Game 119: The Curse of the Winnable Game™
In baseball, there are few things I hate worse than when your team has a lead late into the game, and the bullpen and/or starter totally shits the bed. We had this game. A game against the division-leading O’s, no less. Leave it to our bullpen to regress to the mean and totally screw the pooch. Speaking of, where did that expression come from? Pooch is slang for dog, and I’d hate to think someone at some point actually had sex with a dog in order for that expression to come to life. If you know its origins, leave me a comment below and let me know. Now we’re 8 GB of Baltimore and drifting further and further away from KC for the 2nd Wild Card slot. I don’t like getting pessimistic, not when there might still be a chance, but I don’t think the playoffs are in our future this year. Too many injuries, not enough time. If by some freak coincidence we happen to luck into the 2nd WC….I don’t see us lasting very long. Sad to say, but true.
We didn’t have much in the way of offense, but until the bottom of the 8th, it was working out quite well for us. Two runs on five hits isn’t stellar, but it was enough. Then all hell broke loose. Pineda pitched quite well, even though he only lasted five innings; he’d just come off the DL, so obviously Girardi didn’t want to stretch him too far to begin with. Betances comes in to relieve him, and continues to do well….until the bottom of the 8th. He gives up a HR to Schoop which ties the game, he’s then pulled for Shawn Kelley, who then proceeds to give up a 3-run HR to Adam Jones, and that’s all folks.
Going back to what I said about the offense, it wasn’t much. Until the top of the 9th, we only managed 2 R on 5 H. Francisco Cervelli was responsible for those runs, having hit a 2-run HR in the 3rd. After that, we didn’t score again until Chase Headley hit a grounder to 3B, scoring Mark Teixeria. Chris Tillman, the pitcher for the Orioles, did a great job of shutting us down, not that there’s really all that much to shut down anymore. Pitchers don’t necessarily have to bring their A game against us just to win the game. I hope that changes for the duration of the season, and we at least manage to end on a high note, but I won’t hold my breath.