Jones on Kuma's no-no: 'He threw his game'
Despite 'not just a normal loss,' O's stay positive heading into homestand
SEATTLE -- The Orioles left Safeco Field on Wednesday afternoon after being on the wrong side of history while on the other side of the country.
They were no-hit by Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners in the matinee series finale and the last installment of a nine-game West Coast road trip. It was a 3-0 loss that added up to the seventh no-hitter by an opponent in Baltimore history and the first since Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox accomplished the feat on Sept. 1, 2007. There were no particularly dazzling plays by Mariners defenders to rob the Orioles of singles or more, either. The Orioles worked three walks but that was it. They struck out seven times.
So, as the Orioles got ready to head back home for an off day, which will be followed by a series against Oakland at Camden Yards starting Friday, they tried to keep perspective on what had happened and not read too much into it.
The bottom line seemed to be that Iwakuma was fantastic on Wednesday and these Orioles, who have weathered many ups and downs over their last few seasons, should live with it and learn from it.
"It's not just a normal loss," center fielder Adam Jones said. "I mean, we're going down in the history books on the bad side of a no-hitter. But tip your cap. Iwakuma threw his game. We hit some balls hard right at guys. They played good defense. Tip your cap and move on."
The Orioles succeeded in driving up Iwakuma's pitch count, with the right-hander closing out the fifth no-hitter in Mariners history at 116 pitches. But he threw 77 strikes, and many of those were of the highest quality.
"He didn't miss," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You could count two or three pitches that he got in an area that you'd say, 'Geez, I should have done something with that.' And some of the anxiety mounts. You let him take you off the plate completely, and that plays into a pitcher's favor when you're trying to do too much."
Jones said the key was Iwakuma getting ahead with strike one, and that the Japanese veteran's out pitch, his split-fingered fastball, was extra nasty.
"It's a good one," Jones said. "It's about 85 [mph], looks like a strike and just falls off. Hey, that's how it is. He threw a lot of strikes. You can't cry about it. "
The Orioles don't plan on doing that.
Slugger Chris Davis, who had homered in the first two games in Seattle, said the focus in this situation should be on Iwakuma's mastery of the strike zone and not on the Orioles' offensive ineffectiveness.
"There's not much to say about it," Davis said. "He threw the ball really well, and I felt like as the game went on, he got stronger and stronger. He was obviously moving his split around, elevated his fastball up high with two strikes. He didn't back down.
"That's the thing that I think you kept seeing, was he was getting ahead of guys. He wasn't trying to pitch around anybody. What did he have, three walks? I felt like every one of them were earned. Like I said, he didn't back down."
Jones said the Orioles can't, either, especially in the midst of an unforgiving schedule and while they still have a chance to do some damage in the AL East.
"What else are we going to do? We've got no choice," Jones said. "We have the A's on Friday. It's good we've got a day off so we don't dwell on it, but it might be a bad thing because if we're going to sit and dwell, we've got a long flight and then a day off.
"So there's going to be a lot of dwelling on it, but we're professionals, man. We'll pick up the pieces on Friday and be ready to do something."