Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Orioles win! Thoughts and observations

The Orioles win! Streak over! CELEBRATION!

Now that is done check out Anthony's recap from last night. Nothing more that really needs to be said about the game itself, so let me talk about what exactly this means. This win, yes this one win, means that the Orioles are a good team again. 7-9 sounds a lot better than 6-9 and in one game we were reminded of what this team is capable of. And they did it against Carl Pavano, a pitcher that has been fairly strong against the Birds in the past. Pavano came into the game last night with a 5-3 record against Baltimore pitching to an ERA in the low 3's. Pavano had an inflated ERA coming into last night's affair after being spanked by the Blue Jays in the opener but he turned in two solid starts afterward reminding Twins fans why they re-signed him this offseason.

The Orioles simply dismantled Pavano last night and it must be noted that it all started with Adam Jones. Jones hit a grounder to the hole at short and he hustled down the line to beat out the strong throw from shortstop Alexi Casilla. That one play was the spark to a two-out rally scoring the first three runs of the game.

In fact two-out rallies were on the menu last night and the Orioles definitely indulged. 10 of the Orioles' 11 runs came with two out. They were 6-for-11 with RISP. They were patient, they were selfless and they got the job done.

The crowd was still small last night, and I don't blame them for not coming out while the team is facing a possible nine-game losing streak, but it was crowd in full throat. As the runs began to pile up you could feel the weight being lifted off the crowd as if everyone was reminded, "oh yeah - this IS a good team."

Other observations:

Matt Wieters is heating up. All of his hits were hit very very hard and more importantly he is pulling the ball. Monday's beastly homer over the left-center wall, last night's double off the out-of-town scoreboard, these are all very very encouraging signs from the young catcher. Wieters has gone on tears before but never sustained them past a week or two, outside of the last months of his rookie campaign. If Wieters can sustain this level of play for an extended period of time than the Orioles will start winning a lot more games.

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