Mychal Givens (BS, 1), Brad Brach, Zach Britton and Tyler Wilson (W, 1-0)
The Orioles’ bullpen did another fantastic job to start the 2017 season. In fact, the team’s worst reliever by the numbers was Zach Britton, but more on him to come.
Givens came in for Gausman, quickly got the first out to put two outs on the board, but then allowed a double to Ezequiel Carrera to tie the game at 2. Givens continues to struggle against left-handed hitters, something that is going to have to be improved. Right-handed specialists are rare, but Givens may fit into that given that left-handers hit .314 off of him.
It isn’t like this is a blip on the Givens’ radar, as his stint at the World Baseball Classic was also not good.
However, Givens got out of the inning and then had a very productive 7th inning, so it was not all bad.
Brad Brach came in and was typical Brad Brach, throwing 14 pitches and getting three quick outs, working around a walk.
Then, Buck Showalter famously went to closer Zach Britton in the 9th inning of a tie game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Britton wasn’t perfect, allowing three hits and one walk in two innings. However, his pitches were all over the plate, and he looked better than he did in the spring.
In fact, all of those hits allowed were ground balls, so while he may not have been his sharpest, there was no solid contact against Britton. He also struck out one during his two innings of work.
Tyler Wilson came out for the 11th, and he was also reasonably efficient, allowing one hit and striking out one. It could have been worse, if not for the incredible play made by Manny Machado to get Devon Travis out.
I believe that Wilson’s stuff is good enough to be in the major leagues, but not as a starter. However, as a long reliever where he may only go through the lineup once, I think he has enough deception and is intelligent sufficiently to be a quality major league pitcher.
In the end, Wilson would pick up the Orioles first win of 2017.