Saturday, August 21, 2010

Live Blogging: Rangers @ Orioles - 8/21/10

2:57 We're going to try live blogging for the first time. Since this is my first time in the Baltimore press box, it seemed appropriate. Not much to report on except for batting practice at this point where Vlad Guerrero has been putting on a show. More to come...

3:19 The story tonight will be all about Rangers ace Cliff Lee. He is arguably the best pitcher in the American League and the Orioles are only OPSing .639 against lefties in 2010. Every run will come at a premium and Baltimore will have to hope that Brad Bergesen is able to continue his recent stretch of good starts to keep them in the game.

3:56 It a fair crowd tonight and people are still filing in. It's a muggy and still afternoon, can't imagine the ball will be carrying too well tonight. That's good news for Brad Bergesen.

A bit of a lineup shakeup for the Birds...Luke Scott is in the starting lineup but not batting cleanup for the first time in over a month. Wigginton will bat cleanup with Scott in the 5 hole.

4:13 An efficient first inning for Bergey. 9 pitches to retire the side in order in the top of the first. He struck out Andrus swinging, gave up a liner up the middle to Young and then got Hamilton to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. He's pounding the strike zone and that's a good thing.

Lee has bounced a couple warmup pitches...maybe he'll be wild tonight? Nah...

4:33 Nick Markakis struck out looking in the bottom of the 1st. That means he has struck out looking 4 straight times.

A quick check show that he had never struck out looking 3 times in a game before last night so the odds are good that he has never done it 4 times in a row! Crazy.

4:44 Lee and Bergesen are both cruising. Bergey just retired the Rangers 1-2-3 on 10 pitches in the top of the 3rd. 5 of his 9 outs have started with a grounder to Lugo at short. It's not a bad formula.

Lee was no-hitting the O's but Pie just singled on a sharp grounder up the middle.

4:52 I just saw Josh Bell's first career home run. It was an 0-1 pitch that Bell put in the centerfield seats. There was no dbout about it, it looked gone as soon as he hit it. The Orioles have Lee on the ropes, 2-0 in the bottom of the 3rd.

5:01 Bergey gave it up in the top of the 4th. Guerrero doubled in Josh Hamilton and would eventually score on a Bengie Molina sac fly to Adam Jones. Knotted at 2.

Josh Bell fun fact: That HR off Cliff Lee is only his 4th off a left handed pitcher in the last 4 seasons. Any level.

5:15 The Orioles took the lead back in a big way in the bottom of the 4th. Three homers including back-to-back solo jacks from Wigginton and Scott and a three-run shot from 3B Josh Bell, his 2nd of the game and his career. None were cheapies.

The Orioles are all over Cliff Lee and have handed Bergey a commanding 7-2 lead to start the 5th. Brad's only thrown 44 pitches so a good chance to go deep in the game and get the win.

5:28 That could have been much worse. The Rangers load the bases with 1 out but only get a single run to cut the Baltimore lead to 7-3. 22 pitches in that inning for Bergesen.

5:50 Bergesen is through 6 innings and only at 79 pitches. Lee is back out for the bottom of the 6th.

Last inning, Luke Scott fouled a ball back into the press box, just in front of me and to the right. It hit a laptop bag and bounced back into the stands. No damage as far as I can tell.

5:58 Josh Bell just missed his third home run as he lines one off the rightfield fence. Couldn't have missed it by more than a foot.

Roberts missed a double down the leftfield line (it was foul), then walked.

Lee has been lifted for Scott Feldman. Lee gives up 7 far.

6:05 Feldman promptly threw a wild pitch allowing the runners to advance, then Lugo legs out an infield single allowing Bell to score from 3rd.

O's lead the mighty Rangers 8-3.

6:13 The few Ranger fans that came out today seem to be filing out of the stadium. Cliff Lee gave up 8 earned runs, tying a career high.

The few that remained saw Josh Hamilton hit a 2 out, 2-run hiomer to center. That makes it an 8-5 Oriole lead and Mike Gonzalez is up in the bullpen.

Bergesen retires Vlad to end the 7th. This one's not over yet.

6:26 RP Michael Kirkman makes his major league debut for the Rangers and strikes out the side. Wiggy swinging, Scott looking and Jones swinging. O's still lead 8-5 after 7.

Mike Gonzalez coming in to pitch for the Orioles in the 8th.

6:38 Gonzalez promptly gives up a double to David Murphy on the first pitch, then retires Molina on a fly abll to Pie. Mitch Moreland then doubled in Murphy when Adam Jones dove for the liner but could not come up with it.

It looked like Jones was injured and was slow to get up but he just broke his belt. He was given and replacement and headed back out to centerfield.

Gonzo then struck out Andres Blanco and Brandon Boggs to get out of the jam. 8-6 Orioles.

6:49 O's could not add to their lead. Craig Tatum struck out looking for the third time tonight and Josh Bell could work no more magic. Koji Uehara is coming in to protect the 2-run lead and earn the Orioles at least a series split.

6:57 Koji saves the game in the 9th, striking out Vlad to finish the game.

The crowd was electric in the 9th this evening, on their feet screaming and shouting I haven't seen that kind of excitement at the Yard (at least, not in person) in years.

I started out the game thinking Cliff Lee would be the story, turned out to be Josh Bell. A coming out party or a flash of brilliance? These last 6 weeks of the season may tell us.


SoNSo1 said...

Re: Ninth inning. It was the same last night even though we lost. Everyone up and cheering like we were willing on Orioles magic! I think Buck has got the baseball fans excited at the end of the season, which, I find, is amazing.

Steve G. said...

Really good liveblog! Nice to see that Josh Bell had himself a day; I always like when prospects live up to their potential. (Deep down, I still think Andy Marte could do something. I'm probably the only one besides his mom at this point.)

Buck sure does that team clicking on all cylinders, huh? If the O's can become competitive too, the East just looks effing ridiculous.

DempseysArmy said...

This level of play is kind of what we expected to see this season. OK, not .600 ball all year but strectches like this where they are winning and finishing the season approaching 80 wins or, with some breaks, a winning season.

Nice to see that it's happening now but avoiding 100 losses is going to be tough.

re: Andy Marte: Me too. He still looks like a guy who should be really good.