Updated Aug 8, 2012 - 9:33 am
A tough Tuesday in Baltimore for the Mariners
This is going to be short and sweet because the game was anything but.
After almost five hours and 14 innings of baseball the game came down to, in large part, a controversial and most likely wrong call at first base. Omar Quintanilla was called safe after Dustin Ackley made a great stop and a throw that Mike Carp had to stretch for. The ball clearly beat the runner but umpire Brian Knight said that Carp was off the base.
A single, a sacrifice bunt and then a liner to short right that Casper Wells was not able to catch then led to the winning run. Game over, and the Mariners had lost their third straight game. Eric Wedge, who got tossed from the game after arguing the call at first, did not hide his anger at the call in his meeting with the media after the game.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge was ejected after arguing with umpire Brian Knight about a call in the 14th inning. (AP)
"It's the big leagues. Games shouldn't end like that in the 14th inning. Our guys are fighting their asses off out there to compete and win. For an umpire to get involved like that is just ridiculous."
The game started out promising as the offense once again was able to beat up some bad starting pitching. They scored seven runs and held a 7-2 lead that the Orioles were able to chip away at and then come back fully against in stunning fashion as Lucas Luetge gave up his first home run of the year.
In extras the Mariners' bullpen, which is down three regulars with the trades of Brandon League and Steve Delabar and the injury to Charlie Furbush, was impressive, at one point retiring 17 Orioles in a row. There was plenty of good from the pen.
For Stephen Pryor, this was invaluable experience holding a tie game for two innings. Oliver Perez did the same as did Shawn Kelley before the 14th. Kelley admitted to being a little stretched going three innings but said that he wanted to be in there.
"We were thin down there. I was one of the last guys and I wanted to be out there," he said. "Competing and battling. That's when you find out what you have. I'm not going to hang my head. I feel like I left it all out there."
After Kelley, just Carter Capps and Tom Wilhelmsen remained in the pen. There is a common practice in baseball to not go to your closer on the road until you have a lead. Despite this I would have liked to see Wilhelmsen in the game at some point. There is a common saying in the game that as a pitcher you never want to get beat on your second best pitch. Shouldn't this apply to the game as well? You never want to get beat in extra innings with your best pitcher on the bench? Wilhelmsen has not pitched on this trip. You may have been able to get a couple of innings out of him. It's rolling the dice a bit but in this case I think a good gamble.
Of course the offense still would have had to come up with a run. There were hits in extra innings but usually with two outs. Wedge was limited in what he could do with the bench with Brendan Ryan out and the emergency catcher at short. Even with Ryan the bench is still short, however. They are doubled up on utility infielders with Munenori Kawasaki and Chone Figgins but don't have a right-handed pinch hitter. Sure, it's late in the season but would that have made a difference tonight or even last night, for that matter? I think it would be worth a waiver pick-up if it contributed to even just one or two wins.
We will see how they bounce back later tonight. Tuesday was a tough day.
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