Saturday, April 12, 2008

Terror in Tampa and Roch Kicks 'Em When They're Down

Owwwch! Ouch..quit it!

Growing pains exacted excruciatingly by Carlos Pena and friends.

The Good: Jeremy Guthrie pitched well and the Baltimore Oriole bats were alive against Jamie Shields, a good young pitcher.

The Bad: The defense (more on that later), the bullpen and the Oriole offense not putting the game away when they had a chance.

Anyway, a rare cheap shot from the keyboard of Roch Kubatko and it was directed at Jamie Walker:

While challenging a Sun reporter in the middle of the clubhouse last week, reliever Jamie Walker said something about how it’s fine if the media wants to rip him after he messes up, “but leave my teammates alone.”

We won’t rip you, Jamie, but no more meatballs to Carlos Pena. Please. Find something else on the menu.

That situation screamed for you last night. Two men on base, a three-run lead to protect and a left-handed batter at the plate. And you hang a curveball. And a lead disappears. And a losing streak reaches three games.

I vote that we worry less about what's in the papers and more about finishing off opponents...

Walker gets paid to retire those guys and bridge the gap to George Sherrill.

Ouch. We're not going to rip you Jamie but now...we're going to rip you.

Kubatko seemingly has had these criticisms in his head, if not on his hard drive, and was waiting for the first time Walker screwed up to use them. That's fine. It's kind of like a a revenge plunking, looking out for one of his Baltimore Sun teammates. (It was Dan Connolly who got ripped by the way. Roch never wants to say his name.)

But I don't think Roch watched the game last night. Walker came in with one out and got Akinori Iwamura to hit a soft grounder to shortstop. But Luis Hernandez booted the ball off his glove and then fumbled the ball around so long he was unable to make a throw. The hometown scorer gave Iwamura a hit but that was an error. It should have been two outs with nobody on with Carl Crawford coming up. Crawford hit the first pitch for a weak Texas Leaguer to shallow center. If Luis Hernandez had taken a good route to the ball or if Adam Jones had been playing centerfield last night, that may have been the third out of the inning.

Now, to this comment: "And you hang a curveball." Dead wrong. It was a good pitch. It broke great and was placed right where Pena had swung through one for a strike two pitches before. Pena was just on fire and hit a good pitch. (Likewise, he hit a great pitch from Guthrie for an opposite field homerun. Sick. Doubly painful that the Orioles could've signed him for a song before the 2007 season.)

Jamie Walker had some bad luck and gave up a homer to a slugger who he shouldn't have had to face. The team lost the game last night Roch, not Walker alone. Again, I understand you're protecting your co-worker but it's a real cheap shot. And your motives are transparent. And you're dead wrong.

Now that that's done...Let's go O's!

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