Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Sunday, April 13, 2014

David Lough, 2014 Topps Heritage #278

When Janet and I entered the ballpark for last night's game, a matchup of Orioles' fifth starter Bud Norris and Blue Jays' second-year pitcher Drew Hutchison, I certainly didn't expect a pitching duel. But Bud and Drew were both up to the task, trading zeroes for six innings. When Jonathan Schoop drove a double into the gap off of Toronto reliever Neil Wagner in the seventh, with David Lough racing around to score from first base, it looked like Norris might squeak out the win. Looks can be deceiving, though. New O's closer Tommy Hunter got two quick outs in the ninth and quickly ran the count to 0-2 against Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus. When he threw a third straight curveball, Rasmus tried - and seemingly failed - to check his swing. But fill-in third base umpire Jeff Gosney, working his first-ever MLB game, denied catcher Steve Clevenger's appeal. Rasmus powered Hunter's next pitch over the right-center field fence for a deflating, game-tying home run.

When the Birds allowed both Steve Lombardozzi and Lough to bat in the bottom of the ninth, leaving the more powerful Steve Pearce, Matt Wieters, and Delmon Young on the bench, I sarcastically tweeted my approval of the move. Shows what I know, right? Both men were retired in the ninth, but the game pushed on into the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings with the score still knotted 1-1. In the bottom of the 12th, the Orioles finally figured out Blue Jays reliever Todd Redmond in his fourth inning of work. J. J. Hardy smoked a ball into deep right field, but Jose Bautista made a great leaping catch to rob the O's shortstop of extra bases. But neither Bautista nor Colby Rasmus could track down Steve Lombardozzi's drive to center field, and the second baseman motored all the way into third base with a triple. That set the stage for Lough, who'd been struggling with concussion symptoms and entered the game batting .105, to play the hero by belting a line drive over third base for the walkoff hit. Now I've been to two games at Camden Yards in 2014, and they're the only two games the Birds have won at home in the young season. Both were 2-1 finals, with Zach Britton picking up the win in relief each time. I'm hoping that's a coincidence and not a trend...I don't think my heart can take many more razor-thin games like that.

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