With all the craziness last night, I almost forgot that the Orioles were shut out again in a 5-0 loss to the Twins.
Three players were ejected, and a male fan circled the bases, hopped into the stands, bumped into a police officer, raced back onto the field, and delayed the game long enough for Ty Wigginton’s check to clear that will cover his fine from MLB.
Oh yeah, and the Orioles lost, 5-0.
Five pitchers have thrown complete games against the Orioles this season, with Carl Pavano being the latest.
Pavano threw 102 pitches. It seemed more like 50.
The Orioles don’t exactly work the count. Pavano threw five pitches in the first inning, after Kevin Millwood needed 34 to get through the top half. As the Sun’s Dan Connolly pointed out last night, only two Orioles hitters had at-bats that lasted five pitches through the fourth inning.
I like getting home early, but I feel obligated to point out the club’s impatience at the plate and how it could be an issue.
Felix Pie swung at the second pitch leading off the bottom of the first inning. Miguel Tejada followed him to the plate and swung at the first. I’m not even sure Millwood had crossed the first base line on his way to the dugout, and Pavano already recorded two outs.
Oh yeah, the Orioles were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, lowering their average to .149 on the homestand.
Factor in how the starters have posted a 12.23 ERA in their last five games, allowing 32 hits and walking 16 batters, and you have a toxic mix.
Interim manager Juan Samuel has every reason to throw a tantrum - on the field, in his office, in the parking lot, at red lights.
Samuel said frustration had nothing to do with Wigginton’s reaction to first base umpire Gary Darling’s blown call. I’m not buying it. If the Orioles were 20 games over .500, fuses wouldn’t be so short. If they were getting more breaks, they might be more tolerant of Darling’s temporary blindness.
That’s just my take.
We’re not talking a play at the plate that decided the outcome. J.J. Hardy was scrambling back to first after an aborted stolen-base attempt, and Wigginton flipped out.
Darling says Wigginton bumped him. I’ve watched the replay numerous times and can’t tell. They were awfully close. I don’t think you could have slipped a sheet of paper between them. And Wigginton is barrel-chested, so contact might be inevitable.
The same might be true of a suspension, but we’ll find out soon enough.
As I noted last night, I enjoyed every minute of it. Heck, I’ll write the check.
I desperately needed to see some emotion out there. I needed someone to say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Or at least throw a cap and a fit.
I have some anger management issues, so I’d react the way Wigginton did every time a borderline pitch is called a strike.
Wigginton and Samuel spoke for the fans last night - in very loud voices.
I got to vent without raising my blood pressure. Thanks, guys.
This one’s on me.