Written by Chris Slade
This was your classic nailbiter, neck-and-neck ballgame between two gritty ballclubs that the Orioles bullpen let slip away, unfortunately. The O's jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to RBI singles by Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts. The Diamondbacks answered when Aaron Hill led off the second with a solo job and then tied it up later in the inning when Gerardo Parra "scored" on a play he was clearly out at home but ruled safe due to a debatable interference call on Machado while rounding third. That run would matter. The Orioles took the lead with a Roberts RBI double and Wieters home run. Tommy Hunter and associates managed to cough up the lead in the 7th, the 8th (after Davis tied the game with a homer), and ultimately the 9th (after a Markakis sac fly tied the game) in a very frustrating walk off loss. (The other) Adam Eaton hit the walkoff home run, not doing any favors for the already tainted Adam Eaton name in my book.
Scott Feldman took the mound for the O's. He entered the outing with a 5.70 ERA in six starts since joining the team. Feldman hadn't pitched since August 3rd, entering the start on nine days rest, which he needed after a couple mediocre performances in his last two outings. Tonight, Feldman flashed some sharp secondary pitches, resulting in a higher than usual strikeout rate. He also was uncharacteristically pitch inneffecient, running up the count to 109 by the middle of the 6th inning.
The first inning went swimmingly with a retired side and two strikeouts. A hanging curve to Aaron Hill resulted in a solo shot to left center to lead off the second. Feldman would cruise through the third and the fourth and really had the strikeout stuff working, especially on the slow curve and cutter. One pitch, I'm not sure what it was, to Goldschmidt was downright filthy. It's a splitter, Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer later confirmed after he got Golschmidt to swing and miss at it again. Feldman carefully worked through the 5th without allowing the tying run to score after a lead off triple to A.J. Pollock. Feldman's night was done after 5 and 1/3 innings pitched due to a high pitch count more than anything else. Pretty solid outing for Feldman
Final Line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Brian Matusz, an Arizona native, relieved Feldman in the 6th to face Gerardo Parra. Matusz promptly got Parra looking on an outside corner 92 MPH fastball for strike three. The 7th inning didn't start out well for Matusz, plunking Didi Gregorious in the right shoulder.
Tommy Hunter was then brought on to relieve Matusz. The one they call Big Gun proceeded to walk pinch hitter Matt Davidson. After retiring Pollock, Hunter let up an RBI single to Adam Eaton. Yes, there's another Adam Eaton. Hunter wasn't able to get out of the unscathed, as a two-out single p the middle by Aaron Hill tied the game up 4-4. Hunter unraveled Martin Prado lined a single into right field, scoring Adam Eaton, to take a 5-4 lead for the D'backs. That would be all for Hunter.
Troy Patton relieved Hunter in hopes of getting that elusive third out in the bottom of the 7th. The General induced a groundout to second by Gerardo Parra to end the disastrous inning.
Patton stayed on for the 8th and right away coughs back up the lead to a solo home run by Wil Nieves, which I should add was Nieves's first home run on the season. He joins Henry Blanco on my despised backup catchers list. Patton would work his way through the 8th without any further damage.
Crap hit the fan in the 9th when Adam Eaton (who I'm starting to dislike as much as the other one) crushed a leadoff walkoff home run off Darren O'Day.
Bullpen Line: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, Loss
I'd give the relief corps, who to be fair had been pretty stellar lately, an F grade for the night.
The Orioles lineup faced lefthander Wade Miley who as you may recall, finished second in N.L. ROY voting in 2012 behind Bryce Harper. In his previous seven starts, Miley (Cyrus) pitched to a 1.54 ERA with a 5-1 record. Tonight was a little different. Miley pitched a decent game, but had a few command lapses at times that the Orioles hitters took adavantage of, tagging him for four earned runs in seven innings pitched.
Nick Markakis kicked off the scoring with an RBI single in the first. He would later tie the game up in the 9th with a sac fly.
Brian Roberts singled in the top of the second to drive the Orioles second run. The orioles regained the lead in the 4th when Roberts again drove in a run, this time off an RBI double off the right center wall. He recorded the only multi hit night for the hitters, finishing 2-for-3.
Matt Wieters hammered a pitch to deep center for a 420 foot solo moonshot which gave the Orioles a 4-2 lead in the 6th.
Crush, or should I say clutch, Davis ripped an oppo taco to tie the game 5-5 in the top of the 8th inning.
Henry Urrutia came through with a pinch hit single in the 9th. Alexi Casilla would relieve him of running duty at first and proceed to steal second. Casilla scored the tying run on the Markakis sac fly.
In the second inning, Gerardo Parra was on second and was running on the pitch. The pitch got away from Wieters, Parra rounded third while Wieters managed to get the ball back to Feldman at home well in time to get the overagressive Parra out. However, the umpire called him safe, ruling Machado interfered with him at third. Watching the replay, it's questionable whether Machado interfered with him and ridiciulous that he got an error charged to him.
Chris Davis had a nice defensive scoop on a one hopper that kept A.J. Pollock at third after his lead off triple.
Paul Goldschmidt double clutched on his throw to first, allowing Nate McLouth to reach base safely in the top of the 9th.
Key Moments in the game
Shades of San Diego again. The Diamondbacks turned to Joe Thatcher, the lefty specialist acquired in the Ian Kennedy deal, to get Chris Davis out. With two outs on a 3-2 count, Davis unloaded on a low away fastball for the signature oppo bomb to tie the game back up 5-5.
The Nick Markakis sac fly in the top of the 9th which tied the game back up.
The Adam Eaton walkoff...
Other Notes/ Musings
I don't know where that 85 MPH splitter has been hibernating but I'd like to see Feldman break that puppy out more often. The two he threw to Goldschmidt for swinging strikeouts were both downright nasty.
Interesting note: Wade Miley pitched at Southeastern Louisiana where he became the school's highest ever draft pick in 2008 when the Diamondbacks selected him in the supplemental first round. My older brother just graduated from Southeastern Louisiana where he was a two year starter in Centerfield and is well acquainted with Wade Miley who would work out with the team in the offseason. He texted Wade earlier today telling something like, "tonight's one of the rare nights I'll ever be rooting for the opposing pitcher to get a win.”
Miley didn't even get the win which makes this loss more annoying, especially at 1 AM when I have to be up early for work in the morning.
There's always tomorrow. We'll end on that note.
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