Manager Dave Trembley knew the Orioles were going to win today.
We’ll have to take his word for it, since he didn’t write it down earlier or record his thoughts.
“Sometimes, you come to the ballpark and you don’t know what you’re going to get,” he said after a 3-2, 10-inning victory over Boston. “Today, when I walked through the clubhouse, I felt like we were going to win. I really felt like we were going to win. And I like what I saw today out there.”
Trembley had Ty Wigginton lay down a sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning and let him swing away in the 10th. Wigginton responded with the game-winning double.
“I’m going to do what I think I’ve got to do to win the game. In both situations, I did what I thought I had to do to win the game because that’s the only thought right there, win the game,” Trembley said.
“I thought the best opportunity to win the game was to bunt Wigginton first and second. I knew they’d walk (Miguel) Tejada. When you play in extra innings and you’ve got a guy on second base, I’m going to play to win the game there. I’m going to let three, four and five hit.”
Will Ohman didn’t talk Trembley out of removing him from the game. Trembley intended to keep the left-hander on the mound.
“He didn’t say anything to me. I said something to him,” Trembley said. “I told him what I needed. And he told me he could do it. I said, ‘I need you to get the guy out.’
“He had great stuff. He had power stuff. He had probably the best fastball I’ve seen him have, and he had a put-away slider. And our situation has been, we’ve been taxed out of the bullpen. (Matt) Albers has been good, a lot of those guys have been good coming out of the bullpen, but the first hitter that a lot of our guys have faced out of the bullpen, they’ve given up hits, and I’ll be darned if that was going to happen again.”
Kevin Millwood still doesn’t own a victory this season, but his value comes in many forms.
“He’s the best guy I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Trembley said. “He’s a guy who’s a No. 1 pitcher in more ways than just the top-of-the-rotation guy. You saw a clinic today. He walked (Craig) Tatum through how he was going to pitch. You don’t have to worry about trying to put a guy on or this and that. He knows how to pitch around people.
“I told him a couple days ago that Tatum was going to catch him today and he said, ‘OK, I’m going to get him inside. We’re going to watch some video. We’re going to go over their hitters together.’ The guy is tenacious. I mean, he fights, man. He’s something.”
The Orioles got quality at-bats from Nick Markakis and Wigginton against Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon in the 10th inning.
“Well, Nick’s one of the best hitters in baseball for me, so you’ve got strength against strength,” Trembley said. “Nick’s not going to get himself out in that kind of a situation. That’s not going to happen. He’s not afraid to hit with two strikes. He’s going to work the count because he knows his job is to get on. He was the leadoff hitter there, and I think Markakis showed why he is who he is. He can hit the ball around, he takes walks, he’ll get hits for you, he gets doubles. He’s a pretty good player.
“Wigginton, after the game when I walked up to him, he said, ‘I didn’t know if you were going to give me the damn bunt sign again or not.’ I said, ‘No, once was enough.’ He showed me he could bunt so I don’t need to see it anymore. But he’s done it. I said it this morning, he’s been steady, and that’s what he showed today.”
And finally, Trembley was asked about sweeping the Red Sox at home and the benefits that go with it.
“The credit goes to the players,” he said. “The credit goes to those guys just sticking together. You’ve got to battle, you’ve got to fight for everything you get. And I believe we’ve gotten through the worst. The good days are ahead. We’ve just got to keep plugging away at it.
“I went to school and took a bunch of classes in psychology and I don’t know what the hell that means as far as beating these guys. It’s just great for the team, individuals who have gone through a lot of pain and (ridicule) for 30 days. You can never let it get the best of you. You’ve got to rise above it, you’ve got to take the good with the bad. We’ll take the good this weekend. It feels real good. It feels tremendous, special.
“It doesn’t come easy. They didn’t give it to us. All three games, they didn’t give it to us. We had to beat them. We beat them and they’re a good team.”