Posts Tagged 'Matt Albers'

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.


Pena Goes Yard in 10th

Oh Boy. After a scoreless ninth by both teams, the Ray’s Carlos Pena may have just delivered the knockout blow.

Matt Albers entered the game to begin the tenth inning but walked the first two batters he faced.

Pena came up to the plate and on a 2-2 fastball he hit a towering home run to right, giving Tampa Bay an 8-5 lead.

This is tough to watch…

Update: Ty Wiggington hit his second HR of the night, this time a solo shot, with two outs in the bottom of the tenth. However it was too little too late as Baltimore dropped it’s fifth straight game. They are now 1-7 on the season and winless at home.

Another Defeat?? Rays 5 – Orioles 1

Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett beats the tag of Baltimore's Cesar Itzuris for a double during the third inning of Monday night's game

What is happening to this team! The bats have just gone very quiet in the last few games. Not to mention the fans…Monday night’s contest drew the lowest crowd in the 19-year history of Camden Yards.

In Dan Connolly’s recent blog post he brings up a great point: “The Orioles have scored three runs in their past three games – all, by the way, have been played without Brian Roberts, the offense’s catalyst who was put on the disabled list Monday.”

Not having Roberts has hurt the team I agree. And it will probably cost them some games while he is on the D.L. But tonight I doubt having B-Rob in there would have made too much of a difference. That’s because Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza was just superb.

Garza started out a bit shaky, giving up a solo HR to Felix Pie on just the second pitch of the game. He settled down though, giving up no more runs while striking out six the rest of the way. Garza improved his career record against Baltimore to 8-1 .

O’s starter Jeremy Guthrie wasn’t really all that bad. He didn’t walk a batter, struck out five, and only allowed three runs. And even though he gave up eight total hits, Guthrie was able to hold the Rays to 3 runs before getting pulled prior to the eighth inning.

The bullpen was lovely once again…NOT. In the top of the eighth, Mark Hendrickson gave up a solo HR to Carl Crawford, who went 4-4 on the night. Matt Albers was brought in with one out in the top half of the ninth. He then proceeded to give up three consecutive hits, the third of which drove in Tampa Bay’s fifth and final run.

The birds left six on base and did not record an extra base hit other than Pie’s lead-off homer.

Same two teams are at it again tomorrow evening, first pitch is 7:05.

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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