nationals won 3-1.

The Oriole bats had trouble finding hits off Edwin JacksonAdam Jones hit a screaming line drive leading off the seventh inning that hit off the left field foul pole for a homerun.  It would be the Orioles only tally and by then they were down 3-0.  It was only the second hit off Jackson.  After giving up back to back singles to Wilson Betemit and Mark Reynolds one out later Davey Johnson went to the bullpen, calling on Michael Gonzalez.

Buck Showalter countered with Ronnie Paulino to pinch hit for the lefty swinging Nick Johnson.  Gonzalez went through a lot of pitches, running the count to 3-2.  Paulino finally hit a soft liner to Ian Desmond at short.  Betemit found himself to far off the bag and was doubled off at second to end the inning.  That would be about it for the Orioles.

Sean Burnett came on in the eighth.  He got J.J. Hardy to ground into a double play to end that inning.  It was difficult to focus on the game since there was some chaos going on in the left field stands.  An older Nationals fan had complained to an usher about the treatment he was recieving from some younger Oriole fans.  Eventually the police had to be called.  The younger fans resisted and more police had to be called.  It was unclear whether the Oriole fan was going after the older National fan and the policeman just got in the way, but there was some physical contact with the officer that led to some wrestling in the aisle.  The Oriole fan and the older National fan were taken away by the police.  The older National fan had a look of shock and horror on his face.  The Oriole fan was angry.  One has to wonder whether it had been worth it for the National fan to complain.

After order was restored Tyler Clippard retired the side in order to pick up his 12th save.  Davey Jonhson has already said that when Drew Storen returns after the All Star break Tyler will remain his closer.  Drew will pitch in a set up role as he nurses his arm back to health.

Wei-Yen Chen got the start for the Orioles.  He has had a pretty good season except when he is facing the bats of the Nationals.  Last night it was his fielding that let him down in the second inning.  With two out and runners on second and third, Wilson Betemit fielded a 2-out grounder off the bat of Xavier Nady.  His throw to first bounced in the dirt with Mark Reynolds unable to scoop it up.  The scorer generously ruled it a hit.  By the time Reynolds had retrieved the ball both Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche had crossed the plate.

Adam LaRoche hit a solo shot in the fourth off Chen that barely cleared the right centerfield fence.  Adam Jones tried to climb the wall, but he came up short in catching the ball.

Chen had to leave the game after just a bit over 80 pitches.  A Jesus Flores comebacker bloodied his finger.  He survived to pitch the fifth but Buck turned to the bullpen after that.  Four different pitchers pitched one inning each to shut out the Nationals the rest of the way, but their bats couldn’t overcome the 3-0 deficit.

Game Notes: Myworld arrived early to watch batting practice.  Stephen Strasburg is an active participant in chasing batted balls.  Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen stood as far back in left field as they could, never moving from their spot.  There would be no batted balls retrieved if it was left to them.  Gio Gonzalez was like a social butterfly as he wandered from group to group, showing his athleticism by making a nice running catch on one batted ball…Edwin Jackson had a perfect game after four. In the fifth a Ryan Zimmerman error on a tough hop ground ball, a Wilson Betemit single and a Nick Johnson walk loaded the bases with two outs. He got out of the inning by coaxing Steve Pearce to pop to short…Ryan Zimmerman continues his 0 fors. He did hit a line drive to centerfield that was an atem ball, but his average has now dropped below .220. Since his brief hot streak in early June that raised his average to .250 he is 6 for his last 48 with nary an RBI in his last 11 games.  That is not the kind of production you want to see from your number three hitter.

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