Game 2, Orioles @ Mariners

Last night’s game was cold, but all sorts of fun. It started raining on us the minute we got to our seats, and didn’t stop until about midway through the game. The roof was pulled, and I think that if it had been raining harder we would have stayed fairly dry, but the light drizzle was buoyant enough to be carried by the wind, so we were what I might refer to as “lightly damp” for most of the evening. I had the forethought to wear layers and bring a blanket this time out, though, so all was not lost.

Waiting outside for Brandon and Jessica, Conor and I noticed that there were even fewer fans in general on the sidewalk before the game than Monday, and the number of Orioles fans had severely dwindled. There were a few once we got inside, brave souls that had donned their colors and come to hope that their (now) 13-2 team might pull one over on the no-power Seattle Mariners. Attendance was announced at some 15,000+, though, which was actually more than Monday. But this was how things were looking 15 minutes before game time:

The stands filled up a little more eventually – but I don’t think the flag positions changed. In fact, I think the Orioles one actually moved back a spot. Poor Birds.

We watched Jason Vargas, Adam Moore, and David Hernandez warm up in the outfield:

The bullpen, headed to their post before the National Anthem was sung. Brandon League’s teeth are probably visible from outer space:

Vargas started off not-so-hot in the first inning, allowing a walk and one hit (out of 4 total for the O’s in the game) that drove in Baltimore’s first run, but he got it together for the rest of the game, and that would be the only run the Orioles would score. We responded to that with two runs in the first inning, and another in the 7th, with the bottom of our batting order hosting a doubles party. David Aardsma was brought in for the save, and the final score was 3-1.

This was the second game in our game plan, and it’s only two games, but it seems that the left field bleachers are where people sit who want to hassle Milton Bradley. I find this reprehensible, especially considering that all of them have been Mariners fans. However, due to Brandon’s presence last night and quick wit, I now have a handy slam to use should the issue ever arise again. I seriously hope it doesn’t, but my faith in the Casual Fan(tm) is not strong. I anticipate running into a lot of other people who believe that beer makes them the life of the left field party, and who love hearing the sound of their own voice slamming their own team members. I have no regrets or issues with saying, on the record, that these people are idiots. I never liked Miguel Batista, but there was no way I wasn’t going to support him as one of our pitchers; that would have been rooting for us to fail as a team, and I refuse to do that. I’ve said a lot of things borne out of disappointment, but in the end, I still want success, and I’m not going to yell at and slag someone before they’ve had a chance to give that a shot.

But enough of that, a couple more pictures:

Luke Scott action shot! Taking pictures of outfielders can be a chore, especially between pitches. A photo of some guy just standing around isn’t terribly interesting composition-wise. Scott didn’t see much action last night, but he was ready for it.

I got a few OK shots of Aardsma warming up, but nothing to write home about. The bar above the bullpen on the main concourse level was already full of people chomping at the bit for the win, and I had to jockey for position between a lot of people who were drinking or trying to see. I don’t like being in the way, so I just ripped off a few quick snaps and went back to my seat before he came into the game. Ms defense golden, Aardsma’s fastballs on, and, as Dave Sims would say, “Case closed!”

I have about half an hour before the game tonight, with Felix Hernandez going up against Kevin Millwood. I don’t envy the Orioles or their fans, especially not the little half-a-fan they have in me. These wins may add some fuel to the Mariners fire, though, which is good, because Cliff Lee is soon to return to the rotation, and between him, Felix, and our defense, I feel a little sorry for teams that are better than Baltimore.  Happy Felix Day, everyone!

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