So many moments from yesterday’s game jump out at me as I replay it in my head. And the best part is I can mentally fast-forward through the commercials.
Jason Hammel throwing 38 pitches in a three-run first inning and still making it through the sixth to improve his record to 5-1. It was a gritty performance. A lot of pitchers would have been gone by the third.
J.J. Hardy homering for the second time in two games. He’s got four two-hit games since April 26. Maybe his bat is finally heating up. It’s mostly been on ice since 2011 if you focus on batting average.
Manny Machado homering to give the Orioles their final lead. He’s on a ridiculous roll. He’s driving the ball, he’s slapping it to the opposite field, he’s laying down bunts. He also plays third base like he already owns a dozen Gold Gloves. Did the Orioles really draft and develop a position player who’s this good? And he’s only 20, which means he’s only scratching the surface here. Just wait until he’s old enough to shave.
Pedro Strop catching Machado’s home run ball in his cap. Maybe it was easier for him because the cap was tilted in that direction.
Nate McLouth following up an 0-for-5 afternoon on Saturday with a leadoff double in the first inning yesterday. Just in case you thought he might be slumping.
Plate umpire Larry Vanover taking a foul ball off his mask in the first inning and leaving the game in the third with concussion-like symptoms. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.
Ryan Flaherty delivering a two-run single late in the game to fatten the cushion. He’s only batting .125, but he was batting .108 three days ago. He’s going in the right direction. And he’s giving the team good defense at second base.
Brian Matusz facing one batter, Josh Hamilton, and striking him out. He’d much rather be starting. This bullpen role is hard on him, especially when he’s facing one or two batters and coming out of the game, but he’s making the best of it.
Strop replacing Matusz, immediately walking a batter and committing a balk, and fielding Alberto Callaspo’s bouncer to the mound and getting Mark Trumbo in a rundown. Score it 1-5-6-5. A huge out in the game and a huge moment for Strop, who appeared on the verge of another meltdown. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last three outings, but he’s walked nine batters in 11 innings this season.
Troy Patton walking two batters in two-thirds of an inning. That’s eight walks and five strikeouts, to go with 12 hits, in 13 innings. But he’s only surrendered four earned runs.
Chris Davis returning to the lineup after injuring his knee Friday night, and coming through with an RBI single in the eighth inning. I have no idea why he played. It made more sense to me for the Orioles to give him two extra days off before writing his name in Tuesday’s lineup. Why risk it? But I’m not a doctor and Davis isn’t a guy who wants to sit on the bench. And he can rest today.
Albert Pujols watching the game from the Angels’ dugout because his foot is hurting. It must be bad for Pujols to be out of the lineup. Well, he’s only got eight more years on that contract.
Did I miss anything?
Update: Yes, I did. I mentioned Mike Trout’s stolen base in yesterday’s blog entry, but it belongs here, as well.
Trout was out. MASN2 replays showed that Matt Wieters’ throw beat Trout and the tag was applied before his hand touched the bag, but the umpire blew the call and Hammel’s pitch count continued to soar.