Beating Yu Darwish and now the first-place Birds
It’s easy to forget that well-traveled Joe Saunders pitched a big game for Baltimore in 2012. It was the strange one-game playoff game in 2012. Clearly the Orioles were a big underdog in Texas on Friday Oct. 6th. The Japanese sensation Yu Darwish would pitch for Texas. But what the heck, we were back in the playoffs. And the O’s scored first. Nate McClouth reached on an error by Michael Young and JJ Hardy’s hit up the middle gave us a quick 1-0 lead.
And Saunders gave us some good pitching. It was 1-1 in the sixth when Adam Jones’ fly ball brought in the go-ahead score. It was soon 3-1 O’s when the new Nationals outfielder, McClouth delivered a run-scoring hit. Manny Machado and McClouth drove in runs in the two-run ninth. Jim Johnson had a shaky save the O’s had stolen one in Texas.
This win sent us to a “real” playoff series with the Yankees. And in game one, Johnson blew the save as the Yankees struck for a five-run ninth.
And now what has happened with the present-day Orioles. How about a four-game sweep of those Rangers. Who would have thought that? And now on the 4th of July, the beloved Orioles are in first place in the AL East pennant chase. OK, it’s a teeny-tiny lead of percentage points over the Blue Jays.
So recall the O’s were coming off a dreadful series with the Tampa Bay Rays when Texas arrived on Monday for a four-game series. And who was pitching for Texas? That same Joe Saunders who pitched for us in 2012. And frankly he didn’t have it.
Our new superstar, Steve Pearce hit two homers to lead the way in the 7-1 win. There was more good news as Ubaldo Jimenez pitched very well. Jones and Hardy also connected for long balls. Pearce drove in 4 runs. Jon Schoop also had two hits.
And then the Orioles brought in this Ramon Ramirez in the ninth inning. Who was that? He fanned two of three so that answered that question.
Lefty TJ McFarlane started game two and gave us a decent outing. Another Pearce homer got us going in this game. Nelson Cruz took one deep against his old teammates. This game was tied at 2-2 until one of our Matt Wieters’ replacements checked in with help. Caleb Joseph cracked a two-run blast for the lead. Nick Markakis had a big blow, a two-run double and we won this game 8-3.
Game three saw us get off to a slow start hitting the ball. Trailing 4-0 heading to the fourth, we got homers from Jones and Ryan Flaherty. Big hits from Cruz and Hardy brought us back in this game. Darren O’Day and Zach Britton closed this game off in impressive style in the 6-4 win.
We were going for the sweep on Thursday, OK, again we trailed early but Pearce (4 hits) answered back. Pearce doubled in a run. Again more good pitching from O’Day and Britton this was over at 5-2. And now the national news team is looking at the former Pirates prospect Pearce and wondering what’s got into to him.