It was refreshing for Orioles fans to see Baltimore come back on the Red Sox last night, 10-6, on the strength of some timely hitting. Getting 15 hits was terrific. Even better was making sure those runners counted. For instance, Freddie Bynum and Brian Roberts helped stake the O's to an early 4-1 lead with two-out base hits driving in two runs each. Four double plays on defense didn't hurt, either.
But the point I wanted to make today was not to simply toss out the reminder that last night's comeback from a 6-4 hole was possible due to the bullpen but also recognize manager Dave Trembley's role in juggling the relief staff. After Daniel Cabrera was roughed up through five innings, Trembley used five more pitchers over the last four innings -- a luxury he had after an off-day. In the Boston seventh, for example, Trembley used three pitchers in what was a one-two-three inning. Dennis Sarfate, who had pitched the previous inning, retired the first batter. Then Jamie Walker retired the hot-hitting J.D. Drew on four pitches and finally Chad Bradford got Manny Ramirez, who has been hitting home runs against the Orioles lately at a clip of one a game, on three pitches. Jim Johnson pitched the eighth and closer George Sherrill, the ninth.
Of course, if your lefty doesn't get out the lefties (Walker-Drew) and your righty doesn't get out the righties (Bradford-Ramirez), you don't look like much of a genius. But for the most part this season, Trembly has been pushing the correct buttons. He's not an Earl Weaver or an Ozzie Guillen in attracting attention -- in fact, he's the exact opposite -- but the guy who was essentially told to keep the seat warm last year has been doing a heck of job so far.