My good friend David Ginsburg from the Associated Press reminded Buck Showalter that he hadn’t lost a game in years. That’s quite an impressive streak.
Can Showalter be satisfied that the Orioles ran off four straight wins before tonight?
“No,” he said. “I don’t like losing. I ain’t real happy. The thing about our game is the pluses and negatives don’t last too long. You’ve got a chance right around the corner. You don’t sit on tough losses for seven days like football coaches do. They get off weeks. We’re lucky to have an off-day. It’s not one of those deep, reflective moments. We’ll figure out what went wrong and try to fix it tomorrow. Tonight.”
I’m putting my money on “tonight.”
Showalter was understandably pleased with Kevin Millwood, who left with a 2-1 lead after six innings.
“He’s the same competitive professional,” Showalter said. “I don’t care how long you’ve been pitching, you get a little beat up mentally, especially when you care as much as he does about delivering expectations here. It was good to see him go out there and give us a chance to win and leave with a lead. He was the reason we were in that ballgame. It looked like runs were going to really be scarce and we were going to have to pitch real well out of the bullpen there to make that stand up. We weren’t going to use (Alfredo) Simon tonight, so we had to hold off on Koji (Uehara). The way they matched up with pinch-hitters, (MIchael) Gonzalez was real hard to fit in there.”
Millwood got through the first inning unscathed, which has been a rarity.
“It was definitely nice to get out of the first,” he said. “That’s been haunting me for a while. Then after that, when I wanted to go in, I got the ball in. When I missed, I missed off the plate instead of over the middle for the most part. I think building off the last game in Kansas City, this is another step toward being a little better.
“I threw the ball where I wanted to for the most part. When I missed, it wasn’t over the middle for the most part. I think I pitched inside better today. That kind of keeps guys from diving out and whacking everything away.”
Showalter talked about Ty Wigginton’s baserunning mistake that ended the third inning.
“Wiggy’s got to trust his first instinct,” Showalter said. “He’s a guy who’s alert and made a great baserunning play in the last inning. A lot of guys get doubled off on that line drive. But trust his instincts with (Juan) Pierre there to go to third. That’s what he’s probably kicking himself about. But he’s in the game mentally and he knows right from wrong. I can see why he’s well-thought of here.”