Left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin’s struggles began long before the fifth inning of Saturday’s makeup game against the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s been a tough travel day for him,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Tough position for him to be in.”
After the Orioles selected his contract from the Norfolk Tides, the former New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals reliever made his way to Baltimore, landing at around 7 a.m.
A smooth ride from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to Camden Yards was exactly what a player would want before his debut with a new team.
But before Baltimore’s newest call-up pitched 2 1/3 innings, in which he allowed one run, three hits and two walks, Gilmartin fell victim to a hallmark of modern travel that inspires feelings of hopelessness and frustration in any trekker — wildly incompetent Uber drivers.
Trying to catch your own Uber at the airport can be convoluted anyway, but it can be ever more complicated when your driver shows up at the place you want to go instead.
“Didn’t get picked up right away,” Gilmartin said. “The driver that was picking me up ending up going to the hotel first instead of the airport.”
The 28-year-old pitcher’s ride eventually came, taking him to his hotel. Settling in, he got the phone call to make his way down to the ballpark.
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“I got here around 11:30. And then got out of the Uber, went around to the back of the Uber to the trunk and was tapping on the lid of the trunk,” Gilmartin said.
Within seconds, the car was wheeling away, with all of Gilmartin’s equipment still inside.
“For those of us who don’t use the Uber, I guess it’s pretty hard to get it back,” Showalter said.
Gilmartin waited an additional 20 to 30 minutes for his expensive gear to be returned to him. Rather than letting the anxious morning cloud his abilities on the mound, however, Gilmartin held the Sox’s hot bats mostly at bay, stranding two runners in the fifth and getting the American League’s home-run leader, J.D. Martinez, to line out in the sixth.
“I’m really pleased with his performance, all things considered,” Showalter said.
Said Gilmartin: “Interesting day.”