Talking Behind Their Backs: Mets
Thanks to some timely hitting by Aubrey Huff, the Orioles were able to take two of three from the visiting New York Mets.
Huff provided the game-winning hits in Games 2 and 3 of the series. In Wednesday's Game 2, he delivered a two-run homer in the seventh inning that put the O's ahead for good. In Game 3 he delivered a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth to push Baltimore past New York.
The Orioles dropped Game 1 after failing to pull together the type of rally that led them to wins in the final two games of the series. Jeremy Guthrie was charged with six runs (three earned) in an error-filled 6-4 loss Tuesday night. The Orioles committed three errors yet still made things interesting late. Baltimore scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth and Adam Jones represented the winning run but struck out to end the game with runners on at second and third.
Game 2 was set to go down in Orioles lore for being Adam Jones Bobblehead Night and also for being the night Matt Wieters hit his first career home run. Wieters went opposite field on the first pitch he saw from Mets starter Tim Redding in the second inning to drive the ball just over the left field wall for a two-run homer that drove in fellow rookie Nolan Reimold and gave the O's a 3-1 lead. New York eventually took the lead, setting the table for Huff's first act of heroism.
Huff struck again in the ninth in Game 3 as the Orioles loaded the bases against all-star closer Francisco Rodriguez. Jones worked a walk to score the tying run and then Huff lined a singled into right field to bring Reimold in for the win. Prior to his work in the final two games of the Mets series, Huff had typified the team's struggling offense, having driven in just two RBI in the month of June, both coming in a 7-2 loss to Atlanta last week.
Baltimore will look to build upon its second straight series victory as the team heads north to face Philadelphia. The Phillies were just swept at home by the Toronto Blue Jays and are 3-6 in interleague play so far this season. Philadelphia ranks first in runs, home runs, RBI and slugging percentage in the National League yet are 1-5 at home in Citizens Bank Park this month.
The pitching matchups figure to breakdown like this:
Antonio Bastardo vs. Rich Hill
J.A. Happ vs. Brad Bergesen
Cole Hamels vs. Jeremy Guthrie
The comically named Bastardo is 2-1 with a 5.25 ERA through three starts in this, his rookie season. Bastardo's first loss came in his last game when the Boston Red Sox rocked him for five runs in just one inning of work.
Happ is 4-0 on the season and 2-0 with a 4.63 ERA since making his first start of the season against the New York Yankees on May 23. Happ has worked into at least the sixth inning in each of his five starts this season but has given up a combined nine runs in his last two starts - both no-decisions.
Since starting the season 0-2 with a 17.18 ERA in his first four starts, Hamels has gone 4-0 with a 3.53 ERA in May and June. During this stretch, which consists of eight starts, the talented left-hander has struck out five batters or more in all but one of those starts. Despite the recent success, Hamels is winless in his last two starts; his last win came via a complete game shutout against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
June 19, 2009; 12:01 PM ET
Categories: Mets , Orioles , Phillies | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Talking Behind Their Back, adam jones bobblehead, aubrey huff, francisco rodriguez, matt wieters, new york mets, philadelphia phillies
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