It's hard not to see the similarities between today's ninth-inning collapse and the infamous Mothers Day loss in which Jeremy Guthrie pitched eight shutout innings against the Red Sox in 2007 and was removed by then-manager Sam Perlozzo. That time, the O's led 5-0. This time, with Brad Bergesen cruising, they led 5-1 and he didn't seem much worse for the wear. The Red Sox won both games, 6-5, though the Mothers Day game was a walkoff win in Boston.
So, let the debate begin. I'll try to be consistent. I thought Trembley was going to take Bergesen out with two outs in the eighth, but Bergesen talked him into staying out there and got the last out of the inning. I knew, after that, he was not coming out to pitch the ninth. Jim Johnson was warmed up and needed to pitch.
Of course, we all know now he should have left Bergesen in, but I'll stick to the same reasoning I used the last time this happened. The manager has a right to believe his two top bullpen guys will hold a four-run lead for one inning. The likelihood of losing that game -- even for the Orioles --factors out to about one time in a whole season, so choosing to be conservative with your most consistent pitcher on a hot afternoon isn't stupid and isn't reason to call for the managers head.
It would have been a great win, but it wasn't. Give the Red Sox an ounce of credit just like you wish they would have given the Orioles a little on Tuesday night. Then try to put this thing out of your mind, because replaying it will drive you crazy.
Radio plug: On second thought, let it fester for awhile and join me at six for Sportsline on WBAL (1090 AM) and we'll agonize over it together. I'll be taking your calls and giving you a chance to vent on another very frustrating day to be an Orioles fan. If you're out of signal range, of course, go to WBAL.com and click on the "Listen Live" icon.