Hey look, a win on the road!

The O’s took one from the Nats tonight in the first weekend of interleague play.  We play 9 interleague games this series, and the first 3 are this weekend in DC.  The other 2 series are home later in the season coming up against the Mets and Marlins.

This is my first game summary in a few weeks now.  Let’s see how it goes.  Well, the final score was 5-3.  We came out firing, worked out of some jams, and managed to get David Hernandez the W!

Hitting:

-Jones had a 2 run shot in the 2nd to right field.  Not only was it opposite field for him, but it was his first in 97 at bats, a sad drought that all O’s fans are glad is over.  Now its Nick’s turn.  He did leave in after the 3rd inning with cramps in his legs.  Watching him, as he stepped up for his second plate appearance of the night in which he walked, he was pulling on the tops of his feet trying to stretch his legs out it seemed.  Updates from all over saying he will be good to go tomorrow.  Was good to see his 2 appearances tonight though.  Showed the power that hasn’t been there much along with the patience which even more obviously is not there too often.  He has a team low in walks with 5 for every day players.

-Craig Tatum went 2-3 on the night with a walk and a 2 RBI single, along with winning player of the game honors on the MASN poll.  Montanez came in after Jones’ injury and went 1-2.  These rested guys are showing up lately, both with high averages in their past few games.

-Great night again for Sparkplug Patterson.  2 for 5 with an RBI in the 8th to give the O’s an insurance run.

-David Hernandez looked funny at the plate.  He looked like he had never picked up a bat before.  Hit in school, and he’s young, so it’s as if he forgot everything.  It’s excusable though, won’t need to hit more than maybe one or two more times this season.

-Scott Moore came up officially today after the demotion of Castillo to Norfolk.  He is a versatile infielder who can play all over, but got in at 1st for an inning today.  In terms of hitting, he pinch hit for Will Ohman late in the game and struck out.  Finally, a dose of reality.  First guy with a not so pretty O’s debut at the plate this year.  O wait; Justin Turner… Does he really count?  That was during the 2-16 streak, something I try and block out of my mind.

Pitching:

-David Hernandez was nothing but questionable tonight.  5.1 IP, which is not great for a starter, especially considering he never goes deeper than 6 usually.  May have only let up one hit (had a no hitter through a bunch), but walked 5 with only 3 Ks.  His command is horrible, and until he starts throwing strikes, he will never be able to go later in games.  It’s sad when a pitcher throws 105 pitches in 5.1 innings, and only let up one hit.  You would think that many pitches through that short of an outing meant the pitcher got lit up.  Tonight, it meant he was throwing 6+ pitches to almost every batter.

-Albers came in to relieve for Hernandez with 2 walked guys on base.  His command was off completely.  He threw a 5 pitch walk to the first batter he faced, Josh Willingham.  5 pitches, 5 outside fastballs.  Showed no mixup of pitches, and ended up with 1.1 IP with 2 ER, with 2 H 2 BB and 1 K.  Most people hate him, but they forget the times he comes out for a few innings and lets no runs up.  People don’t appreciate his good outings.  I wish he was more consistent, because I do believe in the movement he shows in his fastball and sinker.

-Ohman came in for another one batter stint, getting Dunn out.  23 appearances on the year now, leading the majors.  He is so talented, still with no earned runs on the year.

-Meredith was used in the role he filled in San Diego behind Trevor Hoffman as the set-up guy, throwing a nice full inning allowing one hit and nothing else.  Simon came in to finish it.  Just another interesting outing for him.  He did let up one hit and nothing else, but each of the three outs were on contact balls that could easily fall for hits if hit elsewhere.  Well, he got the job done.  He has great stuff on the 2 seamer and split finger when he commands everything in the zone like tonight.  Shutdown Sauce strikes again!

Baserunning:

-One main note.  In the 4th, Sparkplug Patterson stole 2nd, and was so quick that Pudge didn’t even attempt to throw it.  Moved up to 3rd on a Wigginton ground out, but then trouble came.  Pudge picked off to third after a pitch when he saw Patterson take a big secondary lead.  Bad error that Samuel needs to be watching.  Pudge is one of the best at that spot, nothing gets by him like that.

Fielding:

-No errors.  Some good throws by Tejada, and some smart decisions by Wigginton.

Trembley handled tonight very well.  He made the right pitching moves, not taking guys out just because they had to hit and all.  He used one guy for a specialist role like he is supposed to, and overall just strong decisions throughout.

Fielding switches were good too.  Jones needed to come out, so Patterson took over his old role in center, and Montanez went to left.  In the 9th, Lugo went to 2nd, Moore to 1st.  Trembley and Datz handled the no DH role well with correct defensive adjustments.

I talk about those two sections of Trembley’s decision making not only because he has been questioned lately, but also because of the few injuries we had to deal with tonight.  Uehara was not available to pitch tonight, giving us only a 6 man bullpen after having 8 all this past week.  The big deal with bringing Moore up was to have an extended bench, but with Wieters out (suited up but would only have been used if truly needed) and then Jones leaving with the cramps, we ended up dealing with a smaller bench than usual.  Luckily, we had brought Moore up in time.  If not, then it would have been a 2 man bench.

Wieters was celebrating his 24th birthday today, so with a banged up knee from a foul tip off his bat last night, he got the night off to rest.  Tatum filled in.  He was great defensively as usual, and brought his bat back after a great hitting day this past Sunday also.  Great to see a backup that truly fills in.

The O’s come out tomorrow again in DC to face the Nats.  Jones and Wieters should be back, and hopefully we can keep up the good work.  How great would a Beltway series win be?!

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