Apr 3, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (16) throws in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles Lose Series to Sox + Game 4 Preview


Boston Red Sox Closer Koji Uehara celebrated birthday #39 with a 3 and a 9 – that is with 3 quick outs in the 9th inning to finish off the Baltimore Orioles Thursday night by the score of 4-3. He’s a regular Jack Benny – never changes, just pounds the strike zone and it is all over before you know it. (If you don’t get the Jack Benny reference, that means you are too young to remember one of the greatest comedians ever.)

So the Orioles lose the first series of the season 2-1 to the Sox. A nice team effort in the opening game made for an awesome inaugural win to kick off the new season. But less than excellent starting pitching, along with an anemic offense doomed the Birds to two losses. The Orioles only managed seven runs on 21 hits over their first 26 innings. That is not going to work.

It is early and not time for panic, but the Red Sox looked the better team in this series.

A positive note is to see Matt Wieters hitting, getting five hits in his first 11 at bats on the season. And Zach Britton looked really great again this evening. Actually, his innings were all I saw of the game (on a restaurant TV), as a car accident locally took down a pole and knocked out all the power in my neighborhood. But, maybe I was spared some pain – sure sounds like it from the description of Chen giving up a dozen hits in six innings.

Enough Boston, let’s look ahead to Friday afternoon’s game in Detroit against the Tigers.

The Orioles will be facing Anibal Sanchez, most of them for the first time. Since most of Sanchez’ career has been with the Florida Marlins, there is not much history. He did beat the Orioles and Jeremy Guthrie on June 22, 2010 by a score of 7-4, giving up a three-run homer to Matt Wieters. Adam Jones is 2-for-3 off Sanchez, and Nelson Cruz also has a homer in four at bats. And if the Orioles need a pinch hitter, they can turn to Ubaldo Jimenez, who has a hit and a RBI in three plate appearances off Sanchez!

The Tigers will be facing Miguel Gonzalez in his first game of the 2014 season. Detroit has only seen Gonzo twice in his short career. The first game was in 2012 – it was Miguel’s second start that season on July 15th and was a 4-0 loss (the first loss of his career) against Justin Verlander. The other game was just last year on May 31 when Gonzalez gave up five runs in six innings. This was the famous game where the Orioles were only able to get three runs off Max Scherzer in eight innings, but ultimately win it 7-5 against Jose Valverde in the 9th on a two-out, three-run walk-off homer by Chris Dickerson. Three current Tigers have one home run each against Gonzalez: Ian Kinsler, Austin Jackson, and Miguel Cabrera.

EXTRA INNINGS INFO – The weather forecast is not looking so great for Detroit for the 1:00 game, so if there is a doubleheader on Saturday, the Orioles would be allowed to add an extra player. Anticipating that possibility, Kevin Gausman was held out from making his first AAA start tonight (Thursday), demonstrating good thinking and prep by the Orioles. It might be best if that happens, in that the Orioles are not scheduled to arrive in Detroit until 3:00 a.m., and then have to play at 1:00 in the afternoon.  Miguel Gonzalez is already in Detroit.

Scheduling his whole travel scenario seems a bit bizarre, but, as Buck always says, “Nobody’s going to feel sorry for you.”




Tags: Baltimore Orioles

  • http://BaltimoreWire Dave Gruber

    Randy, I have a question for you. How short of a leash do you give the starters to start the season? Chen was not impressive in spring and really not that great last year. With Britton throwing the ball like he has since spring started at what point do you give him a start if Chen or any of the other starters continue to struggle. In my opinion Tillman is the only one of our starters I feel comfortable with every time out.

  • Randy Buchman

    I don’t know the answer. I see the concerns. But I don’t think the Orioles will be as patient as in the past. With the FA signings and money invested in such, this is a “win now” atmosphere. It has to be. I’d guess about three to four times through the rotation, or toward the end of April.