Before Friday night, Carlos Pena was o-5 with four strikeouts against Jamie Walker. Oh, how times have changed.
First, here's the break on the pitches by Walker to Pena in the fateful 7th on Friday night.
The graph stands in counterpoint to Roch Kubatko's assertion that Jamie hung a breaking ball to Pena. The ball broke at least as well as anything else he threw that night. Pena just crushed a good pitch.
Saturday was a different story. Walker threw a belt-high fastball on the inside part of the plate and Pena turned on it and lined it into the rightfield stands. I suppose he was trying to sneak one by but I'm guessing he wanted to keep that ball down.
(As an aside, I wasn't the only one who thought Roch was being snarky with Jamie Walker. The comments on that blog entry later in the day had many replies remarking about the same thing.)
But the Orioles were not to be denied tonight as Ramon Hernandez out-Pena-ed the Rays, smashing a Dan Wheeler fastball over the leftfield fence to give the O's a 3-2 with 2 out in the top of the ninth.
Hernandez is only batting .194 but he's making it count. He is second on the team with 7 RBI this season.
Daniel Cabrera gave one of those performances that will break your heart later in the season. An outing like that makes you start believing. More on that later...
With the win, the Baltimore Orioles retain sole possession of first place in the AL East.