Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stunned, Part II -- Sherrill Blows It Again

After serving up a two-run walk off homer to Washington’s Ronnie Belliard in a 3-2 loss on Sunday, George Sherrill was on the mound last night against the lowly Kansas City Royals and it looked like Baltimore was on it’s way to a 5-4 win. With two outs, and two strikes on Miguel Olivo — a guy, much like Belliard whom you probably not expect to go deep in a two out situation — DID.

With one swing of the bat, Olivo’s ball sailed into left field, and over the fence to tie the game, 5-5, pretty much completing a comeback after being down five runs. Baltimore would eventually lose in the game in the 11th inning, as Jose Guillen’s singled the go ahead run off Chad Bradford and the Royals won, 6-5.

The Orioles were up 5-1 at one point, but the bullpen could not hold onto the lead. Brian Buress pitched well, coming off an illness, as he went five-plus innings, allowing one run on five hits and three walks while striking out three.

The loss was Baltimore’s second in a row, and now the talk in at least some parts of the Internet are questioning whether Sherrill should be shipped out, despite his 26 saves at the halfway point and being unflappable for the whole season.

Now, everyone - we’re only a game over .500 now - we have to calm down; it’s the life of a closer.

Sherrill left two pitches up in the strike zone on two consecutive days and paid for it. He’ll be fine, and we as fans have to simmer down. Stuff like this happens all the time in baseball, and although we did lose two close games to teams we should have perhaps beaten, it’s all part of the game.

If we need to feel better, Sherrill showed quite a bit of emotion after the game:

Olivo’s blast, which denied Brian Burres his staff-leading seventh win, was the Royals’ first pinch-hit homer since Sept. 24.

“I’m not going to my fastball enough,” Sherrill said. “[Olivo] struggles with breaking balls, but not that one.”

As he walked off the mound after the ninth inning, Sherrill flung his gum into the grass. Then, he tossed his glove into the seats behind the Orioles’ dugout. Finally, he tossed a bucket that was in the Orioles dugout, the gum that was in it scattering all over the grass.

“That’s just a frustrating situation, and if you’re in the arena, you know that feeling,” said Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar said. “Georgie is very competitive and just made one bad pitch. He did a great job, two sliders in the dirt, then put one over the plate and Olivo hit the ball out. But we’ll be OK.”
I think we have had more devastating losses with Chris Ray on the mound than Sherrill.

Oh yes, and now Alex Cintron may be hurt. Do we go after Felipe Lopez or do we let Brandon Fahey man the infield for now?

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