Advertisement

No, really, who are those guys who are shutting out the Orioles? The starting pitcher with the 6.23 ERA (Brett Cecil) couldn't find the plate in the first inning, falling behind 2-0 to both Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, yet managed to get them out without challenging either one of them in the strike zone. He would run up a big pitch count early, then settle down to pitch six scoreless and somehow allow just six baserunners.

To be fair, he had a nasty breaking ball that he threw very effectively out of the zone with two strikes, but he wouldn't have gotten into some of those two-strike counts without some help.

Advertisement

Fast forward to the bottom of the seventh, when the O's had two runners on, one out and Brian Roberts at the plate with a 2-0 count against so-so reliever Jesse Carlson (4.76 ERA coming into the game). Roberts has the upper hand against a new reliever who was a couple of pitches away from walking the tying run into scoring position, but he tried to go the other way with a low, outside fastball and hit a routine fly ball to right.

Don't get me wrong here. I almost never second-guess an individual at-bat, because each of them require split-second decisions and lead to outs way more often than not. But Roberts needs to get a fat pitch there, not go with the pitchers' pitch at a pressure point where the game could turn.

The Orioles also had some bad luck, repeatedly finding Blue Jays infielders with line drives, but that group of pitchers should not take you scoreless into the ninth on your home field. Just can't happen.

Advertisement
Advertisement