Posts Tagged 'Jim Johnson'

O’s Finally End Streak, Dump Athletics 8-3

Ty Wigginton celebrates after hitting a two run home run in the ninth inning

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Ty Wigginton homered and drove in four runs, and the Baltimore Orioles snapped a nine-game skid by beating the Oakland Athletics 8-3 on Sunday and spoiling Brett Anderson’s first outing since receiving a hefty new contract.

The Orioles avoided their first four-game sweep in Oakland since Aug. 23-26, 2004, jumping on Anderson (1-1) two days after the A’s gave the pitcher a $12.5 million, four-year contract.

Brian Matusz (2-0), like Anderson a hard-throwing lefty, delivered a much-needed morale boost for the struggling Orioles in his first career outing against Oakland. He struck out eight, allowing three runs on eight hits and one walk in 6 1-3 innings.

Baltimore (2-11) had lost nine in a row since its lone previous victory at Tampa Bay on April 8, and is off to the franchise’s worst start since beginning 0-21 in 1988. The Orioles also ended a nine-game losing streak at the Coliseum dating to July 22, 2007.

It doesn’t get any easier as the Birds leave the Bay Area, either. The Orioles continue their 10-game trip with three games in Seattle followed by three at Fenway Park against Boston.

Anderson, an 11-game winner in his rookie campaign of 2009, needed only 25 pitches to get through the first two innings. He retired the first eight batters of the game before giving up consecutive two-out singles to Cesar Izturis and Adam Jones and then Wigginton’s two-run double.

Nick Markakis followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0, Lou Montanez singled in a run in the fourth and Nolan Reimold hit his two-run double in the fifth.

Wigginton hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth off Chad Gaudin.

And as Orioles radio play-by-play man Joe Angel would say…”You can put this one in the win column!!”

The nine game losing steak is over and I’d have to believe an immense feeling of relief has swept through the Orioles clubhouse.

The bats finally came alive on Sunday as Baltimore tallied 11 hits. The birds also went 5-11 with RISP and only stranded four. Since Wednesday Ty Wigginton has four home runs and 10 RBI’s.

Brian Matusz was solid once again. It is hard to believe that Sunday was only his tenth career start. He has struck out seven or more in each of his three starts and has yet to give up a home run.

And give credit to closer Jim Johnson. He went out there and redeemed himself today after Saturday’s abysmal performance. Two innings pitched, one base runner, and no runs. A strong effort and he was rewarded with his first save of the season.

The road trip continues tomorrow night in Seattle with Brad Bergesen taking the hill for the O’s. Doug Fister gets the start for the Mariners. First pitch is 10:10

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The Freefall Continues, Athletics 4 – Orioles 3

Oakland's Ryan Sweeney is mobbed by teammates after his game-winning hit against Baltimore on Saturday afternoon



Associated Press – Ryan Sweeney hit a game-ending two-run single with one out in the ninth inning, giving the Oakland Athletics a 4-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Adam Rosales singled leading off the ninth and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Rajai Davis struck out but reached base on a wild pitch before the Orioles opted to intentionally walk Daric Barton and load the bases. Sweeney, who earlier extended his major league-leading hitting streak to 12 games, singled to right to drive in pinch-runner Eric Patterson — he took over for Rosales at second base — and Davis, who easily scored ahead of the throw from Baltimore right fielder Nick Markakis.

Jerry Blevins (2-0) pitched an inning for the win. Oakland has won nine straight home games against Baltimore. The A’s are 9-4, their best start after 13 games since 1992. They also moved five games over .500 for the first time since July 19, 2008.

The Orioles fell to 1-11, their worst start since opening the 1988 season with 21 consecutive losses, and lost third baseman Miguel Tejada to a possible leg injury in the sixth inning.

The Orioles scored a pair of unearned runs off Oakland starter Justin Duchscherer in the sixth inning then took a 3-2 lead on Ty Wigginton’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.

So I was following the conclusion of this game online with MLB Gametracker since there was no telecast. And staring at the screen, watching the little animated baseball diamond fill up with Oakland baserunners in the bottom of the ninth, I just had the feeling that the result wasn’t going to be good. And your boy was right haha!

