No comeback magic in this one. Actually, no scoring in this one, because Verlander was pitching for the Tigers.
I know I’ve been getting on the offense’s back lately about being inconsistent, which they most certainly are. Today, though, I’m going to cut them a little slack since Verlander does this to pretty much everybody. He limited the Orioles to three hits, two of which came off the bat of Jim Thome, who hits Verlander well and therefore must be a robot, and he also went eight full innings before Valverde came in to close things out in the ninth.
Miguel Gonzalez did fairly well in his second Major League start considering that he was going up against the Tigers, although he did allow a home run on the second pitch he threw this afternoon. Two more runs came in later, one in the second inning and one in the sixth inning, so he did keep the Orioles fairly close. Too bad the opposing pitcher was Verlander.
In terms of pitching, though, today was a very special day:
Steve Johnson made his Major League debut today! Pitching in front of his hometown crowd and his father, former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson, he seemed nervous at first, walking his first two batters. After a bunt moved those batters to second and third (although an out was recorded), Johnson settled down and struck out the next two batters to escape the inning unscathed. He did give up the fourth run of the game in the top of the ninth, however, a homer to Miguel Cabrera, but it’s good to get those things out of the way early.
If you were watching the broadcast, you probably saw the immense pride on his father’s face. That’s what makes moments like these so special, even though we lost this one.
Also, check out the video from this game if you missed it. Hardy’s defense was absolutely off the chain today.
Oh! And one more thing: injury report.
- Jason Hammel’s knee injury is going to require surgery, which he’ll undergo tomorrow. He’ll be out for 3-4 weeks, which basically means he’s missing August and we’re missing one of the few competent starters we have. Oh, joy.
- Robert Andino injured his shoulder in the sixth inning and left the game. No word on that one yet, but Ryan Flaherty took his place and covered for him after that.
At least this wasn’t a sweep.