It’s always nice when people eat their words. “You’re going back to Triple-A, you can’t hit,” said the annoying guy behind me at the O’s game today, who apparently got picked last everyday at recess. Mr. Dead Last was talking about recent O’s call up Corey Patterson, who was playing in just his second game with the O’s this season. He started off slow, going 0-2 in his first two at-bats and grounding into a double play in the third inning that looked to be something he could’ve ran out. This was the play that encouraged the heckler to start heckling.
Patterson then led off the sixth inning with a double, but couldn’t get anyone to knock him in. Then, in the eighth inning with the O’s down 5-1, Patterson led off with a 391-foot homer to right field to bring the O’s within three runs. A couple of base runners and a Luke Scott grand slam later, the O’s were ahead 6-5. But of course, the O’s bullpen had to make it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. The Mariners had two men aboard with Ichiro at bat and two outs. Ichiro hit a shot into left and just as Josh Wilson looked like he was going to tie the game up, Patterson came up throwing and gunned Wilson out at home to end the game.
Pretty good for a guy who just got called up, huh? Patterson, still sporting a Nationals cap in his profile picture, came up big for the O’s when they needed him most. He went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and an RBI in a game the O’s desperately needed. I think this game was the best win for the O’s all season and hopefully it created some momentum they can feed off of going into the next series with the Indians. It showed the O’s have fight in them and that they are never going to give up, and Patterson was the catalyst.
The O’s purchased Patterson’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, sending the slumping Nolan Reimold back to the same minor league club. Patterson was batting .368 in 14 games with the Tides and the club thought that by calling him up it would generate some offense back into the lineup. Well the plan seemed to work, at least for today.
Patterson is no stranger to the O’s, having played in 267 games for the club during the 2006-07 seasons. He was immediately placed in the leadoff spot because of the failed success of Julio Lugo and Adam Jones at the same spot. Patterson did exactly what was asked of him today both at the plate and in the field. Let’s just hope he can continue to spark the offense to generate some runs.
I’m not sure if Patterson is quite the answer for the O’s at the leadoff spot, but I’m sure glad he shut up the heckler behind me today at the game.
Submitted by Steve Giles