Today’s attendance: 33,107
The world really is coming to an end.
Asked whether he felt relief that the Orioles supported Guthrie today, manager Buck Showalter said, “Relief? No. I just wanted him to pitch well. It’s kind of like, the extra off days. ... Any time you take a starting pitcher and change up his routine like we had to with him, that was somewhat a concern going into it, but he handled it well. He pitched real well. I don’t think he dwells on that near as much as you give him credit for, in a good way. I think sometimes pitchers after a while realize there are only certain things they can control.
“He’s pitched 400 innings in two years. Those guys aren’t floating around. One of our best conditioned guys and athletic, fields his position well, holds runners, does a lot of things to give himself a chance to win. Having him sitting there, what was tough was because of what happened with our other starters, I think he basically had seven days rest if you take out the relief appearances. That made the stretch tough, too. He pitches well and gives us a chance to win.
“The tack-on runs were big. We got some two-out hits.”
Vladimir Guerrero had two of them, giving him a career-high seven straight multi-hit games.
“I’d like to say this: Vladi’s going to be in the Hall of Fame,” Showalter said. “I think sometimes, I don’t know if we take him for granted - I’ve always respected him - but you really appreciate him. You know what you’re getting every day. I look up there and he’s hitting .3-whatever. He gave us a big two-out knock there and there were a lot of two-out hits and those are real morale boosters when you get those.”
One of the most interesting plays of the game involved Adam Jones scoring from first base on Nick Markakis’ single to left-center field and Laynce Nix’s ensuing error. Jones ran hard and substitute third base coach Willie Randolph made the aggressive send.
“You never assume anything,” Showalter said. “You’re trying to get across to your baserunners that you run until you’re stopped and don’t be the third base coach. You run, because you can’t really see the things going on behind you. You need to give the third base coach a chance to make a good decision. I think most times you see something that looks like it’s not a good decision because the baserunner assumes that he’s not going.
“We used to call Willie ‘Wave ‘Em Home Willie’ in New York because you better come in there hard at third because if he’s got any chance at all, you’re going. And John (Russell) has been that way, too. We’re fortunate to have two good third base coaches.
“We were drawing straws whether it was going to be him or (Wayne) Kirby today. I’m not sure who won.”
I wrote in a previous entry that Jim Johnson walked onto the field after the bottom of the sixth, then turned around and returned to the bullpen after spotting Guthrie on the mound. Here’s what happened:
“That was the (Cesar) Izturis factor,” Showalter said, grinning. “He was helping us in the bullpen today because Rick (Adair) left about halfway through and went to Bowie for (Brian) Matusz. A little miscommunication. He was warming up in case Jeremy couldn’t get out of that inning before. I think he was at 98, 99.
“We’ll work on that. It’s funny now, right? I’m glad I didn’t see it. John would have limped down to the bullpen. He’s got a pretty bad knee. I hope he doesn’t need to have surgery.”