Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wieters' Late-Walk off hit helps Orioles take two of three from the Phillies

Wow, what a weekend. The Orioles pulled out another win this afternoon, 5-4, over the Philies as Matt Wieters’ RBI-walk-off-double in the tenth made the difference. The Birds have played some gritty baseball all weekend against a tough Philadelphia squad.

Baltimore has now won nine straight games in extra innings, which is an accomplishment in itself. Both James and I have said this, but there must be same magic going on as the Orioles are winning contests in astonishing fashion – something that would not happen over the past few seasons.

They’ve been winning one-run games and have a never say-die attitude. Phillies fans for the third game in a row seemingly made up half the ballpark and Camden Yards sort of had a playoff like with a large crowd in attendance. However, that did not deter the Orioles at all.

Jason Hammel – perhaps the most reliable starter for the Birds so far – was not sharp at all today as he struggled with men getting on base and having the bases loaded on a couple of occasions; however, he kept the Phillies from breaking the game open by only issuing four runs in six innings.

The Orioles faced off against the winless Cliff Lee, and he dominated for the first two innings, but Steve Tolleson’s huge three-run homer in the third inning gave them a massive lift. Lee would go seven innings and give up four runs.

The unsung heroes of the game have to be the Baltimore bullpen. They have been used a lot, and once again, as Darren O’Day won his 4th game of the season by pitching a scoreless tenth inning. Troy Patton tossed two key scoreless frames, and Jim Johnson chipped in with a scoreless frame in the ninth.

The Orioles were bad for a two-week stretch, but they have won two straight series over tough, gritty teams that have been underwhelming so far. If they can keep taking series and beating who they need to beat, they should be fine.

They are now 34-26 and are still a game behind the Rays for the divisional lead. Things do not get much easier from here as they face the surging Pittsburgh Pirates coming up, then the Washington Nationals, followed by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

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