ANAHEIM, Calif. -- When the Orioles go on the road, detailed scouting reports tell them intricate details about not only opposing players but also visiting ballparks.
Everyone knows about the immense area of foul ground in Oakland. Teams have to learn how to play balls off the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
Sometimes shadows at certain ballparks play a factor depending on game time. The way a batted ball carries can be different whether it is day or night.
And in Monday’s 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels, the Orioles learned about a certain nuance of Angel Stadium of Anaheim the hard way.
Two batters into the first inning, with a runner on first base, Mike Trout hit a grounder to shortstop J.J. Hardy that could have been a double play. But Hardy's throw went past second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
Two batters later, the Angels scored on Josh Hamilton’s RBI single -- a run that was unearned.
Hardy was charged with a throwing error, but a glare from the sun setting behind the third-base line crept between the seating levels and shined right on second base, causing Schoop to lose Hardy’s throw.
“It’s not something that’s there during batting practice, and it’s not there certain times of the year, and it’s not there when it’s cloudy,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Sometimes that play will never happen in all the games you’re scouting, so we talk a lot about the first baseman and the pitcher’s throws over at certain times of the game.
“That should be a team error. How do you give J.J. Hardy an error on that? I know they have to give it to somebody, but that’s not fair.”
Schoop said at that point in the game, seeing any throw over your waist was a challenge. The glare went away by the second inning.
“You talk about quality control in the major leagues, you can keep it from happening,” Showalter said. “There’s teams that put up tarp for that, there’s three or four stadiums. I know we have a place in our ballpark where we put something up. I’m sure that everybody in Anaheim over in their dugout said: ‘Yeah, I’ve seen that before.’”
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