• Apr

    O's grab needed win; The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    The Baltimore Orioles snapped an 8 game losing streak with an 11-0 thrashing of the Minnesota Twins. With the victory, the O's moved to 7-9 on the season.

    Jake Arrieta earned his second victory of the year, with 6 scoreless innings. The O's offense came alive with contributions up and down the order.

    The Good:

    1) When Brian Matusz returns, Jake Arrieta is going to effectively be the O's 4th starter. If you watched Arrieta tonight that sentence has to really encourage you about the prospects for this Baltimore rotation. Arrieta's stuff is really good. If he can limit how often he puts himself in trouble with a lack of control, he can be very effective at the Major League level. One of the things I liked best about his outing tonight (besides the devastating breaking ball he was showing) was after he walked successive batters in the 5th. Visited on the mound by Pitching Coach Mark Connor, Arrieta locked right back in to strikeout Tolbert and elicit a harmless fly-ball from Kubel. For the night, Arrieta went 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, 0 er, 3 bb's, with 4 k's.

    2) Jones reached base in the 2nd on an infield single to deep in the SS hole. His defense and hustle this year seem improved. He's regularly running down the line hard, and he is showing better range (and positioning) in Center. With his two hits, and 5th inning walk, the onbase % was helped a bit tonight.

    3) The O's first rally was started with two outs, as immediately after Jones' infield single, Reynolds took his 3rd walk in the past 4 games. Wieters would get the O's on the board with a line drive to CF, and Roberts gave the Birds the 3-0 lead with his single. Was great to see the O's string together several productive ab's.

    4) In the 5th, Wieters would double off the RF scoreboard to knock in three more. The mechanical change made by Wieters this past week seems to have resulted in the young catcher hitting the ball with better authority. After Andino singled to the SS Casilla, Wieters scored on the Casilla error with good base-running.

    5) After Wieters was hit by a pitch in the 4th, Andino singled, and Roberts had an RBI double to knock in the O's 4th run.

    5b) Andino had a big night with 3 hits, a walk, and a solid defensive play in the 3rd.

    6) Scott had a good running catch coming in on the ball.

    7) Reynolds and Lee combined for a nice play in the 7th.

    8) O's were 6 for 11 with runners in scoring position, and had 13 hits.

    9) Lee had two hits.

    10) As did Guerrero with his 2nd homer, a 3 run shot over the wall in RF in the 8th inning.

    11) Berken had two scoreless innings of relief, and was throwing some wicked sliders.

    The Bad:

    1) Wieters appeared to be fine, but will have to see if the ball off the elbow bothers him tomorrow.

    2) The MASN crew (Thorne, and Palmer) spent some time talking about how Reynolds strike-out rate is lower so far to start this year. Orioles Hangout poster 'Frobby' pointed out earlier today on the OH message board that Reynolds went without a strikeout in the April 15th-17th games, marking the first time since June 30th - July 2nd '08 that Reynolds had gone three games without a strikeout. 'Frobby' also pointed out that Reynolds was on pace for 'only' 162 k's, but just 10-11 homers.  I am listing this here because I got the impression Thorne thought a change of approach from Reynolds was required. If Reynolds does anything to reduce his k's, that also reduces his power; that is a negative.

    2a) That said, when Reynolds batted with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 5th - you would have liked Reynolds to at-least drive the ball for a sac-fly.

    3) After the Roberts double in the 4th, the O's had runners on 2nd and 3rd with two out and Markakis coming-up. This was an opportunity to really blow open the game, but Markakis was unable to get the two out hit.

    4) In the top of the 5th, Arrieta recorded the first out of the inning and then proceeded to walk Casilla, and Span. We will continue to say it, but you have to make the other team earn everything.

    4a) Arrieta's night ended a bit early, because he had already thrown 108 pitches after his 6 innings of work. A little more efficiency, and Arrieta could have gone a bit deeper.

    The Ugly:

    None. The O's ended the horrific 8 game losing streak in style. Now let's see them go win 5 of the last 8 games on this home-stand and be 12-12 when they head to Chicago on the 29th.

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Michael Williams

Lifelong. Down by the river.