Eight moves that didn't go Perlozzo's way

Orioles Shake-up

June 19, 2007|By JEFF ZREBIEC

April 7

Yankees 10, Orioles 7, Yankee Stadium: The Orioles took a four-run lead into the eighth inning and Danys Baez got a quick out before losing his control. He walked Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez, bringing left-handed slugger Jason Giambi to the plate. Jamie Walker was ready in the bullen, but Perlozzo stayed with Baez, who served up a three-run homer to Giambi. Given only a one-run lead to work with in the ninth, Chris Ray surrendered a two-out grand slam to Rodriguez.

April 11

Tigers 4, Orioles 1, Camden Yards: Adam Loewen was matching Justin Verlander in a pitchers' duel, but the Orioles starter had to leave a scoreless game after five innings because of an elevated pitch count. The game stayed scoreless through 11 innings. Because Perlozzo used six relievers, all for one inning each, he didn't have anybody to turn to in the 12th except Kurt Birkins, who hadn't pitched all season. Birkins surrendered a grand slam to Craig Monroe and the Orioles fell.

April 20

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 4, Camden Yards: The bases were loaded with two outs in the seventh inning when Perlozzo removed right-hander Daniel Cabrera with left-hander Matt Stairs scheduled to bat. Toronto All-Star Vernon Wells, who has only one career hit off Cabrera, was on the bench and available to pinch hit. So when Perlozzo brought in the left-handed John Parrish, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons immediately sent Wells into the game. Wells, whom Perlozzo expected to come in, hit a two-run single to give Toronto a two-run lead. The Orioles came back and won, but Perlozzo's decision raised some eyebrows in the clubhouse.

May 12

Red Sox 13, Orioles 4, Fenway Park: After Steve Trachsel was knocked out in the fifth, the Orioles rallied for three runs in the sixth to tie the game against ace Curt Schilling. But wanting to keep his bullpen fresh, Perlozzo stayed with long reliever Jon Leicester, who hadn't been on the mound in a major league game since May 9, 2005, and hadn't pitched in any game in nine days. Leicester gave up the go-ahead run in the sixth and walked the bases loaded to start the seventh before leaving with an injury. Todd Williams came in was charged with five runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings.

May 13

Red Sox 6, Orioles 5, Fenway Park: With his team holding a 5-0 lead against Boston and two outs away from a statement series win, Perlozzo pulled Jeremy Guthrie in the ninth. The manager had decided before the inning started that if a runner got on, Guthrie, who had thrown a season-high 91 pitches, was coming out. It didn't matter that Coco Crisp reached on a dropped pop-up by Ramon Hernandez and that Guthrie was pitching a three-hitter. The manager watched his bullpen blow the lead, a devastating loss that marked the beginning of the end of Perlozzo's tenure.

May 20

Nationals 4, Orioles 3, RFK Stadium: A series sweep of the Nationals was just four outs away when Perlozzo brought in struggling Baez to relieve Chad Bradford with a man on and the Orioles clinging to a two-run, eighth-inning lead. Ryan Langerhans, a left-handed hitter, was up and Walker, the Orioles' left-handed specialist, was ready in the bullpen. But Perlozzo reasoned that if he brought Walker in, the Nationals would send right-handed Tony Batista to the plate as a pinch hitter. Baez gave up three hits and hit a batter and blew the lead. Perlozzo's use of the bullpen was questioned on a seemingly nightly basis from then on.

May 25

Athletics 3, Orioles 2, Camden Yards: The Orioles trailed by a run in the ninth inning and A's left-handed reliever Alan Embree, serving as closer with Huston Street on the disabled list, was struggling to put away the game. The Orioles had the tying run on third and the winning run on first with two outs and left-handed Jay Gibbons set to come to the plate. Perlozzo had right-handed hitter Melvin Mora available on the bench, but he let Gibbons hit because he was 4-for-12 for his career against Embree. But the struggling Gibbons struck out on four pitches. Mora said later he was surprised he wasn't used in the situation.

June 3

Angels 4, Orioles 3, Angel Stadium: Exactly three weeks after the Mother's Day Meltdown in Boston, Guthrie had gotten through eight innings in 88 pitches and held a 3-2 lead over the Angels. Before pushing a run across in the eighth, thanks to a seeing-eye single, a bloop double and a groundout, the Angels had just one hit against the rookie right-hander. But after coming into the dugout for the eighth inning, Guthrie mutually agreed with Perlozzo that it was time to hand the game over to Ray, who then handed the game over to the Angels. The closer gave up a walk-off, two-run homer to Vladimir Guerrero.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.