J.D. Closser's pinch hit and Omar Quintanilla's glove helped the Rockies to a victory (and their second road series win) Wednesday; today, a sweep was well in hand until a Matt Anderson-like 8th inning from Dan Miceli let it all get away. Both teams got good starting pitching in each game, with Byung-Hyun Kim and Jose Acevedo excelling for Colorado and Brad Hennessey and Kevin Correia tossing well for San Francisco. (Kirk Rueter, Thursday's scheduled starter, was not injured but rather demoted to the bullpen as the Giants turn an eye towards 2006.) Quintanilla had a terrific series overall, and so did Closser and Larry Bigbie. Maybe all J.D. needed was to start regularly. I'm sick of ragging on Danny Ardoin anyway. It's not his fault Clint Hurdle is incompetent. It is his fault that he hits like Einar Diaz, but that's neither here or there. Anyway Hurdle seems to have gotten the
message that excessive use of Dustan Mohr, Aaron Miles, or Ardoin will lead to violent reprisal from here on out. Better late than never.
In other news, the Orioles let Lee Mazzilli go. Here's why this is a smokescreen: The Orioles' front office is completely dysfunctional, with two general managers and an owner who likes to playact as a third. Apparently they weren't all in agreement on Mazzilli's hiring in the first place. In any case, their team got off to a hot start, the Red Sox and Yankees stumbled out of the gate, and they were in a unique position to be the baseball story of the year. It's completely on Peter Angelos's head that they utterly botched this opportunity. The Orioles never manage to sign the best free agent talent because their three-headed monster takes too long to agree on anything, and they talked their way right out of the A.J. Burnett deal because Angelos had a sudden attack of the cheaps. With the money they've extorted from the Nationals and Angelos's vast tobacco-lawsuit fortune, they have no excuse. All this and they still wanted to throw a victory parade for Incredible Shrinking Raffy. Anyway this all tangentially benefited the A's as the Orioles got the traditional new manager boost in dispatching the Angels today in their first game under Interim Sam Perlozzo.