According to weather.com, there’s a 90 percent chance of rain today and an 80 percent chance tomorrow. The Orioles have games scheduled today and tomorrow against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards.
Sounds like a conflict to me.
The Orioles could use a break, since their next off-day isn’t until May 24 and the revolving door that leads into the clubhouse hasn’t stopped spinning in more than a week.
Stu Pomeranz deserved to stay on the 25-man roster, but the Orioles needed another bench player and the right-hander had options remaining. He’ll be back.
At least Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop and Luis Ayala will be available tonight, if we actually have a game.
The Orioles lead the majors in home runs against right-handers with 44. They also lead the league with 26 homers in May.
Nick Johnson hit the Orioles’ 37th solo home run yesterday, the most in the majors.
Yesterday’s loss almost felt like a win to me, if that makes any sense. The Orioles were down 7-1, and in past years, it wouldn’t have gotten any better. But they rallied to within a run, fell behind by three and got within one again.
The tying run stood at third base when Matt Wieters grounded out to end the game, and it took a nice backhanded stop by Sean Rodriguez and a nice scoop by first baseman Carlos Pena to allow Tampa Bay to take the final game in the series.
“We were in it until the last out,” said Jake Arrieta, who exited after only 3 2/3 innings. “Bunch of guys and myself were in the training room and real excited to see the ending of this game. Although I put up a poor line today, the guys really battled and did what they could to come back, especially against a quality pitcher (James Shields).”
“This team never gives up,” Wieters said. “We had a chance in the ninth and just didn’t come through. It would have been a nice game to win, but at the same time, you know this team is going to keep playing hard and we’re not out of any game. That’s how we feel in this clubhouse.”
“It’s pretty impressive,” said reliever Troy Patton. “I was really impressed working out in the weight room after the game when we were coming back. Still challenged them after I gave up two homers. They keep fighting and they keep battling until the game is over.
“It actually has been happening quite a bit this year. I feel like when I’ve been out there, they’ve been competitive in games, coming back in games in which it kind of looks like we’re out of, so it didn’t really surprise me. They’ve been battling back a lot this season to come back and make games close like that. Bunch of battlers.”
Right fielder Nick Markakis noted a significant difference between this team and others in the past.
“I think the biggest thing I’ve noticed with this team is that everybody is contributing, whether it’s guys off the bench, starting pitching, bullpen, the coaching staff,” he said. “I think we mold well as a team. Everybody gets along. We just enjoy being out there. We enjoy playing the game. We just play hard all 27 outs.
“We showed it today. We lost by a hair. That’s it. It’s done. We’ll see these guys again. We’ll play
better next time.”
The players appreciated the bigger crowds this weekend.
“It’s awesome,” Markakis said. “A packed house, going into the ninth inning down by two runs. It’s just momentum. Crowd is in it. That’s all you can ask for. It’s all about the fans. That’s what we play for. A lot of people say we’re playing for ourselves. A lot of guys in this clubhouse, we’re playing for other purposes. We just want to go out there and put a good game together, and these fans have been great to us so far. We’ve just got to continue it.”
You may not find a more impressive and grittier effort than the one turned in yesterday by pitcher Rick Zagone. Rushed from Single-A Frederick to Triple-A Norfolk, Zagone shut out Indianapolis on three hits over 6 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out six in a 2-0 victory.
Double-A Bowie shortstop Manny Machado had two more hits, including a double, and raised his average to .262. He also drove in a run, scored a run, was caught stealing and was picked off.
Single-A Delmarva third baseman Jason Esposito had two hits, including a double, and drove in a run. But he also committed his ninth error.
Shorebirds reliever Matt Taylor gave up one hit and an unearned run, and struck out seven, in 3 2/3 innings.
NOTE: While I’m still down on the farm, I’ll mention that Joel Pineiro isn’t listed among Norfolk’s upcoming starters. Steve Johnson takes the ball today for an 11 a.m. start. Tomorrow’s starter is listed as TBA, followed by Chris Tillman Wednesday, Jason Berken Thursday and TBA Friday.
Pineiro was supposed to start yesterday, but Zagone took his place.
Is another roster move coming at Camden Yards?
Pineiro has given up five runs and 10 hits in 12 1/3 innings over two starts since being summoned from extended spring training, with no walks and nine strikeouts. He had a two-hit shutout through six innings in his last start on May 8 before being charged with four runs in the seventh.
Meanwhile, Dana Eveland just posted the following tweet: “Flew to Norfolk last night. Drove back to B-more today. I need a nap.”
So why was Eveland heading back to Norfolk? And why is he back in Baltimore?