O’s Notes 4/7/10 at Rays

Well, I had some hope there when Atkins got that double that scored Wieters.  Just couldn’t finish that comeback.

Hitting:

Baltimore

AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg 
B. Roberts 2b 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 .000
A. Jones cf 4 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 .444
N. Markakis rf 3 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 .167
M. Tejada 3b 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .125
L. Scott dh 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 .143
M. Wieters c 4 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500
N. Reimold lf 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 .250
G. Atkins 1b 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 .250
    F. Pie pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
C. Izturis ss 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .333
    T. Wigginton ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
 Totals 34 3 6 2 0 2 9 0 10
 Tampa Bay
AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg 
J. Bartlett ss 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .375
C. Crawford lf 4 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 .250
B. Zobrist rf 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .375
E. Longoria 3b 4 1 2 3 1 0 0 0 1 .375
C. Pena 1b 4 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 .375
B.J. Upton cf 3 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 .286
P. Burrell dh 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 3 .143
K. Shoppach c 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 .250
R. Brignac 2b 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667
 Totals 32 4 10 4 1 2 8 0 15

Nothing impressive there.  The O’s got their 2 runs in the 1st (the 3rd
in the 9th).  One run was because Zobrist didn’t throw home when he
could have gotten Jones out, and the other was because of the error
when the throw was low to 1st on Wieter’s ground ball to Rodriguez at
2nd.  The positive on that error besides that we got the run was how we
got it.  Markakis was on 2nd at the beginning of the at bat, and when
the ball was hit, he ran to 3rd.  They showed a replay of just him.  He
got to 3rd and looked over, saw the error, and made the sprint home. 
Brilliant baserunning.

The top 5, who should be leading this team with consistently racking up
hits, got only 2 between them tonight, both in the 1st inning.  Looking
at the Rays, their top 5 hit safely 7 times, so it shows that we just
couldn’t keep up.  The rest of the game, the only hitting that was
positive was Wieters going 2-4, and then seeing Atkins bring his
slugging side on with his ground rule double in the 9th.  Izturis 0-2
as expected.  Reimold got a hit which is good since he is back, but
much negativity on him later.

Pitching:

 Baltimore
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA 
J. Guthrie 6.1 8 3 3 2 6 0 1.58 4.26
W. Ohman 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
C. Meredith 0.2 2 1 1 0 1 1 3.00 13.50
 Tampa Bay
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA 
M. Garza 8.0 4 2 1 2 9 0 0.75 1.12
R. Soriano 1.0 2 1 1 0 0 0 2.50 4.50

 Baltimore
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA 
J. Guthrie 6.1 8 3 3 2 6 0 1.58 4.26
W. Ohman 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
C. Meredith 0.2 2 1 1 0 1 1 3.00 13.50
 Tampa Bay
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA 
M. Garza 8.0 4 2 1 2 9 0 0.75 1.12
R. Soriano 1.0 2 1 1 0 0 0 2.50 4.50
Looking at this, it shows no flukes in
our staff.  Guthrie was solid; his stat line is not horrible.  The
issue with him was not the number of hits he let (which of course would
be nice if it went down a little) but more of the situational hitting
he let up.  He was in 3 major jams in the game, 1 of which he truly got
out of.  His two jams were 1) when he had men on 1 and 2 and he gave up
a single to Upton which got Crawford to score and 2) when, in the same
situation, he gave up a double to Longoria which scored both Brignac
and Bartlett.  Otherwise, he got a nice chunk of K’s, was still able to
keep the walks down even in stressful times, and didn’t look too off
until the last inning he pitched where he was throwing too many
hitter’s pitches.

Ohman came in solid again with a scoreless inning, so until he messes
up I don’t have much to say.  He doesn’t have incredible stuff that I
need to tout, but hey, it’s enough to get the job done I guess.

Meredith looked okay for the most part, except for the Longoria homerun
he let up in the 8th.  Meredith has never been a high speed fastball
pitcher, so the fastball Longoria hit was an easy one because it was
located in the middle and not too fast.  I think along with his mixup
of pitches and how he throws side-arm, he needs to work on velocity,
otherwise it will hurt him in the long run.

Rays pitching was Matt Garza mostly.  8 IP.  At one point, Randy Choate
(Rays lefty specialist) was warming up, but they sat him down most
likely because they saw that Garza was still striking guys out and
throwing in the mid-90s.  No reason to sit a guy who keeps up the stuff
he was throwing in the first innings.  Soriano came in and, although
let the one run go, held on in the clutch to get Wigginton and Roberts
out.

