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Orioles are 3 and OOOOO!

Posted By Sven Jenkins On Apr 4 2011 @ 11:51 am In Baltimore Orioles | 2 Comments

Take a good look at these standings [1]….

AL East
Baltimore 3-0
New York 2-1
Toronto 2-1
Boston 0-3
Tampa Bay 0-3

It didn’t take Long for the Orioles to give the AL a taste of what baseball will look like in Baltimore this year. They swept the 2010 division champions, in Tampa, and allowed only three runs in the process.

This first series was all about pitching. The Orioles got outstanding starts from Jeremy Guthrie [2], Chris Tillman [3], and Zach “Great” Britton [4]. Guthrie tossed eight efficient innings, Tillman threw six no-hit innings, and Britton dealt six innings of one-run baseball. The bullpen was solid, but unspectacular, holding each lead it was given.

[5]

Brian Roberts

Offensively, Brian Roberts [6] was the hero in the first two games. His 2-RBI triple on Friday night broke open a 1-1 tie and gave the O’s a lead they would never give back. The next day, under similar circumstances, Roberts launched a letter-high fastball into the seats for a 3-run homer, and again, broke a tie ball game and gave the Orioles a decisive lead. Sunday’s offense was keyed by Mark Reynolds [7] and J.J. Hardy [8], who drove in three 7th inning runs to give Baltimore the victory.

Game One Notes

-Vlad Guerrero [9] singled in his first Orioles at-bat.

-David Price [10] struck out seven O’s in seven innings.

-J.J. Hardy made a spinning, 360 degree catch and throw of a ManRam [11] groundball in the 7th inning.

-The Orioles got the benefit of a blown umpire call in the 8th, when the umpires failed to call Hardy for obstruction on B.J. Upton [12] during a rundown play. Hardy knew he had gotten in Upton’s way, and slapped his glove in disgust, but the call wasn’t made.

-Jim Johnson [13] allowed the first run and home run of the season, when Ben Zobrist [14] took him deep in the 9th.

[15]

Chris Tillman

Game Two Notes

-Tillman left the game with a no-hitter intact.

-Of Tillman’s six Ks, three came on elevated fastballs, a pitch he will need to throw often if he’s going to succeed with his straight 4-seam fastball.

-James Shields [16] started for the Rays, and his changeup was looking nasty. He might be in line for a bounce-back season.

-Jeremy Accardo [17] lost the O’s team no-hitter in the 7th inning, but Felix Pie [18] preserved the 0-0 tie by throwing out Upton at home plate to end the frame.

-Kevin Gregg [19] made his first save chance a scary one by nearly allowing a walk-off three-run homer. Nick Markakis [20] saved the day by making a leaping catch against the wall to end the game. In Gregg’s defense, he was hurt by a very poor call at first base on the back end of a double play attempt, which allowed the winning run to eventually step to the plate.

[21]

Zach Britton

Game Three Notes

-Zach “Great” Britton made his first career MLB start. He took the mound with a 1-0 lead, thanks to an RBI single by Matt Wieters [22] in the top of the 1st.

-Rays leftfielder, Sam Fuld [23], made two highlight reel defensive plays. After stumbling over the bullpen mound in foul territory, Fuld made a sliding, reaching, tumbling catch of a Nick Markakis pop-up. He also ended the 7th inning by gunning out J.J. Hardy at home plate.

-Jason Berken [24] struck out the side in the 7th inning.

All the signs are pointing to a great season, but can it really last? Can the O’s play this well all summer? Were the Rays just flat to start the season?

To answer my own questions, no, it can’t be this good all year. The pitchers will struggle. There will be ups and downs, and injuries. And yes, the Rays looked like they weren’t ready for real competition just yet. I’m still betting on a .500 season.

Showalter is in charge [25] though, and he has this team confident.

The home opener is in a few hours. Jake Arrieta [26] will be pitching against the Tigers’ Rick Porcello [27]. The fan reaction should be awesome.

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URL to article: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2011/04/04/orioles-are-3-and-ooooo/

URLs in this post:

[1] standings: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/index.jsp?tcid=mm_mlb_standings

[2] Jeremy Guthrie: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/guthrje01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[3] Chris Tillman: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/tillmch01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[4] Zach “Great” Britton: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/brittza01.shtml

[5] Image: http://prosportsblogging.com/psb/uploads/2011/04/brian-roberts.jpg

[6] Brian Roberts: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/roberbr01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[7] Mark Reynolds: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/reynoma01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[8] J.J. Hardy: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hardyjj01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[9] Vlad Guerrero: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/guerrvl01.shtml

[10] David Price: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/priceda01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[11] ManRam: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/ramirma02.shtml

[12] B.J. Upton: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/u/uptonbj01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[13] Jim Johnson: http://www.baseball-reference.com/player_search.cgi?search=Jim+Johnson&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[14] Ben Zobrist: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/z/zobribe01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[15] Image: http://prosportsblogging.com/psb/uploads/2011/04/chris-tillman.jpg

[16] James Shields: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/shielja02.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[17] Jeremy Accardo: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/accarje01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[18] Felix Pie: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/piefe01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[19] Kevin Gregg: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/greggke01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[20] Nick Markakis: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/markani01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[21] Image: http://prosportsblogging.com/psb/uploads/2011/04/zach-britton.jpg

[22] Matt Wieters: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/wietema01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[23] Sam Fuld: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/fuldsa01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[24] Jason Berken: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/berkeja01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[25] Showalter is in charge: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/report_showalter_rips_jeter_oqwthwrPGeMP4bc65AFrCL

[26] Jake Arrieta: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/arrieja01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[27] Rick Porcello: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/porceri01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker

[28] Subscribe to author's RSS feed: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/author/csvenjenkins/feed/

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