After getting shut out by the Orioles in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader, the Texas Rangers came out raking against Jake Arrieta and the O's in Game 2.
As I will point out below, part of the damage to Arrieta was self-inflicted. He also did a bad job of limiting the overall damage. That said, Saturday as a whole was a great example of what we will see from the O's. The Orioles young starters have plenty of talent. At times they are going to look terrific, and at times they will look unready for the majors. When Matusz returns, Arrieta will effectively become the 4th starter. I think overall he will look pretty good in that comparison with most of the AL. What you will will be looking for is growth on a month-to-month basis.
If you are going to take a real negative away from tonight, it is potentially losing Hardy for some time, over a young starter struggling against that offense.
1) Liked seeing Fox and Andino getting their first opportunities. I am a believer that you have to use the entire roster. In the 3rd, Fox did a good job of keeping his foot on the plate when Reynolds came home with the bases loaded. In the 4th, Andino made a nice stop (throw helped by Lee) at SS that saved a run. In the 6th had another decent play coming across 2nd base. In the 8th, Andino moved over to 2nd.
2) Arrieta had a good curve tonight, with early examples being the 2nd inning strike 3 to Beltre, and the 3-1 pitch to Moreland in the 3rd. Loved the strikeout of Cruz to end the 2nd with the high heat. For what wound up being a poor night, I thought his stuff was good. I like that Arrieta stayed on the bench after his outing, obviously soaking it in and getting some words of instruction/advice from Showalter.
3) Jones gave the O's a HR in their 5th consecutive game, jumping all over Harrison. Smacked a single into LF in the 9th.
4) 2.2 innings of scoreless work from Rupe.
5) After a walk and a hit the other night, Izturis took another walk in his plate appearance tonight.
6) In Reynolds' last two at-bats he went to a full count in one ab, and worked a walk in the second.
1) I prefer Reimold getting everyday ab's in Norfolk, as opposed to languishing unused on the Baltimore bench, but the Game 2 lineup illustrated a flaw of the O's roster. Pie is the 4th OF, and both him and Scott are LH hitters. If you want to bench Scott against a tough lefty (and Scott has a .781 OPS vs LHP in his career), you are not going to want to play Pie (.541 OPS vs LHP in his career). That (and not wanting Scott to have to play 18 innings in the field today) is what led to Andino starting the game in LF.
1a) I think I would have had Andino in the lineup at 2nd for Game 2, giving Roberts the second game off. I would have gone with Pie in LF, and had Markakis batting leadoff. As it worked out, Hardy of course had to leave the game, forcing Andino to SS, and Pie into the game.
1b) To be clear, I still agree with Pie being in Baltimore over Reimold. Reimold had the option, Pie did not. Pie is better suited to back up all OF positions.
2) Arrieta started the 3rd by walking Murphy, and doing a poor job of holding him close. Caused himself further trouble with the walk to Moreland loading the bases. Jim Palmer spoke about Arrieta speeding up the bats of the Rangers.
3) You have to ask what difference it made for Arrieta having Fox behind the plate as opposed to Wieters. As much as Wieters has been lauded for his pitch calling and preparation, was there a drop off tonight? That is probably unfair to put on Fox after one game, but something to watch in his subsequent starts.
4) Error for Roberts on a relatively easy grounder.
5) 3 walks from Rupe in his 2.2 innings of work.
1) Seeing Hardy get back into the lineup and immediately forced out of the game qualifies as ugly. You would think the oblique injury will force him to the DL.
2) The O's offense is going to score plenty of runs this year. The starters do not have to have perfect outings (like Britton's in Game 1 of this DH) to win. When they run into trouble, they have to limit the damage. They also have to avoid self-inflicted damage (walks etc). Tough night for Arrieta against one of the best offenses in the game.
The expectation from all sources is that Guthrie will start tomorrow. However, if Hardy is placed on the DL, it is still possible that Patton/Ballard/George gets the call-up.
Love to come back tomorrow and win the series.
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