Nowhere to hide for J.R. House
by Matthew Taylor
“It was just a base-running mistake on my part,” House said. “It was good to get the hit, but at the same time, it’s kind of all for naught when you make a mistake like that and end up getting picked off. It was my fault.”
The most interesting fact that I’ve read in the game stories
about yesterday’s 3-2, 10th-inning loss to the Blue Jays is this: “Baltimore leads the American League with 24 one-run defeats.”
For a team that is now eight games under .500, that stat says it all. If the Birds had won just a quarter of those 24 contests they’d be a half game ahead of the Blue Jays, 6.5 out of the Wild Card
race. And the run of losing seasons would stand a better chance of ending this year.
With that said, it’s hard to blame yesterday’s loss on the team’s familiar scapegoat, the bullpen. As Kevin Millar explained
after the game: “You can’t do anything about that. Bradford ran [into] some bad luck. Vernon Wells, swinging bunt and gets a hit. Frank Thomas, check swing and he gets the guy to second. Glaus ambushed him on the first pitch and we’re behind the eight ball there.”
Considering Derek Jeter’s check-swing chopper in the Birds’ Aug. 13 loss to the Yankees, Bradford is fast becoming the master of losing on infield hits. The big hit isn’t really been a problem for Bradford; he hasn’t given up a home run this season despite making the eleventh most appearances of any pitcher. He last did so on May 14, 2006, which was his lone HRA during the 2006 season. Bradford also allowed just one home run in 2005.
The story of yesterday’s game was J.R. House’s base-running blunder in the top of the 1oth inning. The mistake served as a disheartening conclusion to an otherwise positive series for the newest Oriole. It was likewise a disheartening conclusion to an otherwise positive road trip for the Birds. Chances are, though, that Trembley’s O’s will continue to doing what they’d done best since the All-Star Break: rally.
Extra innings: The O’s need to play .600 baseball for the rest of the season in order to finish with an even record. In other words, they have to be the Red Sox.
With 40 games remaining, the Birds need to go 24-16 to finish .500. The team is 19-15 since the All-Star break (.558), 28-25 under Trembley (.528).
Teams remaining on the schedule: Texas (.439 winning percentage, 7 games remain); Minnesota (.504, 4); Tampa Bay (.382, 6); Boston (.597, 7); Angels (.585, 3); Toronto (.512, 6); New York (.565, 6); and Kansas City (.447, 1).