It’s the bottom of the eleventh inning. Your team is down by two runs with two out and a base runner on third base. You have just drawn a five pitch walk from a reliever who had already given up two singles this inning, and was only pitching with two outs thanks to a very fortunate double play. Your manager has brought in a pinch hitter that matches up quite well with said reliever.
Do you: A) Wait to see what happens with the battle of the Js: John Jaso vs. Jim Johnson; or B) Try to steal second base, something that you’ve done 20 times this season while only getting caught three times?
If you’re Seattle Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders, you get inspired by the opposition’s mantra, throw caution to the wind and accept the fact that you only live once as you try to steal second base.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, the result isn’t that good.
And while much blame will be heaped on Saunders’ shoulders this morning, his aggressiveness wasn’t nearly as detrimental to his team as the two-run homer that Adam Jones hit in the top half of the inning.
However, I suppose that in our feeble attempts to avoid accepting that the 2012 Baltimore YOLOrioles are a team of density, we’ll ignore the fact that the bottom third of the order was due up for Seattle and a perfect throw was needed from Taylor Teagarden (!) to get Saunders out and the attempted steal wasn’t as foolish as one might initially conclude, because it’s easier to accept that the Mariners lost 3-1, than it is to say that Baltimore won the game 3-1.
Oh yeah, and the two starters for last night’s tilt were Joe Saunders for the Orioles, and Felix Hernandez for Seattle. Team of density, indeed.
Meanwhile, the New York Yankees exhibited something of a show of determination in their attempts to alter fate in the American League East by winning the back-to-back games of a double header against the lowly Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees sit a half-game in front of Baltimore in the division, while the Orioles now have sole possession of the first Wild Card spot, a half-game themselves up on the Oakland Athletics, who are 3.5 games up on the Los Angeles Angels and 5.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for the final playoff spot.
And The Rest
The Baltimore Orioles and the most influential bullpen. [Fangraphs]
The call-up: Dylan Bundy. [Baseball Prospectus]
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker was taken to a Chicago hospital yesterday for for chest x-rays to rule out the possibility of pneumonia. [Redleg Nation]
Brandon Phillips, and maybe the best quote of the year. [Comcast Sportsnet Chicago]
Kris Medlen of the Atlanta Braves continues to display a somewhat unexpected dominance from the mound. [Talking Chop]
Television analyst Gregg Zaun rips the Toronto Blue Jays from top to bottom. [The Globe And Mail]
Ichiro’s future and Melky Cabrera’s batting title. [New York Post]
FOX, along with TBS, are closing in on new television deals with Major League Baseball. [New York Times]
Oakland Athletics starter Brett Anderson exited yesterday’s game with an oblique strain. [San Francisco Chornicle]
The NFL doesn’t take too kindly to San Francisco Giants fans. [San Jose Mercury News]
Three Blind Mice is an umpire’s least favorite song. [Slate]
Jim Leyland is making the MVP vote a sabermetrics vs. triple crown thing. [Detroit News]