Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Luis Matos, 2005 Donruss #109

I hope that I never run out of cards with distinctive photos like this. I can't tell you why Donruss selected a picture of Luis Matos trudging back to the dugout after a strikeout, but I'm glad that they gave me a puzzle to solve. The opposing catcher is wearing Detroit Tigers duds and has a name ending in "Z". Baseball-Reference tells me that Matos played three games for the O's in Detroit in 2004: a May 28-30 weekend series. He didn't strike out on Friday, and Brandon Inge was behind the plate on Saturday, with Ivan Rodriguez serving as designated hitter. Sunday afternoon "Pudge" was catching for the Tigers, and Matos went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles, a run scored, and a strikeout looking. Bingo.

So this picture was taken on May 30, 2004. Mike Maroth took the mound for the Tigers, with Erik Bedard toeing the rubber for the Birds. After a scoreless first inning, Luis batted with one out in the second and was called out on a 2-2 pitch, which immediately preceded the moment captured above. Detroit eventually took a 2-0 lead on a pair of RBI singles by Rodriguez, but the O's broke through in the top of the sixth. Brian Roberts and Jerry Hairston had back-to-back hits, and B-Rob scored on an errant pickoff throw by Maroth. The score held at 2-1 until the top of the ninth, when Motown closer Ugueth Urbina ran into some trouble. The first four Baltimore batters reached safely, with Javy Lopez, Matos, and B. J. Surhoff all singling and Rafael Palmeiro drawing a walk. With the game tied and the bases loaded, Robert Machado struck out. Roberts then walked on five pitches to give the Orioles their first lead of the day, and Hairston followed with a two-run single. Future Oriole Jamie Walker replaced Urbina and got Melvin Mora to strike out, then intentionally walked Miguel Tejada to reload the bases. Manager Alan Trammell's strategy backfired, as Larry Bigbie (who had pinch-run for Lopez) drove in a pair with a single. Matos grounded out to end the inning at last, but that was of little consequence. In all, the O's scored six runs on five singles and three walks.

Jorge Julio came in to wrap up the win for the visitors, but walked the first two batters with a five-run cushion. (That sounds about right.) He got a big break when Rodriguez bounced into a double play, then allowed an RBI single to Rondell White. It was too little, too late for the Tigers, as Craig Monroe flew out to Matos to bring about the 7-3 final. So even though the Donruss photographer caught Luis in a moment of frustration, things worked out for the best...at least for one day.

1 comment:

Ryan H said...

I played a bit of my own "When Was It?" in one of my latest posts conicidentally also involving the Tigers: http://anotheroriolesblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/trade-with-reader-scott-o.html