June 9, 2014

Game 62: Charm City Shutout

After a heated series with the Athletics, the O's remained at home for an additional week as the Red Sox come to town. Yesterday, the O's were shelled by the Athletics and barely mustered a single run. Tonight, Baltimore wasted no time grabbing a lead as Adam Jones sent his 10th homer to dead center. Jones continues to hit over these last few weeks and has climbed into the 4th spot in the All-Star game voting for the American League outfielders. It was crucial that the Orioles got to Boston's starter, Jake Peavy early to set the tone for the entire game.  Peavy, the former Cy Young winner tends to be dominant when he gets into an early groove. Opposing Peavy was Bud Norris, who pitched well in his last start in Texas until he got hit on the arm with a line drive.  Tonight he kept the ball low with an effective change up, inducing several fly balls and striking out 6 hitters.  Unlike yesterday, Norris kept the walks at a minimum, tossing 8 scoreless innings under 100 pitches.

Orioles were able to get men on base but couldn't capitalize with runners in scoring position, going 0-4 tonight. Boston had the same amount of luck, going hitless as well as Norris only allowed two runners to reach second base tonight. For the offense, the Orioles used the long ball to their advantage as Markakis launched a two-run homer nearly into Eutaw Street. Peavy hung a two-seam fastball over the heart of the plate and Nick was all over it.  Markakis and Jones remain the constant, driving forces in the Orioles lineup this year as they combined for 5 hits, 2 homers and 3 RBI (vote them into the ASG!).   

To add insult to injury for Peavy, he also fell victim to Chris Davis' first bunt single of his career in the 4th inning.  Shift on,  Crush dropped a perfect bunt down the third base line and legged out an infield hit that was reviewed after initially being called an out. Ryan Flaherty capped off the Orioles run production with a long home run to right field to make it 4-0. That was plenty of insurance for Norris as he worked out of a jam in the 8th as he was met with a standing ovation from the Orioles faithful. Buck didn't let Norris finish off the shutout and instead turned the game over to recently activated, former closer Tommy Hunter.  Hunter, in his first appearance since heading to the DL and his demotion in the bullpen, produced 3 flyouts to preserve the shutout and most importantly, another Orioles win. 

Tomorrow, Chris Tillman gets a shot at redemption from his previous starts against Brandon Workman.  Tillman has struggled heavily lately, with an ERA near 8.00 over the last month.  However, when you observe his splits for 2014, Tillman has a sub-3.00 earned run average when he's at home yet he has not been able to win a decision at Camden Yards. On the road, Tilly has boasts a 6.33 ERA but is 5-0. It's truly mesmerizing by how he's a different pitcher based on the ballpark.  Essentially, a bizarro Ubaldo Jimenez.  I hope Tilly can write the ship soon because he's still our ace and can use his leadership as the season progresses.

No comments:

Post a Comment