For a while, nothing was going on in the Wild Card contest between the Rangers and Orioles. A runner here, a runner there, the occasional double play, but nothing of note. This game needed some motivation! It needed to giddy up and git going!
There we go. And there the Orioles went, taking the lead in the sixth inning off Yu Darvish. J.J. Hardy led off the frame with a soft liner to right for a single, and Chris Davis hit a sharp grounder through the right side, sending Hardy to third. Adam Jones ripped a first-pitch slider to deep right field, and Hardy trotted home easily, putting the Orioles up 2-1.
Davis was stranded at first when Jim Thome struck out looking on a nasty, 64-m.p.h. Darvish curve to end the inning.
Meanwhile, Joe Saunders kept on keepin' on, and he was pulled with two outs and no one on in the bottom of the sixth. What was it that Jerry Dipoto said a couple years ago?
We achieved by maintaining major league quality with a 2008 All-Star in Joe Saunders and a guy who quite frankly has been one of the winners in Major League Baseball. I think he trails only Roy Halladay among major leaguers in total wins. He’s won 63 percent of his games since coming to the major leagues, pitched in the postseason on two different occasions. He’s a quality, durable, steady major league starter. We feel like this club needs that, and a guy with a good deal of playoff experience.
That's why he runs a team and you don't.