Monday, April 4, 2011

Juggernaut!: Tigers Can't Slow Down Orioles

Butt Bump!
The Orioles opened up Camden Yards for the 2011 season in style dispatching of the Detroit Tigers 5-1 before a sellout crowd this afternoon.

If you've been watching the Orioles play so far, you've seen something rare. The Orioles have not gone 4-0 since 1997.

25-year-old RHP Jake Arrieta held the Tiger offense (a lineup that put up 19 runs during their 3 game series with the Yankees) to a single run over 6 innings. Relievers Jason Berken and Koji Uehara held Detroit to one hit over the last 3 innings to lock down the game.

The big offensive blow came, again, from Brian Roberts. Roberts went deep against SP Rick Porcello for yet another 3-run homer to break a 1-1 tie in the 5th and put the Orioles ahead for good.

I liked Arrieta's poise this afternoon. He only struck out 3 and walked 2. He got the ball up in the zone and few times and gave up some hard hits. But he defense let him down on a couple of occasions. Adam Jones broke back instead on in and turned a flyout into a single and Mark Reynolds bobbled a sure double play ball in the middle of a Tiger rally. But Arrieta did not rattle. He kept throwing strikes and although he threw 99 pitches to get through 6 innings, he held the line.

Now the nitpicking...the offense is not hitting well overall. Roberts is not going to keep hitting 3-run bombs. Luke Scott is day-to-day. Vladimir Guerrero can't buy a hit and Jones looks no better as they both flail at everything thrown their way. Nobody but Roberts has hit a home run. The pitching staff has been fairly lucky and been bailed out by great defensive plays early. Signs point to a regression unless performances improve.

But for now, the Orioles are taking care of business. The performances from the young hurlers are extremely encouraging and should give them a bit of confidence moving forward. Scott could play on Wednesday. Roberts, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters and JJ Hardy are hitting well. The defense, overall, is playing pretty well.

Jeremy Guthrie is in the hospital with pneumonia. Brad Bergesen will have to make a start on Wednesday. This little winning streak could come to an end very soon.

But winning is always better than losing. The Orioles had some really bad luck on their way to a 5-18 April a year ago. I'll certainly take a few good bounces our way. And I can't wait to see the young guys take the mound again.

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)


Jeff said...

Regardless of whether this is sustainable or not, it is a good start for one simple reason. The April schedule the O's face is torturous and getting a few wins in against likely above .500 teams will certainly help them in trying to go .500 for the season.

Even if they don't play at this level all year, this is at least a good run to start them out on the right side of the W/L column.

DempseysArmy said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Get your licks in while you can...