Edwin Jackson took a one hitter into the seventh inning and Adam LaRoche powered a home run and scored twice in leading the Nationals to a 3-1 victory against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday at Camden Yards. Jackson, the team’s fourth starter, is symbolic of the team’s reliance on pitching — the Nats accounted for eight hits against the O’s, but it was more than enough with Jackson on the mound.
Ironically, Jackson said that he did not have his best stuff when he started the game. But don’t tell that to the Orioles, who didn’t get a man on base until Adam Jones ended up at first on an error in the top of the 5th. “The days you don’t have your best stuff, you know you have to come at them early and be able to throw offspeed for strikes,” Jackson said after the victory.
The Nationals scored twice in the top of the 2nd on a throwing error by O’s third baseman Wilson Betemit and then again in the top of the fourth on an Adam LaRoche home run over the right centerfield fence. It was LaRoche’s thirteenth home run of the season.
Three runs is all the Nationals would need. Reliever Michael Gonzalez induced a soft liner that Ian Desmond turned into a double play in the seventh, Sean Burnett worked the eighth — allowing a lone hit — and Tyler Clippard earned his 12th save in a 1-2-3 ninth. “Edwin threw a great game,” Orioles’ center fielder Adam Jones said of the Nats’ starter. “Sometimes you just got to tip your cap to the man. That slider of his, he kept it down, he didn’t hang it too much, and he did what he wanted to do.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: While Edwin Jackson was slicing his way through the Baltimore line-up, the Miami Marlins were continuing their June imitation of the Hindenburg. Losers of their previous five, and spiraling towards last place, the Fish were attempting to end their skid against the Blue Jays — vainly attempting to end their skid.
With the score tied at one apiece in the top of the 9th, the Marlins thought they might finally have a victory. It was not to be. After seeing two quick strikes, Toronto bomber Edwin Encarnacion powered a Steve Cishek offering into the Marlins’ bullpen. Six batters later, Colby Rasmus pummeled an Edward Mujica fastball into right field for a grand slam. The final? Toronto 7, Miami 1.
Saturday’s loss followed a 12-5 pasting on Friday night — and an Ozzie Guillen rant about his players and team. Asked about his team’s “psyche” following their loss, Guillen lit up reporters with his reflections on what a team should do when it’s losing.
“Psych? I don’t believe in psych,” Guillen said. “I just believe in good clubs. Great players don’t need psychiatric and psyche and shrinks. Horseshit players do. I never see Pete Rose talking to any psychiatry or Paul Molitor or all those guys. They were talking to nobody. All the horseshit players they need a psych, a guy next to them to talk about it. The last five years, seven years, you see a lot of this in baseball.”
He wasn’t finished. “When players fail they need a doctor,” he went on to say. “When managers and coaches fail, they need another manager. They get rid of our asses, quick. Players are making excuse, talking to the shrink every day. How about the shrink when they are 4-for-4? They only got the shrink when they fail. I don’t believe in that.”
He then added: “If some people do, good for them. I grew up in the good era of baseball when Budweiser and vodka take care of the psychiatric thing. That’s the best thing to do. You fail, get drunk and come back the next day and you see how good it feels.”
One day later, and following his team’s 7-1 loss, Guillen was more rational — as if realizing that what he’d said about “Budweiser and vodka” the night before might be considered controversial. Reshaping his approach, Guillen said his team is “waiting for something bad to happen” and “playing tight.”
The team has had a series of team meetings on their losing streak, including one with the owner. Hanley Ramirez also conducted a players only meeting. Did the team need another meeting? Guillen was pointed, if calm. “Losing teams have meetings,” he said. “Winning teams kick ass.”