Glancing back at last night

Have you noticed that the Orioles seem to win more games when they hit with runners in scoring position?

They were more productive in those situations while sweeping the Nationals at Camden Yards. They went 3-for-17 last night and lost to the Tigers in 11 innings.

I don't believe it's a coincidence.

Better results from their bullpen would have reversed the outcome, but they couldn't hold a 4-1 lead.

We've debated interim manager Juan Samuel's decision to use Alfredo Simon for a five-out save. I understand that David Hernandez threw 33 pitches in the previous game, so you'd rather lay off him, but why was he warming in the eighth?

Looks like he was available, so use him to get the last two outs in the eighth and call upon Simon in the ninth for the more traditional save.

Of course, a bigger lead would have eliminated this second-guessing, which takes us back to the RISP stat.

You put runners on base every inning, you expect to do more scoring.

The Orioles need to make a decision on Frank Mata. Samuel certainly wanted to lay off him last night, perhaps because he's allowed seven runs in his last two outings, and 13 in his last six covering 6 2/3 innings.

MASN didn't lay off me today when looking for a replacement for Rick Dempsey on O's Xtra. I'll be joining Tom Davis for the pre- and post-game shows, but it's just a temporary switch. I'll be back in my usual role tomorrow.

I'm just filling the shoes of a former World Series MVP for one night, after doing the same for a Hall of Fame pitcher back in April.

It was bound to happen.

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