Well, we as fans knew last night was going to be tough against the Tigers in Detroit. Obviously, it was.
Last night, the Orioles lost their first contest in their three-game set against the Tigers, 5-3. The game was frustrating on some many levels, as Tommy Hunter tossed a typical Tommy Hunter start and the bullpen could not hold a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning.
Then again, the Orioles have nothing to be embarrassed about. The duo of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder treated the Birds like a lapdog, as they both homered to do the damage for the Tigers. Fielder homered twice – both two-run shots in the 6th and 8th inning – and Cabrera hit one off Hunter in the first inning.
Both of Fielder’s shots were absolute bombs; however, the second homer made the difference last night off of reliever J.C. Romero, breaking a 3-3 tie. Darren O’Day (6-1) – who has been clutch on the mound all season – took the loss, as he allowed the runner on base before Fielder’s fateful homer.
Again, it sucked that Detroit’s two big-boppers killed the Orioles; however, BOTH men are likely potential Hall-of-Famers barring anything crazy happening in their careers.
Baltimore’s offense came via a Nick Markakis RBI-double in the 3rd inning and a Matt Wieters’ homer – his 17th and a two-run shot – in the fifth.
Joaquin Benoit (2-3) earned the win in relief for Detroit.
Tommy Hunter pitched well enough to perhaps win – or lose – but it was a solid start for him.
However, in my mind, last night will be remembered for Mark Reynolds’ outburst and Buck Showalter being thrown of out the game in the fifth inning after a blown call at first.
Sometimes it is the little things during a game that makes a difference.
Here’s what happened:
From the AP: In the home half, Orioles manager Buck Showalter and first baseman Mark Reynolds were ejected. Showalter and Reynolds became upset after an overturned call put Jhonny Peralta on first base after he was called out.
Machado made a throw that forced Reynolds to fully extend to catch the ball that was low and up the line, and the first baseman appeared to be pulled off the bag. Replays weren't conclusive.
First base umpire Jeff Kellogg called Peralta out after Leyland came out of the dugout to argue. The call was overturned by home plate umpire Tim Timmons.
"I had (Reynolds) off the bag," Timmons said.
Reynolds reacted to that decision by slamming his glove, and he was immediately tossed from the game.
"I stayed on the bag and that's why I got so upset," Reynolds said. "I don't understand how an umpire can miss a play at home plate that's right in front of him and see that play from home plate at first base. It's embarrassing that they would overturn a call that obviously has an impact on the game in the middle of the pennant race."
Showalter stormed out of the dugout, was also ejected, and later said the umpires didn't get the call right.
And then, Reynolds really spoke his mind after the game. In depth and in a way I’ve never seen from him before.
You know Buck will express himself, but Reynolds?
I’m glad he did it. As a blogger, I think it’s good for him to express his opinion. As a fan, I love it.
Reynolds will probably not be an Oriole after the season, and everyone will move on. However, for as much crap as he’s gotten for his performance – well deserved – he cares about the team and the results.
If there’s anything he did to endear himself to Orioles fans who were skeptical of him, last night perhaps changed the perception.
The stakes have changed for Baltimore. They are no longer pushovers and a bottom feeder. The Orioles are in it to win, and Reynolds’ outburst shows that. They’re hungry and have put the perpetual losing in the past.
Hopefully, the Orioles will turn that anger into action as Zach Britton takes the mound on Saturday.
Every game at this point for me as a fan and blogger is a must win; however, the Orioles really need to pull out the stops tonight to not lose ground in the playoff hunt.