The Orioles bullpen had a – pardon the pun – bird’s-eye view of center fielder Adam Jones’ two-run homer on Wednesday night.
When Jones smoked a line drive to left-center field that hit off the a metal railing over the fence and bounced back in, the Orioles relievers were just feet away from where the ball landed.
“There are very few people who could have seen it besides us,” said rookie reliever T.J. McFarland, who had crouched down preparing to field the ball as it reached the fence.”We saw it right there, because the railing is slightly lower than the fence. You can’t see it from on the field. It just skipped over the fence, hit the railing and bounced around and went back out, so only we could see that.”
Once the ball – which was initially ruled in play for a double – landed, the relievers started twirling their fingers in the air to signal it was a home run. Manager Buck Showalter sprinted out of the dugout and the umpiring crew huddled, then went to video review and ultimately overturned the call.
“We’re definitely keeping an eye on it,” reliever Darren O’Day said. “Sometimes even we can’t see. Sometimes the way the fences are constructed, it’s difficult for anyone to see, let alone from 400 feet away. … We try to keep a poker face if it’s the other team. We’re definitely paying attention.”
O’Day said that if the ball was about an inch higher, it might have bounced off and come right into the bullpen.
“If that ball skips off the railing and comes towards us, it’s coming in hot,” McFarland said. “I remember seeing it and it was lined up right at us. It would have hit either me or Troy [Patton].”
And no one teaches how to play the hop off a metal pipe.
“I’m not prepared to play that hop,” McFarland said with a laugh.”