Orioles 7, Phillies 6
Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
The toll for the Baltimore Orioles for their win Friday night was nine pitchers used, two members of the starting lineup injured, one starting pitcher alienated by a perceived quick hook, one all-star catcher beaned in the helmet, one bullpen fried to an absolute crisp. The staggering effort for the Orioles included 13 straight scoreless innings by the bullpen and seven straight hitless innings.
The time of game was 6 hours 15 minutes, the longest game in franchise history. The ending came at 1:23 a.m. Saturday, or about 22 hours after the Orioles' flight from Kansas City, Mo., landed here. The final score was 7-6 in 16 innings, Orioles. It was witnessed by 44,390 fans at Citizens Bank Park, a gleaming new stadium that had never hosted anything like this, and probably will not again for some time.
It was followed by fireworks.
The Orioles won it in the top of the 16th on Miguel Tejada's RBI single to center field with one out off Brian Powell. It scored David Newhan, who had led off the inning with a single.
Tejada was the hero of the game. Back in the seventh inning -- which is to say, eons ago -- Tejada had tied it with a solo homer off Phillies right-hander Tim Worrell. Hours later, in the bottom of the 14th, he made a spectacular play in the hole at short, with the bases loaded and two out, and threw out Placido Polanco by a half-step to keep the game going.
The linescore brought milestones: Eddy Rodriguez, the Orioles' eighth pitcher, earned his first big-league win, and Daniel Cabrera, a starter pressed into 16th-inning duty, earned his first big-league save.
The Orioles would celebrate this extraordinarily hard-fought and hard-earned win, but they are too exhausted and beaten-up, and perhaps a small part of their collective psyche is wondering whether one win in a 162-game season is worth the destruction it toll it took on them.
And the Orioles may be scared of what the next day will bring, with a bullpen full of shattered arms, and a lineup full of bodies that are fully spent at best, broken-down at worst.
The bullpen's effort was simply astounding. From the third inning, when John Parrish allowed an unearned run, to the last out of the 16th, eight Orioles pitchers combined to hold the Phillies scoreless. The no-hit string lasted from the sixth inning to the 14th, when it was broken up by Phillies pitcher Brian Powell -- who was batting only because the Phillies had no more position players.
It was the Orioles' first game in gleaming new Citizens Bank Park, and it felt like three games.
Phillies slugger Jim Thome struck out five times in eight trips to the plate. The ninth spot in the Orioles' order -- manned by pitchers and reserve outfielder Chad Mottola amassed six strikeouts. Orioles pitchers issued 17 walks, four of them intentional.
The win was the Orioles' third in a row, but it exacted a high price. The Orioles emerged with their bullpen in total shambles, a frightening proposition with four more games coming up over the next three days.
In addition, the ranks of the discontented, the disaffected and the bruised of ego and body grew exponentially during the course of the Orioles' endless evening.
The Orioles saw lefty starter Matt Riley blow a five-run first-inning lead and fail to make it out of the second inning, then go into a mini-rage -- shooting a venomous look and an expletive toward the mound from the top step of the dugout -- upon his quick departure. Riley's ERA is 8.39, and there is no guarantee he will get another start.
They saw third baseman Melvin Mora (strained hamstring) and left fielder Larry Bigbie (sprained ankle) leave the game with injuries, and Mora's appears to be a disabled-list situation. They saw catcher Javy Lopez hit in the head by a Geoff Geary fastball but remain in the game.
Hairston Takes Issue
Despite the Baltimore Orioles' best efforts to keep the peace, it appears the team's volatile second base situation -- where Brian Roberts has made the majority of starts, with former starter Jerry Hairston in a utility role -- is on the verge of blowing up.
After arriving at Citizens Bank Park on Friday to find his name was not in that night's lineup, Hairston -- who went 5 for 8 with two doubles in back-to-back starts at second base Wednesday and Thursday in Kansas City -- expressed his displeasure in a lengthy closed-door meeting before the game with Manager Lee Mazzilli.
"I'm extremely frustrated," said Hairston, whose .318 average entering Friday night's game was 60 points higher than Roberts's. "And you can print that. I've been nice about it the whole time. [But] I'm an established big-leaguer, and I've been asked to do things an established big-leaguer shouldn't be asked to do."
Hairston stopped short of asking publicly for a trade. The team has entertained trade overtures for both Hairston and Roberts since spring training, but has been unwilling to give away either player for inadequate return.
"I'm not going to give away one of my players in a trade just to think you're going to solve a problem," Mazzilli said. "If [it] doesn't make us a better club, I don't see why we'd [do] that."
Hairston was the team's starting second baseman from Aug. 2000 until breaking his foot in May 2003. He returned last September, but a broken finger this spring set him back further.