Imagine that you’re Miguel Gonzalez. Your wife is due to give birth to your first child in three days. She could go into labor at any minute. Babies don’t wear watches. And your home is in California, on the opposite coast.
You’re still required to throw bullpen sessions, attend meetings, watch video of your upcoming opponents. Today, you’re facing the Boston Red Sox, the first-place team in your division.
Gonzalez continues to do it, no matter how difficult.
He held the Angels to one run over eight innings in his last start, and he’s retired nine of the first 11 batters today, allowing one hit and walking one batter.
Gonzalez hasn’t permitted more than one earned run in three of his last four starts before today. He hasn’t allowed more than two in four of his five starts since coming off the disabled list.
A day doesn’t pass without someone asking Gonzalez how his wife is doing, how he’s doing, if there’s anything new to report. If there was, he wouldn’t be in the clubhouse.
Gonzalez wished me a Happy Father’s Day this morning. I thanked him, paused and said something brilliant like, “You too...soon.”
The Orioles are trying to give him a lead today. Manny Machado bounced a double down the left field line in the first inning, extending his hitting streak to 14 games, the most by any Oriole this season. He leads the majors with 32 doubles.
I wonder if he gets a discount double check?
Someone get State Farm on the phone.
Red Sox starter Jon Lester struck out the next two batters to end the first inning, and he fanned two more in the second, including Steve Pearce following back-to-back singles by Matt Wieters and Danny Valencia.
Valencia is 10-for-26 vs. left-handers this season.
Update: The Orioles succeeded in giving Gonzalez a lead.
Adam Jones doubled with two outs in the third to score Nick Markakis, who had singled to lead off the inning, and Chris Davis crushed a cutter for a two-run homer.
Davis has 23 home runs this season and 100 in his career.
Only only seems like all 100 have come in 2013.
Update II: Machado has five straight multi-hit games after his RBI single in the fifth inning that followed Nick Markakis’ leadoff double.
Machado slid into second as the throw was cut off, and hustled to third when the throw from first baseman Mike Carp sailed into center field.
Machado is 11-for-23 with five doubles and three RBIs in his last five games.
Lester struck out the next two batters, but Davis blooped a double to left for a 5-0 lead. Davis has 22 doubles this season, one shy of his career high in 2008. And it’s only June 16. I just checked.
Davis has hit six home runs against left-handers this season, one shy of his career high.
Gonzalez has held Boston to one hit over five scoreless innings, with two walks and two strikeouts. He’s thrown 68 pitches, 40 for strikes.
Update III: Bad news for Gonzalez: Someone delivered today and it was Will Middlebrooks.
Middlebrooks followed a one-out double and single with an opposite-field home run to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 5-3 in the seventh inning. Brian Matusz replaced Gonzalez and retired the next two batters.
Gonzalez allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, with two walks, two strikeouts and one home run. He threw 96 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Gonzalez has eight quality starts among his 12 starts.
Update IV: Jim Johnson picked up his 25th save, converting his 10th straight, in a 6-3 victory over the Red Sox before 41,311 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles have won six straight series against Boston and nine of 10. They got a big insurance run in the seventh on Markakis’ double, Machado’s sacrifice bunt and Hardy’s RBI single.
Markakis singled in the eighth, making him 4-for-5 today.
The Orioles finished with six doubles, one fewer than their season high.