Before the first pitch was thrown, we stood for the longest rendition of the national anthem in spring training history.
Me: "Is this a night game?"
Schmuck: "Rich Hill just walked the bases loaded."
Press box announcer: "The temperature just went up two degrees."
Too bad we didn't have a stopwatch on her.
Hill walked leadoff hitter Felix Pie on six pitches. He also walked Lou Montanez on four pitches after Robert Andino flied out.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Nolan Reimold poked a single into right field to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Brandon Snyder followed with a sharp grounder that nailed the second base umpire, giving him an infield hit that loaded the bases, and Hill thew a wild pitch that allowed Montanez to score.
Orioles 2, Cardinals 0.
Hill, trying to earn the fifth starter's spot in the Cardinals' rotation, threw 17 of his 29 pitches for strikes.
Twenty-nine pitches in one inning.
Lasted almost as long as the anthem.
Update: Brian Matusz retired the side on 10 pitches, seven for strikes. He struck out Felipe Lopez and induced a fly ball from Albert Pujols. That's the way to get it done.
Matusz was glad to see Pujols' name in the lineup. He wants to know what it's like to pitch against him. The kid has no fear.