Once again, Josh Donaldson has to leave a game with a calf injury. This looked more serious. He drove in Jose Bautista with a double (after Bautista doubled, it might be the first time we’ve had 2 hard hit balls in a row this season). Please be ok Josh.
Speaking of injuries, Devon Travis, between innings, threw a ball to Troy Tulowitzki, but Troy wasn’t looking and it hit him in the back of the hand. His hand looked swollen but he stayed in the game.
We interrupt our regularly scheduled recap for a rant about replay challenge umpires. In the 4th, Josh Donaldson had a weak ground ball up the middle. Live, I thought he was safe, but the first base ump called him out. Gibby challenges. We get roughly 50 slow motion views of the play. In each, Josh was clearly safe. I mean, not safe by a lot, but clearly safe. Zero doubt.
But the replay umpires call him out. I have no idea how. I’m imagining the replay ump was a former regular ump who lost his vision in some tragic accident, so they gave him an office job.
Games, challenges, we just can’t win anything.
Random notes on the game:
- Francisco Liriano looked much much better than his first start. He had a rough time in the 5th, giving up 4 straight hits to start the inning and the Orioles scored their two runs. They could have scored more, but the Orioles 3rd base coach made a huge mistake, sending Tray Mancini home, from first, on a double with no one out. Kevin Pillar and Troy Tulowitzki put together a nice relay to get him by several feet.
Liriano would go 6.2 innings, allowing 5 hits (4 of them in the 5th inning), 2 walks with 10 strikeouts. He brought his ERA down from 135.00 to 9.00.
- Kevin Pillar had his first extra base hit of the season, a lead off double in the 3rd inning (we didn’t score him) and had his first (and second) strikeout of the season.
- Again we had trouble scoring (I need to write a little script to have this automatically appear in each recap). We only had 6 hits (on the ‘cup is a tenth full’ side, 3 of the hits were doubles). Tulo had 2 of our hits. Morales had 2 walks.
- Russell Martin had another bad day at the plate. Also having 0 fors were Carrera and Travis. Travis....man, he seems to be swinging at pitches well off the inside corner and, not surprisingly, making really weak contact.
- Bautista had a couple of nice catches in right, to go with the double.
- Joe Biagini was terrific, pitching 1.1 with 2 strikeouts and no base runners.
- Joe Smith was even better, striking out the side in the top of the 9th. The pitching was great, we had 15 strikeouts, between the 3 pitchers.
- We did make an effort at a come back against Zack Britton in the 9th. A 1-out Tulo single and a Martin walk (ball four looked like it might have been a strike) and then a wild pitch gave us runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. But Pillar had a very soft ground out (I wonder if Tulo would have score if he was off on contact. Then Birthday Boy Steve Peare pinch hit. After a near wild pitch, Pearce hit a medium fly out to center.
Jay of the Day: Tulo (.237 WPA) and Donaldson (.113) had the number. I’m giving one to Liriano, Biagini and Smith, they were great.
Suckage: Martin (-.175) and Carrera (-.164), but really you could just list the entire lineup.
We had 889 comments in a quick game. Nelson Liriano led the way. Great job.