The Orioles are 4-0 under Buck Showalter

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That easy, huh?

Fresh off a three-game sweep of the Angels, the Orioles won in walkoff fashion for the second consecutive night Friday, defeating the White Sox 2-1 in 10 innings. Adam Jones played hero this time, delivering an RBI single to secure the victory.

New skipper Buck Showalter is 4-0 to begin his tenure in Baltimore while the four-game winning streak matches a season-high for the club.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that he’s not surprised the Orioles are playing better under Showalter.

“Those guys are going to play better for him for some reason. Buck is
the type of guy who demands players, day in and day out, to play good
baseball,” Guillen said. “He only takes that job for a reason. He takes
that job because he’s a guy who maybe, hopefully can put those guys back
where they want to be.”

I only have my own experience to back this up, but I’ve found that the hiring of a new manager can often lead to a temporary spark, even for the worst of ballclubs. The Orioles have taken a rather significant step back this season, but they aren’t completely hopeless. They still have the same young talent they had a year ago. Let’s see if Showalter can make something out of them.

Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war

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You may have heard that Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a door in frustration after Monday night’s subpar performance. He’ll miss six to eight weeks as a result. Strickland came in to protect a 4-2 lead but ended up giving up three runs. The tying run was knocked in by Lewis Brinson on a single to right field. Brinson moved to third base on a go-ahead single by Miguel Rojas, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to take Strickland out of the game.

On his way to the dugout, Strickland started chirping at Brinson. Much like Bryce Harper and Strickland, Brinson and Strickland have a bit of a history. Last Thursday, Brinson handed Strickland a blown save with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Brinson was happy to help his team tie the game, pumping his fast and saying, “Let’s go” at no one in particular. That rubbed Strickland the wrong way. Everything seems to rub Strickland the wrong way.

During Tuesday night’s game, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez threw at Brinson with the first pitch, a 92 MPH fastball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher issued warnings to both benches. Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue, suggesting that his team hadn’t done anything wrong so it was unfair to essentially take the inside part of the plate away from his pitchers. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly could be seen saying, “You’re next” to catcher Buster Posey.

The Giants scored twice in the bottom of the second against Dan Straily to extend their lead to 3-0. Posey came to the plate with a runner on first base and one out. Straily hit Posey with a 91 MPH fastball on the first pitch, prompting ejections of both Straily and Mattingly. Posey was hit on the arm. If the pitch had come in a bit lower and hit Posey on the wrist or hand, Posey might have had to go on the disabled list for a couple months. Or if the pitch had hit Posey a couple of inches higher, in the head, then who knows what would have happened.

Things calmed down from there, thankfully. The two clubs have one more game against each other in San Francisco on Wednesday and that will be the final time they meet this season. If anything further is going to happen — and hopefully, nothing happens — then it will come tomorrow.

Straily will almost certainly be facing a suspension and a fine, as will Mattingly. It’s less clear if Rodriguez and/or Bochy will be reprimanded for throwing at Brinson, even though it was fairly obvious the pitch was intentional. Regardless, the punishments amount to just one missed start for the pitchers, which isn’t nearly enough of a detriment to deter beanball wars.