Mar 7, 2014; Sarasota, FL, USA;Baltimore Orioles infielder Nick Markakis (21) hits a double during the spring training exhibition game against Philadelphia Phillies at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Will Baltimore Orioles Keep Winning Without Chris Davis?

 

On Saturday night the Baltimore Orioles won their first game without Chris Davis in the lineup – the announcement being made afterward that he is going on the disabled list with an oblique strain. Will the Orioles be able to continue to win?

So far, so good! Nick Markakis played well at first base and drove in the first run of the game with a solid single into right centerfield. With the scored tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 10th, Markakis hit a ball barely fair into the left field corner to plate Jonathan Schoop with the walk-off run over the Kansas City Royals.

The bases were loaded in the 10th inning thanks to Royals reliever Danny Duff. He hit Schoop with a pitch, threw a bunt from David Lough into centerfield, and then through high to first on a Jemile Weeks bunt. After Nelson Cruz struck out, Markakis came through with his game-winning clutch hit.

Wei-Yin Chen had his best game of the season by far. His placement was excellent and he had lots of nasty movement on his slider and off-speed pitches. Chen gave up two runs in seven complete innings. And though the final line will show he gave up nine hits, many of them were of the “crap” variety. Simply stated, Chen was excellent.

The Orioles relievers did a great job in holding the Royals scoreless for three additional innings, with Zach Britton getting the win after pitching three strikes on the night – gaining a K on Jarrod Dyson and his third win to improve to 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA on the season.

Contributing significantly in his first game with the Orioles was Jemile Weeks. (Check out yesterday’s article on him HERE.)  Batting leadoff in the DH position, he singled to start the game and scored the first run. And along with the bunt mentioned above, he also tripled. He can fly!

Who’s on First?

I am guessing his name will continue to be Markakis. There is not a viable first base choice at AAA, and Nick is more than sufficiently capable. The Birds have plenty of outfielders, and this can maybe get Delmon Young some more at bats.

Who will join the Orioles to take Davis’ spot?

That will probably wait until after Sunday’s game to decide. The Baltimore Orioles have off days on Monday and Thursday, so they probably don’t need an extra pitcher unless the Sunday game is a weird one. Henry Urrutia would be the most likely candidate I would think, though, to my surprise, he is not hitting very well – only in the .240s.

Sunday Preview

The third game of the series will bring another tough visiting pitcher to the Camden Yards mound in the person of James Shields. After the Saturday game, Buck Showalter spoke in his remarks about how you might think you’d get a break after moving past the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Rays and Jays; but then KC comes to town and throws Ventura, Guthrie, and Shields at you.

Shields is off to a great start for the 2014 season. He is only 2-2, but has a 1.91 ERA over 33 innings with opponents batting .210 against him and a WHIP of 1.00.

Over the years, Shields has had good success against the Baltimore Orioles. He is 9-7 lifetime, and is 6-2 at OPACY …

W

L

ERA

G

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

K

Career vs. O’s

9

7

3.55

24

162.1

156

76

64

17

43

124

At OPACY

6

2

3.92

12

80.1

75

37

35

8

24

56

 

Against Shields, Markakis and Adam Jones have had a good bit of success, each over .300 … though most Orioles hitters have lower statistics …

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

Nick Markakis

66

20

5

0

2

6

9

10

.303

Adam Jones

39

13

5

1

1

6

1

7

.333

Matt Wieters

24

5

2

0

2

5

2

5

.208

Nelson Cruz

19

5

1

0

0

1

0

7

.263

J.J. Hardy

12

2

1

0

0

0

3

2

.167

Delmon Young

14

3

1

0

0

2

1

1

.214

Chris Davis

12

4

1

0

2

6

0

3

.333

Jemile Weeks

7

3

0

0

0

1

0

2

.429

Ryan Flaherty

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

 

The Baltimore Orioles will send out Miguel Gonzalez with hopes that he too will find a way to pitch deeper into a game, as 6.0 innings is his best so far. After four starts, Gonzo has an ERA of 5.40 and a record of 1-1.

There is a scant set of numbers for the Royals against Gonzalez – as Miguel has only ever twice pitched against KC. Salvador Perez is 2-for-6 with a homer, while Alex Gordon is 1-for-6 with a triple and Billy Butler is 1-for-5 with a double.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Chris Davis Jemile Weeks Wei-Yin Chen

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