Despite Ron Washington’s assertion that he “hates” doubleheaders, I love them. I wish we’d get them back as regularly scheduled parts of the schedule. I remember when I was young there used to be intentionally scheduled doubleheaders. That’s what we got today, a doubleheader, and a classic one to boot (not one of those day-night jobbers). The last time we played a doubleheader in Baltimore, we unloaded and won 30-3 (at least I think that was the last DH there). While we didn’t have anything quite as epic as 30-3 in this doubleheader, we did at least pick up the win in Game 2 to get a split. That ended the road trip 5-5. Considering how hot we were before that, it’s a bit of a letdown. However, it’s generally considered good if you go .500 on road trips. So I’ll take it.
The Rangers got out early in this game 2-0 when a familiar theme from two games ago popped up again. Elvis Andrus walked, and then Josh Hamilton hit a two run home run. So for the fifth time in a couple of days, Josh got a two run home run, and the guy he drove in was Elvis again. So we were up 2-0 pretty early on.
It didn’t last long when the Orioles bounced back and scored three in the bottom of the of the second in what can be generously called a “little league” inning. Basically, it went this way. Single, single, sac fly, single, single, ERROR, sac fly, ERROR. Ground out. Listening on the radio, it was an inning when you want to reach through the speaker and grab a mic and go “Can you just STOP THIS INNING, PLEASE?” It doesn’t seem as bad looking back on the cold stats in the box score, but at the time, it had that never ending feeling like the first inning in Yu Darvish’s first start had. It wasn’t disastrous enough to kill any hope at winning the game, as we were only down 3-2 after three. But it was an annoying as heck inning anyway.
It remained scoreless again for a couple of innings until the Rangers broke through again in the fifth. Nelson Cruz started off with a double, and then Mike Napoli followed with a triple. It wasn’t quite as impressive as Bengie Molina’s triple a couple of seasons ago, but you get the impression Napoli doesn’t get many triples, just by looking at him. Not like he’s fat or out of shape, but he doesn’t look (visually) to be a triples hitter. Elvis scored Napoli on a single, so we were back on top again, 4-3.
The only other scoring of the game was in the 7th when the Rangers plated another three runs on not a lot of power. Three singles, plus an error and a groundout accounted for the other scoring in the game.
The Rangers pitching was pretty darned good this game. Yes, Derek Holland gave up three runs, but all of them were unearned. That hellaciously awful second inning was the only one where the Orioles got any runs. Take that out of there, and we would have been talking about a masterful performance. Look at these numbers:
Derek Holland: 6IP, 4H 3R, 0ER, 2BB, 5K, 97P
Alexi Ogando: 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 11P
Mike Adams: 1IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 0K, 23P
Joe Nathan: 1IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 1K, 17P
Mike Adams did allow his first walk of the season. Not a bad ratio given it’s May 10th! Joe Nathan seems to be getting more solid as the season is progressing, which is good. Ogando is well, – he’s still darn good!
Interesting fact – the Orioles had just five hits in each game of the doubleheader. In Game 2, however, none of them left the bloody park!
We come back home in a marquee matchup. Yu Darvish against CJ “The Phone Book” Wilson. I’ll be there. Assuming it doesn’t rain. Bah.