I think I'm going to give Jon Garland a pass on his poor outing Saturday. I guess he had been really sick on Friday, and may have still been feeling the effects when he took to the mound in the Baltimore heat. (97 is listed as the game-time temp.) He looked much as he did in his first 10 games of the season; good for the first three batters, but giving up a run before recording an out. Then he started making at least one fat pitch over the heart plate in each at-bat, and the Orioles didn't miss many of them. He just didn't look sharp at all, but he did keep the opponent in the ballpark for the 8th straight game, and left the game with the lead.
When Ozzie finally went to the bullpen, 2 batters too late, Garland didn't look so bad anymore. The bullpen was actually worse. First it was Brandon McCarthy, letting the runners he inherited score, and tacking on a couple for good measure. Then Neal Cotts failed to get through an inning, forcing Ozzie to go to his power arms with the tying run now on base. MacDougal-Thornton-Jenks put out the fire, sort of, as Baltimore continued to put runs on the board. When the smoke had cleared, the bullpen had allowed 5 runs in 4 innings pitched on 8 hits and 4 walks. In a word: Ugly.
With the pitching staff unable to keep only Kevin Millar in check, the offense picked up the slack. But even they had their problems, as Scott Podsednik seemed to let Johnson off the hook twice in the first 3 innings. Thankfully, Tadahito Iguchi came through with 2 outs in the third to deliver a knockout blow of a HR.
There were a couple of interesting batting lines posted by the Sox.
- Jim Thome went 0-2 with 4 runs scored.
- AJ Pierzysnki, maligned for his inability to hit with runners on base, drove in a run in each of his first 4 trips to the plate and finished with a 5-5 game.