This might be the most agitated that I’ve seen manager Buck Showalter after a game since the Orioles hired him. He clearly wanted to say more - about plate umpire Dan Bellino’s strike zone and Bellino’s decision to eject reliever Michael Gonzalez after the left-hander hit Chris Dickerson in the head - but he was biting his tongue so hard, I’m surprised it didn’t snap in two.
Asked how Bellino explained the ejection, Showalter replied, “That his intent was to throw at him. Pretty obvious, isn’t it?”
Showalter didn’t argue with Bellino because he was more concerned about Dickerson, who laid motionless in the dirt.
“It was tough for me,” he said. “First of all, you take a deep breath. Regardless of what decision that umpire makes, a young umpire just starting out in the major leagues, you’ve got a guy laying on the ground and you don’t know how seriously he’s hurt, and I have a lot of concerns for that. I’m not going to go out there and vehemently argue while a guy’s laying on the ground, potentially a real tough situation physically. That answers your question for you. I will err on the side of being sensitive to a guy who’s laying on the ground.
“I feel real strongly Gonzo wasn’t trying to hit him. Couple breaking balls there. But I understand what the ... I wouldn’t have done it, but I’m biased. I wouldn’t have ejected him, but I can understand how someone ... My first thoughts weren’t on Gonzo being ejected, but the health of Dickerson.”
Showalter decided to use Jeremy Guthrie after running out of relievers. Guthrie threw seven pitches and wants to make tomorrow night’s start, but Showalter is leaning toward using Brad Bergesen, who would be working on normal rest.
“Bergy’s got four days rest tomorrow. He could potentially start tomorrow,” Showalter said. “We had Jeremy down there before the inning started anyway.
“I’m not a big backer of pitching position players. You’re asking for trouble. And how do you pick someone who’s not ... At 4-1 we still think we’re in that game. We get a couple different things going on that last inning. We’ve got the tying run at the plate there. I’m not going to give in there. And I don’t think it’s fair to position players to put them in that position. Pick somebody who you don’t mind if they get hurt? I don’t think that’s ... Just my personal feelings.”
The Orioles wasted another quality start by Zach Britton, who held the Yankees to an unearned run over seven innings and lowered his ERA to 2.14.
“He’s faced them before,” Showalter said. “He faced them in spring training. He got through all that glitz and whatever you want to call it. He doesn’t get involved in that too much. I’m impressed with the way he went about his business tonight. He was operating with some challenges that their guy wasn’t and I was proud of the way he handled it.”
I wonder if that’s a commentary on the strike zone, which favored Bartolo Colon all night?
The Orioles had two healthy reserves tonight, which limited Showalter’s late-inning options.
“There were a few things we might could have done, but I think that’s an excuse,” he said. “We had plenty of opportunities to win tonight and weren’t able to do it. You get in that situation some during the year because you’ve had to use people a lot and what have you, but everyone, I’m impressed with most of our relievers.”
The Orioles put two runners on base in the 15th, but Brandon Snyder was called out after being hit by Matt Wieters’ bouncer to the right side.
“Usually, it happens when the ball is hit harder,” Showalter said. “The ball wasn’t firm enough. We should do a better job of getting out of the way of that.”
The Orioles will most likely need to add a reliever. Troy Patton is here, so he’s an obvious candidate.
Asked if he knew more about the health of Derrek Lee and Brian Roberts since earlier today, Showalter said, “Nothing really with Robby. I talked to him about 6:20. He kind of updated me on some of what he knew that I didn’t know. And Derrek felt a little better today. We’ll see where we are tomorrow with that and if we have to do something, how we make room for it.”
Lee is fighting the decision to put him on the disabled list, which is understandable. We’ll see what happens.