It doesn’t mean much of anything and its not going to shake up the AL East standings at this point in the season, but the Orioles continue to win ballgames under new manager Buck Showalter.
The O’s topped the Rays 8-4 on Saturday night in Baltimore thanks to an inspired pitching performance by right-hander Jeremy Guthrie and a big night at the plate by catcher Matt Wieters.
According to MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli, it was Showalter’s 900th managerial win, and he was as humble as ever when notified of the accomplishment:
“I’ve had a lot of losses, too,” Showalter said. “I
remember just about every one of those. Just reminds you how lucky you
are to do this, to have a chance to do it. It means I’ve had some good players and someone’s given me an opportunity to do this a long time. That’s about the extent of it.”
The Orioles are now 18-13 under Showalter’s watch. He won 313 games with the Yankees, 250 games with the Diamondbacks and 648 games with the Rangers for a career record of 900-846. Buck sits between Don Zimmer (885) and Jimy Williams (910) for 64th on the all-time managerial wins list.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.