The Baltimore Orioles, the MLB's winningest team, somehow figured out a way to be even more improbable. They just knocked off the Red Sox in 17 innings to complete a 3-game sweep with DH Chris Davis pitching 2 scoreless frames. He out-dueled his DH counterpart, Darnell McDonald, who entered the game as a pinch runner for Big Papi. Since write-ups of the game will abound, if they do not already, I wanted to share some of the amusing aspects of listening to the O's broadcasters on Gameday Audio.
- The O's broadcasters are Joe Angel and Fred Manfra, but I did not learn who was calling play-by-play and who was doing color, so I'm going to refer to one as "Joe" and one as "Fred" and maybe be wrong. You probably do not remember Fred Manfra from his "stint with the Detroit Tigers on cable television in 1980." If you were watching the Tigers on cable, back in 1980, perhaps you could tell me which O's broadcaster he was. Assuming his voice hasn't changed much in 32 years. Weren't the Tigers on WDIV in the 90s? When did they start on cable? Anyway, Joe and Fred were impressed with Chris Davis and his low-90s fastball, and his change-up which induced a K (not the backwards kind) from Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
- "Fred" openly ponders if Chris Davis ever pitched in the minors, but no one ever gets around to finding out and letting me know. As best I can tell, he did not. Maybe in college? The statistics page for the Navarro College Bulldogs baseball team site helpfully informs us of their red brick dugouts, but I find no mention of Chris Davis. I declined the page's offer to email firstname.lastname@example.org with my Chris Davis question. Even worse, Longview High in Longview, TX, does not have a site for their baseball team. There is an athletics page, which links to other sports, but there is no link for BASEBALL, SOFTBALL or POWERLIFTING BOYS & GIRLS. (Put down the boys & girls!?)
- Davis is set for a 1-2-3 16th inning, but old friend Wilson Betemit commits an error, putting the winning runner on, who gets thrown out at the plate for the third out on the next batter's double.
- "Joe" starts to lose track of the current inning in the 17th, charmingly referring to it as the 16th a few times. He catches himself, and Fred and Joe have a laugh. "Easy to do!" says Fred because the game is approaching 6 hours in length. Joe then goes on to again refer to the current inning as the 16th. Joe is Alert and Oriented x2. He is no longer oriented to time. He was previously, so this not a good change. But if you were writing in his medical chart, you could say, "A&O x2, but not too shabby considered." He actually may not be oriented to self, because he won't tell me his name.
- Fred and Joe touch upon the hot topic of Relievers and Their Feelings. Chris Davis is pitching in the bottom of the 17th, now with a 9-6 lead. He seems to have lost command of his fastball, and Fred and Joe speculate that he may be developing a case of the Fenway willies. He's nervous because he has to close out the game, whereas in the 16th, in a tie game, he could have lost at any moment, with any pitch? And he was also pitching in Fenway in the 16th? Are we no longer oriented to place?
- As Davis walks Dustin Pedroia, Joe generously says, "no matter what happens, no one can be blamed." The game has basically resulted in a tie, but since there are still players with arms out there, we are going to just do our best and then everyone can get an ice cream and laugh about our 3-run lead nerves. We are going to finish this game, and no one will feel bad about losing because the game has already devolved into self-parody.
- Designated Hitter/Pitcher Chris Davis induces a game-ending 6-4-3 double play grounder from opposing Pinch Runner/Designated Hitter/Pitcher Darnell McDonald. Even in the NL, I think it would be rare in the modern era for one pitcher to retire another pitcher to end a ballgame, given that it would require both to toss complete games, and for a manager to not use a pinch hitter with the game on the line.
- Chris Davis, the designated hitter, went 0-8 with 5 strikeouts and a GIDP. Pinch runner Darnell McDonald collected 4 ABs. There's just a lot of weird in this game.