Fielding:

Decided to add this section for any fielding notes I have.  No stat box to throw in though.

Miguel Tejada made some nice catches and rocket throws tonight.  Still
hasn’t had to make a huge extension or jump for one, but I’m impressed
with his performance so far.  The most impressive one was when the Rays
had men on 1st and 2nd in the 2nd with 1 out and Pat Burrell grounded
to a deep Tejada; Tejada got it, charged to third to tag then threw an
absolute beam to Atkins at first to end the inning.  This was one of
the jams Guthrie got out of that I was talking about earlier.

Both Adam Jones and Carl Crawford made nice rundowns on fly balls that
they were able to barely catch.  Twice, though, Reimold missed catches
on the run that I believe Pie would easily get.  Both times he was
close enough to get it.  The first he just missed with his glove and
the second he just wasn’t ready for it seemed.  Very dissappointed.  I
have always said since last season that he isn’t fit for left field.  I
think soon enough he will move to 1st.  Especially when Atkins is gone,
I think that spot should become Reimold’s.

2 interesting plays in the field today.  In one of Guthrie’s upcoming
jams, the ball was a chopper up the 1st base line and when Guthrie got
it, he ran at Crawford (I do believe it was him) with it.  Crawford
jumped out of the line to avoid the tag and then when he ran past the
bag, Roberts (who had run over) called for the ball and tagged first
for the out since the runner never touched.

Thank you to my friend Andrew, who reminded me of the second one.  In
the bottom of the 7th, with Brignac on 1st, Ohman (who had just entered
the game, this was his first batter) had 2 strikes on Carl Crawford. 
Crawford decided to check swing on the pitch (it ends up, after
watching replays, that he did not go), and as Crawford, thinking he had
drawn the walk on the 3-2 pitch, jogged to 1st, Wieters checked with
3rd base umpire Dana Demuth, who called Crawford out on swinging. 
Crawford didn’t realize until he got to 1st what had happened since he
assumed he didn’t go, and even the home plate umpire didn’t think to
check with Demuth since the swing truly was not enough to call it. 
Either way, Brignac starting jogging to 2nd without thinking to check
the call to make sure it was a walk and he saw Crawford go so he
assumed to go to, and once Wieters got the strike 3 call, he gunned the
ball to Izturis at 2nd who then tagged Brignac for the out!

Overall, the hitting was really the problem tonight.  Clutch hitting
with RISP wasn’t a problem, mainly since there were none of those RISP
situations.  Noone really was able to hit much off of Garza to begin
with.

For tomorrow:

-Matusz on the mound.  I like that we have taken the lead first in both
games, but then again, that led to the depressing stat that we are 0-2
when scoring first.  I still say it’s good to continue that trend, but
keep it up.  Bring the later inning hits.

-Also with hitting; be more patient!  To Roberts mainly; he swung on
the first pitch of his first at bat and his clutch at bat in the 9th
when the O’s needed a hit with Pie on 3rd to tie it, and both times he
flew out.  Be more patiend.  If Roberts and others would take some more
pitches instead of being anxious to swing, not only would more solid
at-bats happen, but then we could have gotten Garza’s pitch count up to
bring on the bullpen.  Now, for tomorrow, their bullpen is completely
ready since they didn’t need to even touch it tonight.

-Matusz needs to continue the pitching trend with keeping the runs low,
but I think he needs to find a way even moreso to keep the hits down. 
Millwood and Guthrie are veterans and handle the pressure of
baserunners well usually, but we don’t want Matusz in situations where
he feels nervous about the men on the bags; he needs to have a 1st
start where he can focus on his pitching and nothing else.

-I think Lugo should start at 2nd.  Really, he should be our every day
guy at SS I believe, but at least tomorrow at 2nd.  The O’s need a win
for now, and with the leadoff guy going 0-9 so far, we just need a
temporary change tomorrow.

-I also hope Pie will be ready tomorrow.  If not, then okay, but I have
a feeling that if it is Reimold again, we will let up some runs that
wouldn’t be let up if it weren’t Reimold in charge of fielding some
balls.

Overall, the O’s need to come out and get the closing win so they can come home on a good note for the Oriole Park opener.

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