Last night, the Orioles returned home to Camden Yards start a nine-game homestand and defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4.
Jake Arrieta had another typical start on the mound; however, despite walking five batters, he struck out seven and gave up a run in six innings. Watching the game last night on MASN, I figured he was headed for disaster early as he gave up a leadoff home run to start things; furthermore, he was all over the plate last night and seemed to have little control of his pitches.
By a small miracle, he managed to get his first victory of the season Tuesday night. I wonder how long of a leash Arrieta will get if his struggles continue on the mound. Pretty much everyone in baseball knows he has the goods to be a very good pitcher; however, if Arrieta can’t be consistent as a pitcher with the Orioles and put it all together, there will be others to replace him soon.
Then again, he did battle through his start and hold the Rays to only a run during his stint on the mound. I also don’t think Arrieta – if he keeps up his shaky performances – could possibly be as lucky as he was on Tuesday.
The offense bailed out Arrieta as the offense came through early and Matt Wieters’ home run broke a 1-1 tie in the second inning. The Orioles seemed well on their way to victory, as they held a 5-1 lead heading into the eighth inning; however, reliever Pedro Strop nearly wiped that way.
Like Arrieta, Strop is another guy who has the goods to be a successful pitcher, but seemingly cannot put things together for a stretch. He nearly blew the lead for the Orioles as he gave up home runs to Kelly Johnson and Evan Longoria in the eighth inning; however, Brian Matusz and Darren O’Day helped closed out the frame.
Jim Johnson would earn his sixth save of the season and help the Orioles to a 7-6 record on the season by closing out the ninth inning.
Manny Machado, Nick Markakis and Ryan Flaherty each drove in runs.
Finally, the eyes of the world are on New England as the city of Boston – and the surrounding region – is trying to overcome the horrible events of Monday.
I personally think at the times people read way too much of what happens in sports and how it correlates with healing tragic events on a personal, as well as a public scale; however, it can serve as a diversion and bring people who sometimes share little in common aside from their pain together.
Although I don’t care for Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”, it was touching that the New York Yankees and other teams around the majors last night played that particular song to show solidarity with the city of Boston.
Of course, the Boston Red Sox have since 2002 traditionally played that song at Fenway Park during the latter half of their games.
Speaking from personal tragedy I’ve endured in the past two years with passing of friends and loved ones, sports does not heal the pain of loss, but softens it – for a little while.
Life will go on, and there will always be trials and tribulations to face; however, sports will be there for us. From time to time, events - no matter how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of life brings us together.
Naturally, many people want to know how and why something like what happened on Monday would ever take place?
The next few hours, days, months and perhaps years, we'll try to rationalize the unfathomable.
Speaking from experience, you many never ever know.
Sometimes, there are no answers.
For those affected by this tragedy, my heart is with you.