• Apr

    O's Win Home Opener; The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    Under skies of blue, and amid a sea of orange, the Baltimore Orioles improved to 4-0 on this young 2011 season with a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

    Jake Arrieta worked 6 innings, allowing 1 er. This means the Baltimore starters have allowed just 2 er in their first 26 innings of work so far in 2011. The offense was carried by Brian Roberts' second three-run homer of the season.

    The Good:

    1) On a ball that bounced, Wieters still almost threw out Will Rhymes on his steal attempt in the 1st. Really impressive arm strength.

    2) Arrieta got a fastball past Cabrera (one of the best dead-red hitters in the majors) for strike three in the 1st. After 24 pitches in the 1st, Arrieta came back to retire the Tigers on eight pitches in 2nd. After Reynolds botched the double-play ball in the 3rd, it was impressive that Arrieta maintained his composure and was able to again get Cabrera out (this time with two runners in scoring position). In Arrieta's six innings of work, he allowed 6 hits, 1 er, 2 bb's, with 3 k's. He had six grounders, and six fly balls.

    3) Good running catch from Pie in the 2nd. Scott was not going to get to that ball. In the 4th Peralta hit a ball down the line for what should have been an easy double, but Pie quickly got to the ball and with a strong throw made it a play at 2nd. Also dug a ball out of the corner in the 6th for another good grab.

    4) Ordonez ran down Jones' drive in the 2nd, but you have to love Jones' ability to go opposite-field with power.

    5) Wieters is absurdly slow (even for a catcher) but he runs the bases well. On his 2nd inning double, he hit the bag correctly at first. He successfully tagged from second to third on Jones' sac fly, and scored on the Porcello wild pitch.

    6) Excellent baserunning from Markakis to get to 3rd on the Lee broken-bat single in the 3rd.

    7) He did not strike out the side again, but Berken was strong in his 2 innings of work. (1 hit, 0 bb's, 3 k's)

    8) Reynolds showed good reactions on a Cabrera smash to start the 8th, and made another nice play on a foul down the line in the 9th.

    9) If Uehara can stay healthy, he can post major numbers.

    The Bad:

    1) Arrieta's k's will come, and I do believe you will see more swinging strikes from opposing hitters this year. He has to avoid going deep with every hitter, and rapidly increasing his pitch count, and that starts with fastball command. His 24 pitches in the first were too many.

    2) I continue to think the discussion on K's with Reynolds is overrated, but when you have a runner on 3rd with 1 out, you have to put the ball in play.

    3) After Wieters led off the 4th inning with a walk, Jones swung at the first pitch and grounded into a double play. Maybe Jones thought Porcello would come back over the plate there, but I think patience was needed.

    4) Guerrero has yet to cash in with runners in scoring position.

    The Ugly:

    1) In the top of the third, Reynolds bobbled a grounder that cost the O's a double play. It also brought up Cabrera with two runners in scoring position. Arrieta got out of the jam, but the Tigers slugger should have batted with none on to lead off the 4th. Credit Reynolds for getting at least one out there, but the play needed to be turned.

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Michael Williams

Lifelong. Down by the river.