Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed tonight that he put Jonathan Schoop back in the lineup to prevent the rookie from dwelling on last night’s two-error game. He planned on sitting Schoop until the defensive miscues.
Schoop rewarded Showalter with an RBI double in the seventh inning that broke a scoreless tie, and a couple of nice plays at third base.
“Tough night last night. In his mind, not in ours,” Showalter said following a 2-1, 12-inning win over the Blue Jays before an announced crowd of 30,446 at Camden Yards.
“He gains confidence in the confidence that we have in him. He made a tough play on a tweener hop very similar to the one last night, and the play that ended another inning, the throw to second that was a similar play. Second baseman was playing way off the bag, and giving him a little extra time to get there. Aptitude. Learn from those things. And the only way you learn from them is experiencing them.
“We’re not going to let him dwell on things like that. I didn’t want him to sit on it for a day. He changed my lineup, the one I had for tonight. I had to change it. He wasn’t going to play today.”
David Lough finally was able to start again after passing his concussion tests, and he delivered the walk-off single in the 12th.
“David scored our other run, too. Fought his way through,” Showalter said. “David’s a contributor. He’s contributed in games he hasn’t gotten a hit in. Stole a couple bases, plays really good defense. He’ll play left field as well as anyone in our league. Gives us an option in center field when Jonesy (Adam Jones) needs a day. David’s been grinding.”
“Bud has pitched other good games for us,” Showalter said. “Got some outs with the changeup, which is putting it in the hitter’s head. He had a lot of quality pitches down, a lot of quality strikes down with the fastball.”
Hunter had converted his first three save opportunities before Rasmus got hold of a 98 mph fastball.
“I like the fact that he came up and made some good pitches after that,” Showalter said. “Rasmus is a good hitter. To be on a fastball of that velocity after three straight breaking balls is impressive.”
Hunter appeared to strike out Rasmus on the previous pitch, but rookie third base umpire Jeff Gosney ruled that the center fielder checked his swing. If you check the video, you’ll notice that Gosney is wrong.
“Somebody told me afterwards,” Showalter said. “You’ve very seldom going to get that call there. And rightfully so.”
Showalter isn’t worried about Hunter following the blown save.
“I’m not naive,” he said. “These are human beings. They’re not robots. And we get in that situation again tomorrow, we’ll go for it.
“We like the sum of the parts down there in our bullpen. I thought Zach (Britton) was real good tonight. Even thought he only threw six or seven pitches again last night, he had an up earlier, so that was good to see him respond like that in a situation he probably has never been in in his life. Hopefully, we’ll get Brian Matusz back again tomorrow. He wasn’t here tonight.
“We live in a finished-product world, a result world. You’re always learning things, including me. It only works if you learn from things like that. Tommy knows that. He’s been in a lot of situations like that, other than just the ninth inning. He’s the first guy up the line waiting for everybody. It’s part of the job description.”