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 Rotation Returns to Wei-Yin Chen


 

Apart from Chris Tillman, the Baltimore Orioles starting pitching woes continued on Monday with a first game of the series loss to the Yankees 4-2. Failing to get through five innings was Ubaldo Jimenez, who once again had some good stuff with movement, but the issuance of five walks was his downfall.

While watching Jimenez, I love the great ball movement. But today I found myself thinking about how four years of watching these deep counts and free passes is going to drive me crazy, and I honestly think I get to crazy land slower than most O’s fans. But I do think he will figure this out sufficiently. He has to! There are 50 million reasons why he must!

And again, though the starting pitching dominates the talk of Orioles fans and has been, so far, the fulfillment of their greatest fears, the run production has been as large a problem. Really, four runs given up should not guarantee a loss – not to a team with the powerful lineup the Orioles run out on the field. But unfortunately, too many are not playing near their potential or historic averages. You never get a full line-up hitting perfectly on all cylinders, but right now the Orioles have most of their players underachieving at the same time. This will change … we just don’t want the hole to get too deep before it does.

So, in trying to find even a single good pitching performance other than those by Tillman, the Orioles look again to Wei-Yin Chen – coming off a first game, 12-hit attack by the Red Sox last week. And the rest of this paragraph is not going to encourage you either. You were warned! Chen is 1-3 lifetime against the Yankees with a 5.34 ERA in seven starts and 40.1 innings pitched. He has seen nine Yankees take him deep.

Against the current Yankees lineup, his record is not terribly poor. Many of those who hurt him most are now gone. Gardner is 5-for-9 and Soriano 3-for-4. Jeter has been reasonably contained. Of course he has not faced Brian Roberts, Brian McCann, or Carlos Beltran.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

Derek Jeter

19

18

5

0

0

1

3

0

3

.278

Jacoby Ellsbury

10

10

3

0

0

0

0

0

1

.300

Brett Gardner

10

9

5

2

0

1

4

1

2

.556

Ichero Suzuki

9

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.111

Alfonso Soriano

5

4

3

1

0

0

1

1

0

.750

Francisco Cervelli

2

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.500

Kelly Johnson

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

 

The Orioles will be facing Ivan Nova, who gave up two runs on six hits and five walks over 5.2 innings in his first start this year – a 4-2 victory over Houston. He pitched four times against the Orioles last year with a 2.43 ERA over 29.2 innings, getting two wins including a three-hit shutout on August 31st.

Quite a number of the Orioles have good numbers against Nova, especially Matt Wieters who is 11-for-29 with four homers and Chris Davis with 8-for-23 with three homers. This might also be a good game to give Delmon Young a shot, as he has been 7-for-13 with two homers. Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and J.J. Hardy are 1-2-3 of all MLB players in most times to the plate against Nova in his career (since 2010) …

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

Adam Jones

39

35

7

2

0

0

3

0

8

.200

Nick Markakis

39

34

11

3

0

1

2

4

4

.324

J.J. Hardy

35

33

9

2

0

1

3

2

5

.273

Matt Wieters

33

29

11

3

0

4

7

4

1

.379

Chris Davis

27

23

8

1

0

3

9

2

8

.348

Delmon Young

13

12

7

0

0

2

2

0

1

.583

Nelson Cruz

9

9

3

0

0

1

1

0

2

.333

Ryan Flaherty

5

5

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.200

Steve Lombardozzi

4

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Wei-Yin Chen