For most of us, it had to be manager Dave Trembley’s decision to remove Jason Berken after one batter in the eighth inning.
Berken retired Rajai Davis on a fly ball with runners on first and second. Trembley played matchups by bringing in left-hander Mark Hendrickson to face Daric Barton and Ryan Sweeney.
You know what happened next.
Barton grounded out, but the next three batters reached on singles - though the last two were of the infield variety.
Cla Meredith serves up a three-run double to Kevin Kouzmanoff, and the Orioles find another way to lose.
Lefties are hitting .194 against Berken in 36 at-bats, compared to .333 against Hendrickson in the same number of at-bats.
“I think you’re going to go left vs. left there. I think that’s really what you’re going to do,” Trembley said. “Berken hasn’t faced these guys a lot. Their two best hitters are their two lefties right there. I think if you look at Berken, Berken’s a fly ball pitcher. You don’t want Berken to give up a home run there. He’s never been in that situation before. Hendrickson has. He did a nice job the other night in the same role. That’s the decision that was made.”
Trembley focused more on the bad hop that extended the inning, and a pitch that Bergesen didn’t get for a third strike against Mark Ellis before surrendering a single and leaving the game.
“We’d be talking a different story here if there isn’t a bad hop to shortstop. I would have put (Will) Ohman in the game instead of them putting (Andrew) Bailey in the game. That’s how it would have been,” Trembley said.
“You take a three-run lead in the eighth and a lot of things happen that don’t go your way, and you make the decisions that you think are the right ones and you hope they work out. The bad hop was pivotal. You think you’re going to get a pitch for strike three and it doesn’t happen. And they end up getting the hits and scoring five runs.”
Meredith gave up Josh Willingham’s walk-off homer on Sunday and was burned by Kouzmanoff tonight. He’s becoming about as popular here as Michael Gonzalez.
“The ball’s not coming out of his hand with a lot of sink. It’s flat, it’s up,” Trembley said. “The guy, when he sinks the ball, he’s a ground ball pitcher. There have been some situations where that hasn’t happened.
“In retrospect, you could say, ‘Hey, leave Hendrickson in there,’ but if some things would have went our way a little bit differently in the eighth, we wouldn’t even be talking about it. But I understand the reality of it. The reality of it is you’ve got a righty there. I think you’re going to bring a guy in to get the ball on the ground and get out of it. It didn’t happen.”