Going, going, Gonzo
Seems like we were just talking about the improved
confidence of closer Mike Gonzalez doesn’t it? Oh wait, because we were. Just last
night. So what happened? Honestly, I’m not sure. And I don’t know if Gonzalez
“I know what I’m about and I know what I can do,” said
Gonzalez (0-2), who gave up two runs in 2/3 of an inning, suffering his second
blown save and ballooning his ERA to 18.00 in three games.
“I’m just off to a
bad start and I need to turn it around as fast as possible.”
For the second time in four games, the Orioles handed the
ball to Gonzalez looking to put the finishing touches on a victory. Instead,
they were left with the harrowing effects of a late-game loss, as Gonzalez suffered
his second save, and exiting after recording just two outs in the Baltimore’s
7-6 home-opening loss to Toronto in front of a recording-breaking crowd of
48,891 at Camden Yards.
With a one-run lead, Gonzalez opened the ninth by walking Edwin Encarnacion
and a wild pitch, followed by Travis Snider’s s double, tied the game at 6. Snider advanced to third on John McDonald’s
bunt and Jose Bautista’s sacrifice fly gave the Blue Jays the edge. Gonzalez was yanked from the game in favor of
Cla Meredith, who struck out Alex Gonzalez . But the damage was already done.
“My stuff is good enough, I definitely feel that,” said
Gonzalez, who has denied any problems with his arm all spring. “My confidence
is not down whatsoever. It’s, I need to throw strikes, you’re walking a guy and
[the next batter] they know what’s coming when its 2-0.”
An afternoon full of hopeful cheers to welcome back baseball
took a momentary lapse as a smattering of boos greeted Gonzalez in the pregame
introductions. Those early jeers paled in comparison to the frustration that
spilled over when the crowd of 48,891 watched in dismay as Gonzalez unraveled
against the bottom of the Blue Jays batting order.
“We should have had three wins right now and that’s what’s
getting under my skin,” Gonzalez said.
“I go out there and get 10 straight, 11 straight [saves] and you aren’t hearing the boos
anymore. So that’s not a problem for me. What’s a problem for me is the way the
guys are playing, the guys are playing great baseball. They can hang with
anybody in this league right now and I’ve obviously seen that in the last 4 games.”
“They’re getting it done, I just need to go and do my part.”
The question becomes, how much longer will he be allowed to
do that? This is purely speculation at this point since Trembley reiterated on
Friday night that Gonzalez is his closer. Still, the Orioles are 1-3 and could
easily be 3-1, if not 4-0.
“The bottom line is, you should win this game today and you don’t
do it,” Trembley said. “You got all the pieces right where they are supposed to
The Orioles signed Gonzalez to a two-year, $12 million deal
to help shore up last season’s woeful bullpen. Right now, he doesn’t look like
much of an upgrade.