Long after today’s game ended at Camden Yards, Orioles manager Buck Showalter still didn’t agree with the decision to reverse the out call at second base that led to his first ejection of the season.
Showalter is convinced that Jonathan Schoop held the ball long enough to get the force on Jhonny Peralta. Coming out of the dugout to argue the reversal is an automatic ejection.
“Ball’s in back of the glove, just like the old rule, new rule, old rule,” Showalter said after an 8-3 loss to the Cardinals. “They changed it out of spring, then they changed it back to the old rule. Today, it got changed back to the other one, so what are you going to do? It’s one of the challenges you have when you’ve got ...
“The guy behind the plate (Gabe Morales) was very challenged today. It might have been as challenging a game as we saw all year.”
Did the umpires offer an explanation?
“I wasn’t waiting around for that one,” Showalter said. “I was hoping to talk to New York, but they wouldn’t let me.”
Crew chief Jeff Nelson tossed Showalter after allowing the manager to vent.
“You just want to ascertain whether it’s an argument directly related to the replay result or if it was an unrelated question to clarify something, such as how many challenges someone would have left or something like that,” Nelson told a pool reporter.
Asked whether Nelson would include Showalter’s animated display as part of his report, he said, “Anything that’s pertaining to the ejection, the league has the video on, so they have a full idea of everything that happened. So, we write up our report as we always do and then the league looks at the video.”
Morales upset both teams with his strike zone.
“You’ve got a lot of these guys who are call-ups,” Showalter said. “You have to have eight of them in New York. Kind of like expansion in the big leagues. There’s a lot of players that wouldn’t have been there before. So you try to be patient, which I’ve done a good job with for the most part.
“It’s frustrating for players. They (umpires) are trying to do as good of a job as their experience level and talent level. And there’s some really good ones, too. Some of them are young and good, too. We have a lot of confidence as we go forward, those problems will work themselves out. Today wasn’t one of them.”
Kevin Gausman threw 37 pitches in the first inning, but he made it through the fifth.
“I think that’s more pitches than we threw all year,” Showalter said. “I like that he didn’t let the game get away from him completely. It’s a hot, sticky day after a challenging two games. A lot of borderline pitches. It wasn’t like he imploded or anything.”
Peter Bourjos hit a three-run homer off Zach Britton in the ninth, ending the left-hander’s club-record home scoreless-innings streak at 35 1/3. His 27 straight scoreless appearances at home tied Brian Matusz’s record.
“Zach needed to pitch today,” Showalter said. “He’s only pitched one out of six days. I think today was an indication why he needed to a little bit, so he’ll be better for it. We got through it and got most everybody back tomorrow with the exception maybe of Mac (T.J. McFarland).
“We held the fort, made a run at them. We just let it get away from us in the ninth there. I would have liked our chances in the ninth if we could have held it to one run.”
J.J. Hardy was a late scratch due to a sprained left thumb. X-rays were negative.
Hardy sustained the injury yesterday on a play at the plate. He wanted to play today and expects to be in Monday night’s lineup against the Yankees.
“Probably could have,” Showalter said. “Swung the bat. He was going to make a little adjustment in his grip. Obviously, his left hand doesn’t bother him defensively. But, the wrong jam shot, and obviously there were a lot of jam shots today. I don’t know who had more cheap hits, them or us today. We all did.
“I hope he’s in the lineup tomorrow. He was in the lineup until about 1 o’clock and when he got through in the cage, I just... I don’t think he was real happy with me. But I didn’t like the risk factor compared to the reward.
“I think he kind of caught his thumb on (A.J.) Pierzynski as he went by. It was a little bit more sore today. If we had been playing a night game and he had a little bit more recovery time... I didn’t want him to start banging around in the cage after he did some short toss and tee work and have it get worse.
“We X-rayed it. Everything seems fine. We all know how valuable J.J. is to us. I thought Ryan (Flaherty) did a good job. He made a real good feed to Jonathan, the ball that was in the back of his glove.
“I don’t know for sure tomorrow. I hope so, but if it’s not any better, I probably won’t play him again. Get that disappointed look that makes you feel so bad. What I’m saying is they want to be out there with their guys. I want him to be out there tomorrow and the other 40-some odd games.”
Hardy definitely will give Showalter the disappointed look if he’s excluded from the lineup Monday night. He did admit today that the thumb is a little sore.
“I was full uni, ready to go,” he said. “I was taking flips, getting loose. I was planning on playing.
“I hope to be back in the lineup. See how it is tomorrow. I have a feeling that I’ll probably play through some pain. If I can, I will.
“It’s frustrating. Any time you’re dealing with your hands, it’s tough in this sport. It’s definitely frustrating. Hopefully, today’s the only day and I’ll come in tomorrow and I’ll be able to get through it.”
Gripping the bat is one of the challenges. Also, opening and closing his glove.
“There’s a few things that would have been tough,” Hardy said. “We’ll see what it feels like tomorrow.”