Perlozzo Spits the Bit: Orioles Blow 5-Run, 9th Inning Lead
To that point, Guthrie had given up just three hits and two walks. He hadn't given up a hit since the sixth inning, no Red Sox base runner had made it past second base, and Guthrie had thrown just 91 pitches! Not to mention the Oriole bullpen had been used quite a bit in the first two games of the series and this was a perfect opportunity to give it a rest.
I won't go into the gory details, but suffice to say there aren't too many happy mothers in Baltimore today. Baez and closer Chris Ray combined to give up five runs on four hits and three walks, and a game-ending error for Ray.
Yesterday, Perlozzo employed the opposite strategy. In a one-run game where the O's had already knocked Curt Schilling out of the game, Perlozzo left reliever Jon Leicester hung out to dry in the seventh inning and watched as that game quickly went from a tight, winnable contest to a laugher. Leicester walked the bases loaded on 15 pitches to open the inning without so much as a visit to the mound or a call to the pen to get someone warming. Leicester went 2-0 on the next batter before clutching his shoulder - much like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack - to get himself pulled. But the damage was done and all three base runners ended up scoring before Todd Williams could get out of the inning. Just like that it was 8-4, and the Sox would pile on mercilessly in the eighth as Perlozzo watched Williams get hammered.
Tough weekend for the O's but I expect there will be some tougher questions for Perlozzo to answer.