Really, I mean at this point in the O’s losing streak, which is now nine, you begin to expect things to go wrong. Having a lead in the ninth inning seemed to good to be true…and it was! Jim Johnson had two wild pitches in the inning, and sure enough his lack of control ended up blowing the game.

Listen, they are doing things well, let’s not forget that. Those good things by no means make up for losing. But it is so frustrating to see yet another solid pitching performance go to waste.

Jeremy Guthrie gave up two runs and only walked one in 6.2 innings pitched. I’ll take that kind of line any day of the week from this starting unit. Although I would have liked some more runs from the offense, the fact is they scored three and Guthrie gave up two. In relief, Will Ohman, Matt Albers, Mark Hendrickson, and Cla Merdith were solid in giving up none! Johnson couldn’t finish the job and the end result is another W when in fact this is a game that Baltimore should have won.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be for Dave Trembley and his players to have to explain all of these defeats before and after every game. It’s tough watching these performances, it must be a nightmare to be living them.

An 8th Inning Pitching Nightmare

Starter Brian Matusz was superb for seven innings, recording seven strikeouts and allowing just two hits. But in the top half of the eighth, after recording the first out, things started to unravel fast for the birds.

Matusz began the inning by striking out  Willy Aybar. But he allowed the Rays to get on the board via four straight singles and was then pulled in favor of Jim Johnson.

Johnson, who took over with the bases loaded and only one out. He was able to get Ben Zobrist to pop up for the second out. However Evan Longoria tie the score at 3 apiece, driving in a pair of runs on a single to left.

Johnson was then replaced by Will Ohman, who didn’t fare much better, giving up RBI hits to both Carlos Pena and B.J. Upton before finally getting out number three.

O’s give up 2 in 9th, fall to Rays 4-3

ST. PETERSBURG — Carl Crawford drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double in the ninth inning to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 4-3 season-opening victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.

Adam Jones, Luke Scott and Matt Wieters homered for the Orioles, who were unable to put the game away because of a lack of timely hitting with runners in scoring position.

Evan Longoria homered in the sixth for the Rays, who loaded the bases in the ninth against Baltimore’s new closer, Michael Gonzalez, with a single, double and an intentional walk. Crawford lined a 1-0 pitch into right field, driving in the winning runs before a sellout crowd of 36,973 at Tropicana Field.

That was a tough loss to take. I was very pleased with how Jones (a triple shy of a cycle) and Wieters (2-4 w/ a HR) performed. However, the whole lineup going 1-12 with runners in scoring position kept Tampa Bay in the ballgame and gave them the opportunity to come away victorious. And that 1 hit out of twelve didn’t even drive in a run.

Starting pitcher Kevin Millwood gave up nine hits and allowed two runs over 5 innings pitched. I really liked the way he commanded the location of his pitches and how he got out of a few jams in the third and fifth innings. He escaped the third inning unblemished thanks to Nick Markakis gunning down Dioner Navarro at the plate after Ben Zobrist’s single to right. He struck out five and only gave up one walk. He did struggle in the top of the sixth, failing to record an out while giving up the Longoria homer and then two straight base hits.

But the middle relief was a huge bright spot. Compared to 2009, when Oriole relievers gave up an A.L. worst 314 total runs, things looked much better last night. Matt Albers entered the game for Millwood with runners on first and second and got Pat Burrell to ground into a timely double play. He then proceeded strike out Sean Rodriguez to end the inning.

Relievers Will Ohman and Jim Johnson were rock solid in the seventh and eighth, retiring all five batters they faced on a combined 22 pitches.

Gonzalez came in to try to preserve the one run lead and struck out the first batter he faced. However he then gave up a single and two straight doubles, the second of which drove in the tying and game-winning runs for Tampa Bay.

It was frustrating to have the middle guys do so well in relief only to have Gonzalez blow it like that. It’s still early though, no need to press the panic button. He is a very good pitcher who will save this squad plenty of games in 2010.

Game 2 of the 3 game series is tonight at 7:10 on MASN2


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