Melvin Mora has four home runs and 14 RBIs in six games since the break – and six games since he stranded 11 runners in Boston. Glad to see that game didn't stick with him. He's on fire.
His four hits and five RBIs tonight were season highs. He's also taken over the team lead in RBIs with 62, passing Aubrey Huff.
Does it surprise anyone that Mora is the RBI leader?
Ramon Hernandez has homered in three straight games. He might have produced a better at-bat with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth if plate umpire Jim Joyce hadn't called a 2-0 pitch from B.J. Ryan a strike when it almost hit Hernandez in the gut.
Here's what manager Dave Trembley had to say about Garrett Olson tonight:
"I think he's got a whole lot more opportunity to be successful than what he's showing right now. If he trusts his stuff and attacks the hitters maybe a little more aggressively, he'd probably find the outcome to be a little bit more positive for him. But that's something he's going to have to figure out on his own.
"I think he's a very confident young man. I think he's always been that way. I don't think there's anything wrong with his makeup. I think he's a quality individual, works hard, competes. I think he's got a tremendous upside. This is the major leagues. There's a big learning curve here. Some of the things you might be able to get away with in Double-A and Triple-A, it catches up to you in a hurry here. In a hurry."
Trembley had to decide whether to push his starters longer to save his bullpen – which isn't easy to do when guys are running their pitch counts past 100 in the fifth inning – or pull them earlier and risk burning out his bullpen even more. And his relief options aren't overwhelming right now.
"The numbers will prove themselves out," he said. "I'm in a push-pull situation. Do you go with the starters longer and let what happened what occurred tonight, or do you pull guys early and your bullpen by Aug. 15 will be dragging? There are certain guys at this particular point and time, before the games are starting, I'm telling them they're not pitching. They're not pitching out of that bullpen. There's nobody who's going to pitch out of that bullpen three days in a row. The other day I told Sherrill before the game, 'You ain't pitching three days.' That might happen later on after some guys maybe get a blow here or there, but if the starting pitcher doesn't allow you to go deep in the game, you're faced with a hook or crook situation. You've got to face the dilemma of maybe hurting somebody down there in the bullpen, or you're faced with the other one, what happened tonight. You leave the guy in there and it doesn't work out, then you've basically got to eat it."
Down on the farm, reliever Bob McCrory has been transferred from short-season Single-A Aberdeen, where he was pitching on an injury rehab assignment, to Triple-A Norfolk. He tossed a scoreless inning tonight after Hayden Penn allowed only two earned runs (four total) and eight hits in seven innings, with one walk and four strikeouts, leaving his ERA at 5.17.
Former Oriole John Halama got the win for Buffalo, going the distance and improving to 7-2 with a 4.15 ERA. He didn't allow an earned run.
Double-A Bowie's Sebastien Boucher hit two more home runs tonight, giving him four in six at-bats.
"I think it's the water or something," he said. "I hit three in a row in high school; that's about it. I feel really good at the plate. I'm seeing the ball real well. I'm able to put good swings on the ball and I'm getting good at-bats and they're working for me. Maybe the wind helped a little bit. Actually, I'm just working on staying back and keeping my balance. I noticed a little while ago that I was leaning in over the plate, and right now I'm just trying to keep my chest up and relax my arms."
Bowie's Jason Berken allowed a run and two hits through seven innings.
Single-A Delmarva's Zach Britton improved to 10-5 tonight after allowing no earned runs and only two hits in six innings, with five strikeouts.