Orioles: Fifty ways to leave a loser
It is beginning to transcend any rational understanding. The Orioles appeared to have last night's game in hand, but a ball caroms off the leg of reliever Mark Hendrickson, another takes a strange kangaroo hop that handcuffs Cesar Izturis and manager Dave Trembley is cursing the fates again during his postgame news conference.
"You take a three-run lead into the eighth and a lot of things don't go your way,'' Trembley said.
So, just what was going through the manager's mind as another game came unraveled in frustrating fashion?
"You certainly think you've seen a little bit of everything,'' he said.
He probably has. The Orioles opened 2010 with blown saves in the season opener and home opener and have gone on to allow the tying or go-ahead run in the eighth or ninth inning 12 times. Literally, no lead has been safe.
Once again, the manager made a tough decision on his starting pitcher and it backfired. Brad Bergesen had recovered from some early trouble to cruise through the middle innings. He had retired 14 straight batters before giving up a seeing-eye bouncer through the left side to lead off the eighth and a second, more solid hit to bring the manager to the mound.
Bergesen was at 93 pitches at that point, but Trembley said it was not about the pitch count.
"You certainly don't want to put him in a situation where he's going to lose the game,'' Trembley said.
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. The Orioles are way past worrying about who gets the wins and losses. If Bergesen had the best chance of retiring the next batter, he should have still been in there. The fewer relievers you have to use, with a series ahead against the highest-scoring team in baseball, the better.