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  • Jun

    Swept Away

    Written by Mike Laws

    Swept away

    Garcia et al pummeled as O’s drop third straight

    Orioles 5, Toronto 13


    My definition of insult to injury: Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion not only enjoying a Sunday afternoon that didn’t feature any fastballs aimed at their respective ribcages, but swatting home runs and shooting the gaps left and right en route to their club’s eleventh straight victory, a sweep-confirming and (for us Oriole fans) thoroughly shameful 13-5 thrashing.


    But let’s not waste any precious time. Trust me, I want to write about this latest loss about as much as you want to relive it. On to the bullet points:


    • You’re probably wondering why I’ve included Encarnacion, up there in that introductory paragraph, along with the totally more odious Bautista. Is it just that the Toronto first baseman continues (along with less-usual suspects Munenori Kawasaki and Maicer Izturis) to torment Oriole hurlers? It is not. Rather, it’s to illustrate a point: that in the bottom of the third inning, facing mop-up man T.J. McFarland, who’d come on a couple batters earlier in relief of Freddy Garcia — and promptly permitted the runner inherited from Garcia to score, making it 7-0 — Encarnacion walloped a double deep to right-center, splitting the outfielders and driving in yet two more … and, despite the lopsided score, dropped his bat and lingered in the box a beat, sort of preening, before taking off down the line. No one seemed to remark on this occurrence, or cry foul. For that matter, nobody said a word about it yesterday when a Toronto reliever came up with a big pitch to induce a harmless fly ball and retire the Oriole side, and catcher J.P. Arencibia let out a yawp loud enough you could hear it on the TV broadcast, and pumped his fist, all despite the fact he contributed essentially nothing to the play ... 


    • My point being that it’s the height of hypocrisy to let these displays slide while deeming Darren O’Day’s similarly erumpent celebratory moment from Friday evening somehow beyond the pale. If Bautista was justified in showing O’Day up after his game-winning homer, in yesterday’s tilt, then surely the Orioles would’ve been within their right to let Arencibia and Encarnacion know this sort of thing isn’t acceptable … 


    • But apparently the Birds couldn’t even get that right, in this series. Literally the only reason to stay tuned to this stinker was to see whether some Oriole pitcher or another (*cough* Pedro Strop *cough cough*) would send any kind of message; but the only message delivered was that Strop can’t even get being insanely wild right. You’d think that’d be his bread and butter. Called upon to face Rajai Davis with two on and two away in the Toronto seventh, Strop got ahead 1-and-2 before delivering a heater square in the middle of Davis’s back — after which he coughed up a salt-in-the-wound bases-clearing double to Bautista. D’oh. Wrong man, Pedro … 


    • Anyway, it was never gonna be an Oriole afternoon, not with everything continuing to break the Blue Jay way. That’s not to say the Jays’ thirteen total runs was a matter of luck — but the first couple innings arguably were. After a ground-rule double prevented Nick Markakis from driving in an Oriole run in the top of the first, the Jays opted to walk Chris Davis, presenting an early bases-loaded situation to Matt Wieters, who jumped quickly ahead in the count at 2-0 … before popping out foul. All of which was followed by the Jays, in their half, recording two quick outs before Encarnacion kept the inning alive with a broken-bat bloop into left off a nice breaking pitch from Garcia. Adam Lind then bounced a ball back through the box that took the Oriole starter’s glove with it and skewed out into center. Colby Rasmus walked. Garcia then hit Arencibia with a pitch (though not the kind we might’ve liked; it was a curve that slipped out of his hand). 1-0 … 


    • And there’d be some more luck in the second, before the wheels fell off and Sweaty Freddy started getting truly smacked around: The Jays posted their second run by dint of a pair of bunts, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly. Then Bautista walked and Encarnacion homered to left-center. Then, in the third, Arencibia singled and Izturis doubled and Emilio Bonifacio doubled and Melky Cabrera singled and Bautista walked again and Encarnacion hit that double where he did the stupid pose and … why am I still typing? You get the idea. It wasn’t good. If you’re looking for any positives, here, real quick: At one point Manny Machado doubled and Markakis doubled again to get him in and then Davis reached on an error that scored Markakis. Hooray! Also, Ryan Flaherty hit two home runs, both late and pretty much meaningless, both off fastballs he surely wouldn’t have seen if the margin had been a little tighter. So yahoo for him, I guess. If you want my opinion, by far the best thing the Orioles ever got out of this game was … getting out of this game. No more red-hot Jays. No more obnoxious bandwagon fans chanting for a player they will have forgotten in two weeks’ time, or starting up with the derisive “O’Day, O’Day, O’Day” chant whenever Bautista makes his way aboard. Back on to Baltimore, hon’.

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