Orioles manager Buck Showalter was proud of starter Jake Arrieta. He was proud of the way his undermanned bullpen battled. He was proud of the at-bats Robert Andino and Mark Reynolds gave the club.
If only he could reverse the final score.
Mark Teixeira blooped a two-out double down the left field line against Kevin Gregg in the top of the 10th inning, and Nick Swisher followed with a long home run to right field.
“He made a really good pitch (to Teixeira),” Showalter said. “Kevin threw real well. We were a little short down there. Had some guys pitch well. I thought Louie (Ayala) pitched well, and I thought especially considering the situation and the conditions the way the game started, that Jake pitched real well. I was proud of our pitching. We just couldn’t quite push that last run across.”
Matt Lindstrom’s back tightened up, so he was unavailable to pitch. Showalter couldn’t use Pedro Strop and Troy Patton. He needed to hold back Darren O’Day in case the game continued into extra innings, which forced Gregg to work a second inning.
“Kevin pitched well the whole season so far,” Showalter said. “He made one pitch that he’d probably like to have back. Otherwise, he pitched real well. And if you look at the track record, he’s pitched pretty well against the Yankees over his whole career.
“The only way I was going to use J.J. (Jim Johnson) is if we had a close situation. I wasn’t going to have him extend an inning. We were down to really two or three guys. We held (Jason) Hammel out of his work day in case we got into a real bind late.”
Showalter removed Arrieta after 6 2/3 innings and 109 pitches, and Ayala allowed an inherited runner to score to tie the game.
“We were kind of pushing the envelope a little bit there (with Arrieta),” Showalter said. “If you look at the surgery he had this off-season and the weather and having a 20- or 30-minute delay to start the game, no, I was proud to get Jake that far.”
Arrieta warmed up to start the game, then retreated to the dugout as rain and hail fell and the tarp came on the field. The delay lasted 20 minutes.
“It was unfortunate,” Showalter said. “What we thought the weather was going to do and what it did...there was some ice coming down there. It was bouncing around on the warning track and the field was starting to slick up real quick there and Tim didn’t want to start it in that. Probably affected both pitchers a little bit but Jake handled it real well. I was proud of him. We pushed him about as far as we could push him.”
The Orioles chased CC Sabathia after six innings, collecting four runs and eight hits against their nemesis.
“We got him out of there pretty early, all things considered,” Showalter said. “I was real proud of the way our guys grinded and got him out of the game. Going into the game, you knew they were going to be a little short, too, like us, so being able to get him out of the game, we felt like, boded well. If he stayed in the game, didn’t like our chances. I looked at it like we did a good job with him. It was more after the fact that we didn’t quite get over the hump with it.”
The Orioles loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but Adam Jones struck out on four pitches. He got ahead, 1-0, against Rafael Soriano, swung at a pitch near his head and eventually fanned. He scolded himself on Twitter after the game for over-swinging.
“We had some emotional at-bats there toward the end that kind of got out of what was there for us, take what they give us, but I’d rather have to pull somebody back a little bit than push them forward,” Showalter said. “I’ve had enough of the pushing forward. You don’t have to push these guys. It’s just trying to get into a rhythm and trust their ability a little bit and let things kind of come to them.”
That’s two straight extra-inning losses, which is tough for any manager to accept.
“Initially, yes, but the one good thing about our sport is there’s always an opportunity to feel better very quickly,” Showalter said. “You don’t have to sit on it very long. It’s something that we’re going to learn from and we’re going to get better. I like what I’m seeing.”