By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
3:16 AM EDT, September 21, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- We’ll do this rapid-fire, although at 3 a.m., not much is rapid. So stick with me.
** It was obviously a subdued clubhouse after the Orioles lost 5-4 in 18 innings Friday night/Saturday morning. Rookie reliever T.J. McFarland summed it up: “It was very tough. I’ve never been a part of anything like that. The whole team, we just kept battling, grinding through. Unfortunately, we didn’t pull this one out. But, it’s just tiring. We just played two full games.”
** McFarland pitched two scoreless innings, part of an impressive relief showing by the Orioles. The bullpen threw 10 scoreless innings from when the Rays tied it up in the seventh and won it in the 18th.
“Very proud. Everyone just came out there and threw well,” McFarland said. “Everybody did. Every single person in that pen that came out today was on point.”
Josh Stinson was particularly good. He retired all seven batters he faced.
** On the flip side, the Orioles offense managed just two hits in their final 11 innings after they took the lead in the seventh. Said Manny Machado: “We didn’t get key hits. We didn’t really get so many hits after the ninth inning. So we just have to put this game aside of us and come back tomorrow. I mean, we’ve got another game in a couple hours so we’re gonna have to come back and get mentally ready and keep going.”
** The Orioles actually didn’t get in to their St. Pete hotel from Boston until Friday morning around 3 a.m. Most players were at the park by about 3 p.m. Left the clubhouse Saturday morning around 2:30 a.m. and had to be back Saturday late morning for a 1:05 p.m. start. Orioles manager Buck Showalter was yelling to his team after the game that he didn’t want to see any of his players in the clubhouse until at least 11 a.m.
** Showalter refused to make any excuses with the schedule: “The schedule's not always (fair), but you can go back to three or four situations where Tampa had some tough travel or whatever. It's not always fair that night, but it usually equals out. We're operating under the same umbrella and it's part of the job description that you know going in there are going to be some times that will be challenging.”
** Showalter said he feels the club has several relievers that can pitch again Saturday if needed and the club will recall at least one pitcher that is still working out in Sarasota. Both Zach Britton and Tsuyoshi Wada are there and are on the 40-man roster. Mike Belfiore, also on the 40-man roster, could be a candidate for a call-up, too.
“We were going to do that anyway,” Showalter said about adding an arm. “I know we'll add at least one. It wasn't necessarily because of tonight. … We'll add one or two."
** Some quick stats: The game, which lasted six hours and 54 minutes, was the longest time-wise in both clubs’ histories. The Rays had never played a 6-hour game; the Orioles’ previous longest was six hours and 15 minutes on July 2, 2004 at Philadelphia.
It was the longest game, innings-wise, in Rays’ history; 16 had been their longest previously. The Orioles had a 19-inning game with the Washington Senators in 1967. They’ve had six games go 18 innings or longer. They are 3-2-1 in those games. The Orioles’ last 18-inning game was last Sept. 18 in Seattle.
** The teams combined Friday to use a MLB record 21 pitchers. Together they threw 593 pitches.
** Orioles catcher Matt Wieters caught all 18 innings. He also caught 12 innings Wednesday. Since Tuesday, Wieters has caught 48 innings.
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