A catcher who doesn’t catch is like a coffeemaker that doesn’t make coffee or a finger that doesn’t fing. And that’s what happened to Toronto Blue Jays catcher Josh ‘Ultima’ Thole when he let a slider get past him. Caleb Joseph made the most of the mistake and slid home, sweet, home with two outs in the 10th to give the Baltimore Orioles a 4-3 win. “I just missed the ball,” Thole said afterward, crestfallen in front of his locker. “I have to catch those.” Thank you for that powerful insight into your line of work, Captain Obvious.
Not even the tandem of Edwin ‘Divina’ Encarnacion and Jose ‘San Juan’ Bautista – a tag team of biblical proportions – could save the Blue Jays. The former had two RBIs and delivered a two-out double after Jones made a diving catch that would have had Greg Louganis nodding in approval of a sinking liner to center by Bautista with Saunders on third base. And pitcher R.A. Dickey experienced a bit of performance anxiety but once he really got into it he got and kept his head up, limiting Baltimore to three runs and five hits over six innings. “He kept us in the game,” teammate Michael Saunders said. “Obviously, it didn’t finish the way we would have liked. It was another game where we could have won but didn’t.” Perhaps Dickey finished too soon?
On any case, it all came apart faster than creationism in the 10th inning. After Joseph hit a two-out double off rookie Joe Biagini, Joey Rickard got an infield hit and Manny Machado walked. With Adam ‘I’m Not Pacman’ Jones at the plate, the pitch got past Thole and Joseph sprinted home. This is the first time since the Orioles migrated to Baltimore in 1954 that they win a game with a passed ball. It was also only the second time ever that Toronto has lost on a passed ball. That’s one even online sportsbook specialists or fans betting on baseball didn’t see coming. Though they probably did see Dickey coming. “Scoring runs is scoring runs,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s always important to have different ways to do it.”
Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez gave up two runs, five hits and four walks in five innings. The right-handed pitcher allowed the leadoff hitter to reach in each inning but kept Toronto to a 1-for-7 performance with runners in scoring position. “I guess I found the pitches that I need,” he said. Additionally, Baltimore’s first four batters combined for three hits and a walk. The key blow was an RBI double by Machado, who has had a hit in all 13 games thus far.