The Orioles banged out 18 hits last night in DC. 18 hits yet only four runs and in an overall sloppy, underwhelming game the Orioles end up losing 8-4. The Nationals needed only 10 hits to score their eight runs, only five were earned. Three unearned runs came in the bottom of the fifth inning with Carlos Ramos on third and Jerry Hairston on first the Nationals’ pitcher Jason Marquis came to the plate.
Marquis laid down a mediocre bunt in an attempt to sacrifice in the Nats’ first run of the game. The ball travelled easily to the waiting glove of Mark Reynolds who picked it up, stopped, froze the runner and then threw to first. It was such an easy play, and easy throw. You could almost hear his thought process:
“Ah, delightful. It seems I have captured the ball on this poor bunt attempt. Oh! the runner on third – ahhh you crafty Ramos. You stay there, you will not travel home this day. Well, now all that is left to do is to lift my arm and casually throw the ball to first thus recording the first out of the inning.”
Yes, Mark intended to throw the ball to Derrek Lee but he did not. Rather he threw it away from there. The throw, a very easy throw, went inexplicably wide and Ramos came into score, Hairston moved to third and Marquis, the pitcher that had failed just ten seconds prior was now standing on second base.
The Nationals went on to score three more runs that inning all of them unearned.
Despite the absolutely ridiculous error the Orioles fought back the very next inning to tie the game off of Vladimir Guerrero’s RBI single followed by a JJ Hardy sac fly. The Orioles would load the bases that inning, with two out an Matt Wieters up he grounded out to end the inning.
The goats for last night were definitely Luke Scott and Matt Wieters, going a combined 0-10 in the middle of the lineup while the number 2,3 and 6 batters go 13-15. Scott and Wieters left 11 men on base last night allowing the Nationals to escape with a win.
The Orioles bullpen wasn’t that much batter. Jeremy Accardo and Jason Berken combined to give up three more runs and Michael Gonzalez allowed a solo homerun to Roger Bernadina while the Nationals’ parade of pitchers was able to hold the Orioles offense to six hits over their 2.2 innings of work.
The Orioles once again sit at their season low five games under .500 and now sit 10 games back in the AL East, and in last place.
This recent string of games has been particularly maddening. It seems like the Orioles have been snatching defeat from the jaws of victory over the last few series. The Orioles have committed seven errors in the last six games, Mark Reynolds has been a large part of that. Reynolds leads the AL in errors and in errors committed at third with 15; his FP is sitting at an atrocious .899.
There was a bright spot to last night. Markakis and Jones went 4-5 and Derrek Lee had a monster 5-5 night. Even if it was all for naught.