Last night’s game was one of the best, if not the best, Orioles game I have ever seen. It had it all. Lots of homers, good defense, sweet heads up plays that the O’s never make (picking off Jeter), great bullpen pitching, and the uberclutch bat of one Alex Cintron. The one thing it didn’t have a good start by Brian Burres. Burres was due for this, but he’s been good this season and I’m not going to hate on him after that.

I was thinking of something to relate this game too. The movie ‘Memento’ came to mind. If you haven’t seen it, the movie starts at the end and ends at the beginning. The game last night started with all the fireworks of a blockbuster movie and ended in a pitchers duel. Perhaps LaTroy Hawkins isn’t the one you want in that (or any) situation. But I thought that was a good comparsion. The game started like a shoot out and ends rather matter of factly after a 67 minute rain deal and a couple extra innings with a hit by Cintron.

This game wouldn’t have happened any time over the past few years. Any of those O’s teams could bang 9 runs at some point. Any of those teams could have a starter give up 8 runs in 3.2. It happened. Alot. What those teams couldn’t do was have a bullpen come in and hold the Yanks to 1 run in 7.1 innings. I’ve seen a couple hot starts by the bullpen before and then they come crashing down to earth in flames. I’ve been slightly apprehesive about the pen, with the visions of John Parrish, Steve Kline, and Jorge Julio in my head. But these boys are dealing. Jim Johnson has been reborn in the pen. Matt Albers is a good swing man/spot starter. George Sherrill can close. Dennis Sarfate has come back around after a rough patch. Lance Cormier is defying the odds. Bradford and Walker are still around too. Just goes to show you that you can’t buy a good pen. You can buy a player for your pen, but you can’t overspend on a name guys and expect a good pen. Its the guys who haven’t had success before as a starter that convert to long relief and guys who you luck into getting and some cheap free agents.

How sweet is it seeing LaTroy Hawkins come in to pitch for the Yankees? I saw him come in last night and said “Hallejuah. It’s LaTroy. I’m glad he’s not pitching for us anymore.” LaTroy promptly served up some fat pitches for the O’s. In other bad ex-O reliever news, Jorge Julio got DFA’ed by the Indians today. I’m happier to see Johnson, Sarfate, and Albers to come into games now than Walker and Bradford. I like those guys good enough, but I’m excited to some young pitchers come in and establish themselves with some nastiness on the mound.

 

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