The Orioles spent much of Wednesday night continuing to try and dig out of one of the worst offensive funks in recent memory. The consecutive scoreless streak reached 28 innings when the Orioles finally broke through in the eighth, on a 2-run homer off of Wilson Betemit’s bat. Mets starter Dillon Gee (W, 5-5) had given up just 2 hits and 1 walk up until that point, and had struck out 9 Orioles. And while the Orioles would add 6 more baserunners after Betemit’s long ball, they could only push 1 of those runners across, and drop their third in a row to the Mets, 4-3.
Orioles starter Brian Matusz (L, 5-8) again tried to rediscover what it means to control the game as a pitcher. This start though, like his previous start in Atlanta and the one before that in Boston, was just another display of anarchy for the lefty: Three base runners allowed in the first, one in the third, three in the fourth—one of which scored, and finally, 4 runners allowed—and two runs in—before Buck Showlter ran out of patience in the fifth and yanked him. Matusz’s final line could have been, and maybe should have been, much worse than it’s already ugly look: 4.2IP, 7H, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, 93 pitches thrown. The defense made him earn a couple of extra outs, as Betemit committed his 9th error, and Adam Jones committed his 6th on a play where he and Ryan Flaherty nearly collided. Another ball popped out of Jones’ glove on a diving attempt at a catch in the Mets’ run scoring fourth. It would have been a terrific catch, but one we’ve seen Jones make pretty regularly.
And even with Matusz’s inconsistency, even with the errors, the mostly vacant offense, and even with a less than stellar performance out of the bullpen from Luis Ayala (1.1IP, 2H, 1BB, 1ER), the Orioles still had a chance to steal a win away from the Mets in the ninth, against Mets closer Frank Fransisco. Jones lead off, and wrapped up his 0-4 night with a ground out. Matt Wieters picked up a single to center, and advanced to second on Nick Johnson’s second hit of the night. Betemit popped out, for out number two. But Francisco walked pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds and Steve Pearce to force in a run, making it 4-3. With the bases loaded, Fransisco was able to pull himself together for a 2-pitch at bat against Brian Roberts, who grounded out tho second to end the game and give the Mets a sweep.
The Orioles get Thursday off, and will host the Washington Nationals in a weekend set beginning at 7:05 Friday. Jordan Zimmerman (3-5, 2.92) gets the ball for the Nats against Wei-Yin Chen (7-2, 3.36) for the Orioles.
- Runs were scored, and not just by the Mets.
- The Yankees dropped their second in a row to Atlanta Wednesday.
- Brian Matusz has become the starting rotation’s version of Mark Reynolds. He is feast or famine. And these days, he’s got other teams feasting on him. He has gone just 13.1 innings in his last three starts, giving up 20 hits and 10 walks. With all those base runners (not even counting the errors behind him… Wednesday, there were 2 more of those), it’s actually amazing he’s only given up 12 runs in that time.
- The Orioles left 7 on base, and were 0-5 with runners in scoring position. In fact, the last time the Orioles picked up a hit with a runner in scoring position, Brian Roberts delivered a 2-run single. That was in inning #7. Saturday.