Looking back at Patton and the ‘pen

Matt Wieters says the Orioles aren’t spoilers.

“I don’t think we’re really playing the spoiler,” he said after last night’s game. “We’re just trying to play as well as we can against teams that are going to the playoffs.”

Troy Patton says the Orioles enjoy being spoilers.

“It’s kind of a joke, but we like to be spoilers,” he said after last night’s game. “We want to do everything we can to beat every team, so if they’re in the race, so be it, we want to win every game.”

So which is it?

I guess it’s up to each individual.

Wieters and Patton were two of last night’s heroes. Wieters hit the two-run homer off Rays reliever J.P. Howell in the bottom of the eighth inning that broke a 2-2 tie. Patton retired all three batters he faced, striking out Johnny Damon to end the eighth on a knee-buckling curveball.

My knees buckled just watching it. I don’t know about Damon’s.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was Patton’s first major league win.

“Yeah, that’s why my hair’s all wet,” he said. “I got a little Powerade shower and shaving cream to the face. It was nice they didn’t do beer.”

Patton has emerged as a viable bullpen candidate in 2012 after it appeared that the Orioles had pretty much given up on him. He hasn’t allowed a run in seven of his last eight outings, and has permitted only two earned runs in his last 11 innings.

“I don’t know what the future holds, but I would like to think that I’ve been pitching pretty well recently,” he said. “I think I can pitch at this level and I hope I get a chance to prove it.”

Patton was given a big responsibility beyond facing Damon with a runner on second base and two outs. He came back out for the ninth in a save situation and retired Matt Joyce on a pop up and Casey Kotchman on a ground ball.

How many lefty specialists are hiding in that bullpen?

Manager Buck Showalter brought in Jim Johnson to get the final out and the save. No sign of Kevin Gregg.

When Showalter has avoided Gregg this season, it’s been because the right-hander wasn’t available. As far as I know, Gregg was available last night.

I guess it’s a subject worth revisiting later today.

I’ll also be revisiting the set of “O’s Xtra” for the pregame and postgame shows on MASN2. That’s your shameless plug alert for the day.

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