The Hitting Slump is OFFICIALLY OVER!!!!
Eric Byrnes doubled to lead off the 7th inning!!! (Hmm, 7 seems to be his lucky number these days). This was off the Blue Jays southpaw starter Chacin.This is the extra-base hit I’ve been waiting for. I hereby declare that ol’ batting slump officially over!!!
AND HE SCORED! Yup. And Daryl, (of the MLBLog Daryl’s Place), I know you don’t like the idea of trading two outs for a run, but Byrnes moved to third on a sac bunt and scored on a sac fly, with the Baltimore TV announcers remarking all the way about his hustle, dedication, speed, running style and all the other things THEY said make Byrnesie easy to root for, and while someone in Oakland was getting very excited at the prospect and finally the accomplishment, of a Byrnes run scored! The Orioles were clicking on all cylinders tonight. Gibbons and Tejada homered earlier. Then Byrnes was driven in a la small ball.
AND THEN HE CAME UP IN THE 9TH AND PUT A BELT-HIGH CURVE BALL INTO THE SECOND DECK OF THE ROGERS CENTRE!!!! (A two-run jack, so here come the ribbies!!)
Byrnesie had flied to left and flied to center his first two times up. I thought there was too much twist in his body and uppercut in his follow through, as if Tiger Woods had been his hitting instructor, instead of Terry Crowley. But I could see the confidence. I could just tell when he was going to swing and he swung like he meant it. And a side view of the home run that I saw on a reply showed that there was less uppercut in the follow-through than had appeared in the earlier outs. So he can produce the fly ball with the more level swing; it just goes farther .
Pitchers who doubt me are more than welcome to conduct their own experiments on Byrnes. I especially recommend them trying out those belt-high pitches that are middle to outer part of the plate to test hypotheses on how far Byrnes’ relatively skinny arms can drive a ball if he gets fully extended. Curveball, change up, fastball, take your pick.
AND BTW, that jack in the 9th was against a RIGHTY reliever…Batista. I’m going to have to get around to writing an article about Byrnesie’s HARP. (Hits Against Right-Handed Pitchers). It’s music to my ears.
But now I have to quibble with managerial strategy. It’s 7-0. Bruce Chen has pitched lights out. You would think he was Barry Zito or something.
Why bring in Ray to close? Ray had a great 1-2-3 inning. But how about giving the bullpen a rest with a huge lead and let the starter try for a complete game shutout? If a run scores, then you pull him. But let him try. It’s a feather in his cap to do it, and overworked bullpens blow up.
But today was a great day when the Orioles played like a contender. And you know my new philosophy of life: Any time Eric Byrnes gets a hit, or makes a great defensive play, is cause to be of good cheer. He wasn’t called on for any outfield heroics today, but he went 2 for 4 with two extra-base hits, 2 RBI, 2 runs scored, and the power to keep me from crying all day about New Orleans.
Yes, sometimes things are just out of our hands and the best we can do is to do what we do the best we can. Off to teach news class with my 15 hat on my head and a big smile on my face.
Radio Internet Story Exchange