Postgame notes and quotes
Since there was a lot of post-game chatter, here’s a few more notes and quotes heading into the off day following the Orioles’ 12-2 win.
*Shortstop J.J. Hardy right middle finger –on his throwing hand– is blown up pretty good. He said it started as a hangnail but it was enough for manager Buck Showalter to almost scratch him tonight.
“J.J.’s battling through a lot of things right now that most people would be sitting on the bench with,” Showalter said. “I had two lineups up until about 6:30 tonight. Last thing he told me is, ‘If you think I’m coming out with a bad finger…”
Hardy said he’s had to grip the ball a little differently to throw the last two days, and Thursday’s off day should help.
*Randy Wolf, who was in the dugout tonight, has the option to remain with the team according to Showalter. Wolf has not decided whether he will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the torn ligament in his left elbow.
“I’m giving Randy that option, what he wants to do,” Showalter said. “He’s really wanting me to make the call and I will if he wants me to. He had an impact here. He got some big outs for us and pitched some innings we needed to be pitched well, and he’s a pro. Everything we looked into about fitting into what we think is a special fraternity in that clubhouse, we’re not just going to let anybody in, but he impacted this club and he continues to by being in there tonight, and if he wants to continue to be with us, that’s his call and I’ll support that.
He’s going to think about it tonight and tomorrow, and whatever he decides to do, he’ll do. He’s earned that right. There was some talk about getting an injection and if he got from both doctors that he couldn’t hurt it any worse and see if he could help us in some form or fashion. I told him the only way I’d ethically use him is if I knew for sure that he couldn’t hurt it any worse and it would be if we were a big margin behind. I just wanted to be frank with him. I don’t want to put his arm and his future and his day-to-day life in any jeopardy. So far they’re saying that couldn’t happen, but I’m not sure what kind of guy we’d get back with that, and the last thing we’re going to do is start sticking needles in there and doing things that aren’t right.”
*According to home run historian David Vincent, Jim Thome and Manny Machado represent the first pair of players in American League history, and the third in Major League history to homer in the same inning while having an age difference of 20 or more years. The other pairs were Julio Franco and Kelly Johnson with the Braves in 2005 and Orlando Cepeda and Hank Sauer of the Giants in 1958.
“I guess that’s something to be proud of, you are still playing,” Thome said with a laugh. “That’s the unique thing with baseball, you get the youth and you get the veteran I guess. It’s fun.
I think the unique thing of our club is all the guys we’ve brought up at a certain point during the year have stepped up and played a big part. You know you get into this time of year, you can’t be a hero every at-bat, you can’t be the hero every night. You want to be. But it just doesn’t happen. But when you get guys to step up like we did tonight, hopefully we will get that momentum to carry [over]. If it’s two days if it’s seven, we will ride it out.”
“That’s crazy,” Machado said of the age difference note. “It’s a pretty good stat. I remember when I used to watch [Thome] play when I was a little kid. Now to hit a home run in the same inning he did, just feels great.”
*Lost somewhat in the seven home-run game –which tied a franchise record — was the performance of Gonzalez, who went seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits to lower his ERA to a 3.45.
“Miggy has been there for us. He stepped up again for us,” Showalter said. “I had a couple guys down in the bullpen I didn’t want to use. Those types of outings from the starter allow you to have a good bullpen, and that’s what we’ve done a better job with this year. As good as our bullpen has been, our starters have gotten deeper in the game a lot more consistently than in the past, and that’s what’s allowed our bullpen to use their strengths.”
Asked what allows him to keep his composure in big games like tonight, Gonzalez said: “Mentally being strong and I think the guys just motivate me every time I go out there. And making pitches is the most important thing.”
*Chris Davis homered twice tonight to bring his total to nine homers against the Blue Jays this season, the most in Orioles history in a single-season against Toronto.
“I think if you’d have told us a few months ago that we’d be a game and a half out with six games left, I think you’d be pretty happy with that,” Davis said. “We just got through playing Boston and we played them well. Obviously, the three in Tampa are going to be tough, but we’re at a point where we still have a chance, so that’s all you can ask for.”