Apr 15, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Delmon Young (left) celebrates with center fielder Adam Jones (right) after scoring during the sixth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The early portion of this 2015 Baltimore Orioles baseball season has been a bit disquieting in seeing a number of the veteran players really struggling to contribute positively. But several of them made significant contributions on Wednesday night in a good 7-5 victory over the Yankees that put the series of games in the O’s win column.
The first among these was Bud Norris. No, it is not like he was the bulldog of a year ago with a great start, but it was an improvement and step in the right direction. We still don’t want to see the O’s starter giving up three runs in five innings, but Norris kept the bleeding from being too bad and in fact registered seven strikeouts with only five hits and two walks. ARod took him deep – very, very deep – and that is never a good thing. But perhaps Norris can build on this start and sharpen his control more for the next start.
Chris Davis finally had a decent-looking line in a ballgame. He was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. The runs batted in were crucial ones – the first in the game in the first inning, and a double to drive in a pair in the critical five-run sixth inning outburst that was the difference in the game. Davis still did strike out three times, but he was a factor in the win, and perhaps this too is something to build upon. (However, with 15 strikeouts, he is on pace to total 235 for the season.)
Manny Machado has really struggled to get his hits in the early season. He has squared up some balls with little result, but it was good to see him get a solo home run tonight for his first round-tripper of the season. He walked once as well and looked really good running the bases. Machado is the least of the veterans that I’m really worried about.
Delmon Young came into this ninth game of the season only .231 on 3-for-13. But he did what he does best – pinch hitting and getting a base hit to score the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. And he added another hit later. He’s fine.
Brad Brach has had some rough outings in the early going. But on this night he was great in two innings – giving up only an isolated walk while recording the victory. In postgame remarks, Showalter said of him…
"“I thought one of the key outings was Brad Brach, especially after sitting around for quite a while and going back out and being sharp again. Brad pitched real well for us the last third of the season and we could really use him to be that same contributor.”"
Adam Jones was only 1-for-4 in the game, although his line drive at the shortstop that he hit off the first pitch of Dellin Betances might have been the single hardest-hit ball of the game. And a great defensive play of “running down” a ball over his head was great.
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So, whereas a single game is simply that, these players show good hopes of turning things around. Yet there are others about which to have some continued worries. Among the latter category is Tommy Hunter. Though he seems to have most of his regular velocity, the ball simply has little movement.
So it is on to Boston for the 5-4 Orioles, to play the 6-3 Red Sox.