It’s fairly evident that the Orioles are not packing it in with a week now to go in the regular season. Right now, they are making the lives of the Red Sox miserable and adding some intrigue to the wild card race. As it is, the Red Sox right now are not the same team that they were from May to August, and now injuries, guys breaking down and suspect pitching may do them in.
Baltimore emerged victorious over Boston, 7-5, thanks to Robert Andino’s three-run double in the eighth inning and Jim Johnson’s seventh save in the ninth. You’ve got to be impressed with the role Robert Andino has played this season, despite being pegged as a utility guy. However, with the injury to Brian Roberts, Andino has filled in quite nicely and has made most of his chance to play every day.
I’m not sure what his role on the team will be next year, but there has to be a spot for him on the roster.
They had to grind out their 64th win of the season by making Red Sox starter and former Oriole pitcher Erik Bedard work.
In addition, they did an excellent job at chipping away at Boston’s bullpen – most notably, fireballer Daniel Bard, who has been struggling in the 8th inning role. Meanwhile, the Orioles got themselves in a hole early as Rick VandenHurk struggled again, but Jo-Jo Reyes pitched three scoreless innings in a relief role, and the rest of the bullpen followed thereafter.
At this point, you have to wonder if Jim Johnson will be closing games from here on out in 2011. The obvious answer based on his use as of late -- is yes.