Friday, August 24, 2007

Story of the Week -- August 20-24

Diary of a Baltimore Oriole

Wednesday, August 22

Dear Diary:

I'm feeling a little sad today.

My team, the Orioles, had a double-header today against the Rangers. It should have been a good day for me. I mean, two games, I'm bound to get some action today.

Since I came back in June from 4 complicated hip surgeries and 3 years out of baseball, I haven't been terrible. I haven't been great, 30 hits and 21 walks in 24 innings isn't so hot, but we stink and really I'm just happy to be pitching. Or I was.

So game one starts and we look good. I mean we've got a one run lead before I've made the trip out to the bullpen from the clubhouse. And by the time I settle in with the rest of the guys, we've made it 3-0.

A couple of timely hits by the Rangers makes it 3-2 in the top of the fourth and Leo doesn't like what he's seeing, so he goes to the mound and talks to our starter, Daniel Cabrera. He's young, gets rattled, but I think he's got good stuff. But Leo leaves and Danny can't find the strike zone against Ramon Vazquez and he grooves a 2-0 pitch. 3 run homer, 5 run inning and it's 5-3. But Cabby gets the next two and pitches a scoreless fifth. Nice bounce back.

Still, he had thrown a lot of pitches, so our guys started to get ready. And when Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off the sixth with a home run, Brian Burres was brought in for relief. Not so much, though. Poor Brian, he just couldn't get anybody out. A grand slam made it 10-3, and four more crossed home before he came out of the game. And the sixth inning still wasn't over.

I was itching to get in to this game and stop the bleeding. I've got a streak of 3 scoreless innings going, but I haven't pitched in 5 days. Today could be a real chance to keep the streak going, in a pressure-free outing. But they leave in Rob Bell to start the 8th, and he's earned it after ending the disastrous 6th and tossing a scoreless 7th.

Boy did that wear off quickly. the first 7 Rangers reach base, and 6 of them score, and I get the call to come put out the fire in a 20-3 game that is completely out of hand.

3 strikeouts in one inning is usually pretty good. I'm proud of myself for that. Not so proud of the 4 more runs sandwiched between those strikeouts though. It's a 10 run inning, and it's 24-3. For the ninth inning, I have one job to do - put us out of our misery. And I did, but not before I gave up (eesh) 6 more runs to these guys. And that's an American League record. 30-3. No team has scored 30 runs in a game since 1897. And 9 of them are charged to me. My ERA just jumped to 9.49. Maybe I shouldn't have come back after all.

Like I said, I'm feeling a little sad today.

I have to say, though, I admire our regular players. They got their butts whooped and then had to take a shower, change and go out and play a second game (we lost that one, too, 9-7)

Oh well. I'll do better next time. I can't do much worse.

Yours Truly,

More fun facts about this game:
The last team to score 30 or more runs in a game was the 1897 Chicago Colts, when they scored 36 in a game against Louisville.

The Rangers scored 26 runs in a game against the same Baltimore Orioles in 1996.

Rangers P Wes Littleton picked up his first save of the year in this game. According to the rule, a save is recorded when a pitcher pitches 3 or more innings to finish a game. So Littleton "saved" a 27 run lead for Texas. To be fair, when he entered the game, they were only up by 11.

The Rangers hit 6 home runs in the game, including 2 grand slams. Strangely enough, there were only 2 doubles.

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