Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Orioles' Decade '00-'09 (8-6)

8) Daniel Cabrera's One-Hitter in NYC

No man has generated more hair-pulling moments than one Daniel Cabrera. D-Cab was quite possibly the most maddening force of nature that put on a uniform in the last ten years. More likable than Sydney “Margaritaville” Ponson but more unstable than that adjustable rate mortgage you got four years ago Daniel generated more controversy than virtually any Oriole in recent history.

Enigmatic. Frustrating. Electric. Headcase. Head-hunter. Talented. Unteachable. Just a few of the words that accurately describe the towering Dominican pitcher. It seemed that every month Daniel was about to “turn the corner” and Orioles fans everywhere were eagerly awaiting the results of their patience. Many thought the time finally had come one night in New York City.Daniel Cabrera reacts to his complete game win

September 28, 2006.

Cabrera had yet another maddening year of ups and downs. He entered New York with an 8-10 record and an ERA just over 5.00. He had only gotten past the sixth inning once in the month of September, his prior start against the Twins in Baltimore. No one was expecting what would happen next.

Over nine innings, his only complete game of the year. Cabrera would overcome three errors behind him to take a no-hitter into the ninth inning against one of the strongest lineups in baseball. Cabrera literally cruised into the ninth inning in complete command. His fastball in the mid-90's with movement was confounding Yankee hitters all night. In the bottom of the ninth Cabrera's bid for history was foiled when Robinson Cano slapped a clean single off of a 0-1 count. The Yankee crowd cheered, Cabrera and Orioles fans everywhere winced in frustration. Cabrera would retire Bobby Abreu on a routine double-play and the Orioles would win.

So close.

Not only does it describe that game, but Cabrera himself; so close. Many thought that this was Cabrera turning the corner, but it would never come to pass. Daniel never found it, the Orioles gave him every opportunity and every coach tried their best but Cabrera was never able to harness the lightning bolt in his forearm. Cabrera lost 18 games in 2007, 10 games in 2008 before he was let go and found his way to the Nationals – where he finished with an 0-8 record before being released. Daniel Cabrera, amazing moment; a brush with history – so close.

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