Monday, August 13, 2007

Sweet Victory

For a change, it's the O's coming from behind to win!

Two dramatic victories on Friday and Sunday capped a series win over the AL East leading Red Sox. Games like these are great on their own but are also fun for WPA graphs. Here's a couple. First, Friday's game. (I wonder if Red Sox fans are calling it the S'mores Day Massacre...)

The O's were dead to rights after the top of the 8th. Boston had given itself a 95% chance to win before the O's rallied to tie it up. (Thanks Eric Gagne...) Roberts and Mora delivered the big blows as far as WPA.

Now to Sunday...

Circumstances were not quite as dire but again in the bottom of the 8th the O's rally against Gagne to tie it up and win it in extras. As big as Millar's homer was, it was Tejada and Huff with the biggest clutch hitting of the game with Danys Baez getting the most crucial outs of the game.

The only negative of the series was that the Yankees have pulled within 4 games of the Red Sox with Baltimore's win. I don't care about the Red Sox but I've never been able to work up a good hatred for them like I have for the Yankees and Blue Jays, maybe because the Sox and O's haven't had title runs at the same time in the last 25 years. Outside of their annoying fatalism (at least from native New Englanders) I really have nothing against them. So Baltimore needs to smack down the Yankess over the next three days to even up the score...

Mora Flashes the Glove

Since he made a great play yesterday, I thought I'd check in with Melvin Mora's defensive prowess this year. He's second among AL thirdbasemen in Fielding Percentage, first in Range Factor and 5th in the league at reaching balls out of his zone, even with the lost time to injuries. Mora's fielding, if not his bat, has been a reason to watch the O's this season.

Gibbons Is Done

Mercifully, Jay Gibbon's 2007 season has been put out of its misery when the team put him on the DL for season ending shoulder surgery. While I guess it's a silver lining that some of his offensive woes could be due to injury, he certainly wasn't hitting before the May injury either. Jay will have to make a remarkable comeback and have a huge spring if he hopes to don the black and orange in 2008.

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