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Apr 8, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (32) runs the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Real Baltimore Orioles Arrive North in NYC

 

Being a migratory species of fowl, the Baltimore Oriole can’t really be expected to be seen much in cold weather. And sure enough, when a decently warm day for baseball finally arrived, so did the real Baltimore Orioles who laid a 14-5, 20-hit spanking upon the Yankees. This is the baseball team we expected to see!

Orioles fans everywhere are hoping that this is the big breakout game that launches the offensive attack for the 2014 season. Everyone in the Orioles starting lineup got into the act. We could continue to pick on Ryan Flaherty by noting that he was the only starter to not register a RBI, although he was one of three Orioles to get three hits in the game. And the Birds broke out with three homers as well: by Adam Jones, Delmon Young, and Matt Wieters.

As further proof that Buck Showalter reads my columns and takes advice for the next day, he noted my wise suggestion from yesterday that Young should be put in the lineup – having stellar numbers historically against Yankees starter Ivan Nova. Young batted second in the lineup and had three hits and three RBIs.

Young may get some more playing time, as David Lough is being reported to be headed to the DL for (at this point) undisclosed reasons, with Jemile Weeks being recalled. Weeks was 6-for-12 in his first four games at AAA Norfolk with two triples.

Pretty much everything went right for the Orioles offense on Tuesday. The bottom three guys in the order – Steve Lombardozzi, Flaherty, and Jonathan Schoop were a combined 8-for-15. That is when you know your team is having a good day!

It is also great to see Matt Wieters hitting well at the beginning of this new season. This was one of the concerns coming into 2014 – that Wieters was never going to live up to the hopes for offensive output that were placed upon him when he first arrived in Baltimore. Right now he is batting .370 through the first eight games – 10-for-27 with two homers and six RBIs.

But not lost in the euphoria was another rather poor outing for an Orioles starter. Chen was able to get the win after pitching through five tortuous and torturous (twisting and painful) innings, giving up four runs on nine hits … and now having an ERA of 6.75. This will have to change.

The Orioles will be facing the Yankees’ new pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka in the series finale on Wednesday evening. In only his second game, Tanaka won his first outing over the Blue Jays 7-3. He gave up two earned runs in seven innings of six-hit pitching, while recording eight strikeouts.

Baltimore continues to look for a pitcher other than Chris Tillman to throw a decent game, and the next man up is Miguel Gonzalez. His first outing was difficult, as the Tigers drubbed him with seven runs on nine hits in just 3.1 innings of work.

Gonzalez may draw some additional inner fortitude and strength in that he will certainly be cognizant of pitching on the fifth anniversary of the tragic death of his friend Nick Adenhart. The two knew each other from their days in the Angels organization, and Gonzalez used a glove belonging to Adenhart in his first start for the Orioles two years ago. In that Nick is from my town of Williamsport and was a classmate and friend of one of my sons, I’ll have an additional article (to follow this one) on the Maryland native.

In seven career games against the Yankees, Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 4.01 ERA. His WHIP is a very solid 1.17 and the batting average against is but .224 – all good numbers against New York. As can be seen in the chart below however, a number of the current Yankees have had some success against Gonzalez even considering the small sample size. Both Ichero Suzuki and Alfonso Soriano have a pair of homers off him.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

Ichiro Suzuki

20

19

4

1

0

2

3

1

5

.211

.250

Brett Gardner

15

12

4

3

0

0

0

2

2

.333

.429

Derek Jeter

12

11

4

0

1

0

1

1

1

.364

.417

Kelly Johnson

11

9

3

1

0

0

1

2

3

.333

.455

Jacoby Ellsbury

6

6

3

1

0

0

1

0

0

.500

.500

Alfonso Soriano

5

5

2

0

0

2

3

0

1

.400

.400

Francisco Cervelli

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

.000

.667

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Miguel Gonzalez

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