The Orioles are 1-12 in games that decide the winner of a three-game series, including 1-7 at Camden Yards. Their only victory came on May 13 against Seattle.
Better execution in the field might have changed tonight’s outcome.
Ty Wigginton committed a costly error at first base and couldn’t field Brian Roberts’ one-hop throw on a potential double play. Josh Bell threw behind Roberts, which disrupted the second baseman.
“There are situations in a game that you can go back on,” manager Buck Showalter said. “At the time, it doesn’t look like something. That’s why there are nine innings. You like to get every opportunity you get to stem the tide and keep them where they are. You know at some point in the game usually you are going to make a run at them. And those things sometimes certainly jolt back to how important those things are. But Wiggy has been playing good everywhere for us wherever we played him. Tough play in between hops.”
Showalter nodded his head, but didn’t say much, when I pointed out that his options in the ninth were limited despite roster expansion. He doesn’t want to sound like he’s putting down Cesar Izturis and Bell, who struck out consecutively to end the game.
Corey Patterson can’t swing the bat because of his sore neck and Adam Jones is unavailable due to pain in his upper back. Brandon Snyder probably shouldn’t make his major league debut against Jonathan Papelbon with the game on the line. Jake Fox was on the bench, but Showalter bypassed him. Showalter used Julio Lugo as a pinch-runner.
“Izzy and Josh,” Showalter said.
Did he feel they were his best options?
“As opposed to who?” he replied.
“Izzy has had some clutch hits for us. He is in the game, in the flow there. It’s a good experience for Josh, too. I’m sure you are aware that a lot of people have trouble against Papelbon in the ninth inning, I don’t think they should feel like he was picking on them.”
Brad Bergesen looked like a candidate to make an early exit with his pitch count at 52 through the second, but he logged 5 1/3 innings.
“He threw up some zeroes after that,” Showalter said. “He gave us some pretty impressive innings after that. A lot of guys throw in the towel after that. That was pretty impressive from him. He gave us a chance to get back in it a little bit. He got better as the game went on.
“He made some mistakes with two strikes. That was obvious. And the (five) walks weren’t indicative of his command. Sometimes, other hitters have an effect on that.”