Tag: Bryan Holaday

Jose Tabata

No, the Nationals didn’t throw at Jose Tabata for breaking up Max Scherzer’s perfect game


On Saturday, Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata controversially broke up Max Scherzer’s perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning when he was hit by a two-strike slider. Some argued that Tabata intentionally leaned into the pitch. Others argued he should have at least made more of an effort to get out of the way of the pitch. Members of both groups suggested the Nationals should throw at Tabata in his first at-bat on Sunday.

Tabata took his place in the batter’s box in the second inning of Sunday afternoon’s series finale in Washington, D.C. against Gio Gonzalez, treated to a chorus of boos from the home crowd. Gonzalez’s first pitch to Tabata was a 91 MPH fastball over the middle of the plate.

Gonzalez would have been in the wrong for throwing at Tabata. For one, that would simply make him a bad human being, as a batter’s career can end in an instant if he’s hit by a pitch in the wrong area. Moreover, Tabata did nothing wrong in getting hit on Saturday when he faced Scherzer. The logic that getting hit by a pitch to break up Scherzer’s perfect game is “bush league” — as many argued yesterday — is as silly as thinking that Yankees reliever Jose De Paula was bush league for not throwing a meatball to J.D. Martinez this afternoon when he came to the plate in the seventh inning with an opportunity to have a four-homer game. He flew out to right field instead. Should the Tigers have thrown at one of the Yankees? Or maybe Bryan Holaday — who hit directly behind Martinez — should have kicked a clump of dirt around home plate into Yankees catcher Brian McCann’s face?

Unwritten rules are dumb, you guys.

Matt Harvey makes his return. And he was really impressive.

Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey made his spring debut today. It was his first action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2013. It was pretty darn good.

He struck out the first batter he faced, Anthony Gose. He broke the bat of Jose Iglesias. Then he got Rajai Davis to hit into a simple ground ball out, breaking his bat too. Total for the first inning: ten pitches. He dialed it up to 98 m.p.h. on his fastball. No sweat.

In the second Harvey got Nick Castellanos to fly out to right-center. Then someone named Jordan Lennerton to strike out on three pitches (note: the Tigers don’t send a lot of veterans on the long bus ride to Port St. Lucie). Finally, Bryan Holaday struck out looking. Harvey hit 99 on the gun on his penultimate pitch.

Harvey tossed 25 pitches. He was slated to throw up to 35 today. So yeah, I’d say he had a good day.

Video: Orioles complete 5-4-3 double play to advance to the ALCS

Nick Castellanos, Jonathan Schoop

The Orioles were in a bit of hot water after bringing a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Closer Zach Britton, who had been fantastic all year long for the O’s, allowed back-to-back doubles to Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez. The Tigers halved their deficit and put the tying run in scoring position with no outs.

Britton buckled down, striking out Bryan Holaday after failing to bunt the runner over to third base. Orioles manager Buck Showalter called for the intentional walk to Nick Castellanos, putting runners at first and second but also setting up a potential game-ending double play. As fate would have it, the intentional walk worked, as Britton induced pinch-hitter Hernan Perez to hit a weak ground ball to third baseman Ryan Flaherty, who made the toss to second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who completed the double play with a throw to first baseman Steve Pearce.

After sweeping the Tigers out of the ALDS, the Orioles await the winner of the ALDS between the Royals and Angels. Game 3 is under way in Kansas City. The Royals enter play with a 2-0 series lead. The ALCS will begin on Friday, October 10. The Orioles will be participating in the ALCS for the first time since 1997.

Orioles complete sweep of Tigers, advance to the ALCS

Nelson Cruz, Adam Jones

The Orioles are headed to the American League Championship Series for the first time since 1997. The AL East champs defeated the AL Central champion Tigers 2-1 in Game 3 of the ALDS in Detroit on Saturday, completing a series sweep.

Starter Bud Norris blanked the Tigers over 6 1/3 innings, holding them to just two hits and two walks while striking out six. Nelson Cruz helped put Norris in line for the win in the top of the sixth when he laced a David Price change-up down the right field line for a two-run home run, breaking a scoreless tie.

Andrew Miller fired 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, and closer Zach Britton escaped danger after allowing back-to-back doubles to Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez to open up the ninth inning. Britton struck out Bryan Holaday. Then, after intentionally walking Nick Castellanos to set up a double play, induced a 5-4-3 double play out of pinch-hitter Hernan Perez to finish off the ballgame.

Price was strong, despite allowing the home run to Cruz. He went eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a pair of walks while striking out six. That’s enough for a win most of the time, just not on this particular evening.

Game 3 had two controversial calls by umpires. One occurred in the second inning, when Andrew Romine dragged a bunt towards the first base side with a runner on third base and two outs. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop charged, scooped the ball with his glove-hand, and shoveled it to first baseman Steve Pearce. First base umpire Jim Wolf ruled Romine out, which was promptly challenged by Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. Replays showed that the play was extremely close, but there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the initial call. As expected, the call was upheld and the Tigers were denied the run and the base runner, ending the inning.

The second controversial ruling came in the bottom of the third. The Tigers had Don Kelly on second base and one out with Torii Hunter at the plate. Hunter hit a ground ball to the left side, fielded quickly by shortstop J.J. Hardy, who was shifted further to his right with the right-handed Hunter at the plate. Hardy threw to Schoop at second base as Kelly had ventured too far off of the bag. Schoop, however, did not catch the ball cleanly and it dropped. Schoops momentum had taken him into the base path, and he blocked Kelly’s lane back to the bag. Schoop reached over Kelly for the ball and tagged him out. Ausmus asked the umpires to confer about possible obstruction. After discussing the issue, the umpires ruled that there had been no obstruction.

While the Tigers could very easily have won Game 3 had either umpire ruling gone differently, or if Cruz’s home run had been a couple feet shorter or to the right, they are ultimately out of the playoffs due to their bullpen, which allowed seven runs in Game 1 and four runs in Game 2.

Nelson Cruz gives Orioles a 2-0 lead in ALDS Game 3 with a two-run homer

Division Series - Baltimore Orioles v Detroit Tigers - Game Three

Tigers starter David Price was on a roll, having matched Orioles starter Bud Norris with five shutout innings. But things quickly started going downhill when the top of the sixth inning began, starting with catcher Alex Avila leaving the game after taking a Steve Pearce foul ball off of his facemask.

Bryan Holaday replaced Avila, and Price retired Pearce on a fly ball. Following that, Adam Jones reached on a single to left-center to bring up Nelson Cruz. Price evened the count at 1-1 to Cruz, then threw him an outside 84 MPH change-up. Cruz lined it down the right field line. Somehow, Cruz not only got enough power behind it, but was able to keep it fair as it tucked into the stands just to the left of the right field foul pole. It’s Cruz’s second homer of the ALDS and he has five RBI — easily making him the Orioles’ most productive hitter in the post-season thus far.

Norris retired the middle of the Tigers’ lineup in order in the bottom half of the sixth on three consecutive ground balls. The Orioles are nine outs away from advancing to the ALCS.