The O’s are currently tied for 4th place in the AL East with Boston sitting at 19-20 and only 3.5 GB. It’s great at how close this division is this season because it is NEVER like this. The Yankees and Red Sox are usually like 937590275 games up from the O’s and Blue Jays. But, the Yanks are having problems as are the Red Sox and Toronto is playing a bit better than usual and the Rays are obviously the leaders of the division (by only 1.5 games) just like they won the division last season.
The last time these teams played in Florida was the first series of the season when the O’s surprisingly swept the Rays. We didn’t get a sweep this time, but we did win the series in very good fashion. I’ll give game-by-game recaps and analysis and I apologize for not posting the past few days, I have been very busy finishing up finals at school! Here we go.
Friday: Rays 3 Orioles 0
This is the same freakin story. Guthrie started and only gave up 3 runs on 7 hits with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts in 8 innings. He pitched a complete game but it wasn’t technically complete because he didn’t go out the bottom of the 9th since the Rays were at home and had the 3-0 lead after the top of the 9th. This was a decent start that gives the offense the chance to win, which is what a starter needs to do. But, yet again, as in every one of his starts he gets absolutely NONE, ZERO, GOOSE EGG, ZILCH run support. It’s pathetic and I as just a measly little FAN get so pissed at the team for not backing him up when he throws a decent start every time he’s on the mound so I can’t imagine how frustrated he gets too.
Jeremy Hellickson was the starter for the Rays and he went 9 complete innings handing the O’s a 4-hit shut-out with one walk and 3 strikeouts. Obviously it’s hard to get an offense going against a guy who’s 4-2 with a 2.98 ERA and he obviously had fantastic stuff against the O’s in this game. It’s just super unfortunate for Guthrie who seems to get over-matched every game because our batters can’t do sh*t for him at the plate. Oh and one other comment about Guthrie, he gets hurt by the long ball. All 3 of the runs in this game came off homers, one a 2-run shot, and one a solo jack. If he can keep the ball in the park and get run support, he should be seeing some wins soon. Right?
After this game, I thought it was downhill and we’d get swept again by the Rays but I was definitely wrong.
Saturday: Orioles 6 Rays 0
Ok, is anyone else confused about what the hell was going on during this game? Brad Bergesen got the start. But wait. He GOT A WIN. His first of the season. Oh and there’s more. He GOT A SHUT-OUT. Oh and wait one more little thing. HE PITCHED A COMPLETE GAME!
Yes, this is the real Brad Bergesen I’m talking about. I’m still dazed and confused about his 4 hit, 1 walk, and 5 strikeout outing he had on Saturday. I mean, he’s been all but terrible this season and then he throws a gem like this?? I mean really what is going on here? My Dad (baseball enthusiast that I have to thank for my obsession with sports) and I talked about it and decided it’s probably because he is scared for his job, which he should be. He brought his ERA down to 4.35 and did it in 9 innings with only 3 pitches over 100, which shows he threw a ton of strikes out there (68 to be exact). I am VERY VERY intrigued about his next start and to see how he does. To see if he goes back to his old ways and this was just a fluke or if he has another really good outing. His next start at the mound is this Thursday against the Yanks, who are on a 4-game losing streak, and Sabathia. I’m hoping for another great start but I’m expecting for him to go back to being the old Bergy and to get knocked around by the Yankees.
The offense looked pretty decent too. Reynolds homered, only his 4th, but thankfully he did something at the plate. Jake Fox also hit his 2nd homer of the season, a 2-run shot. Roberts went 2 for 5 with a run scored, getting a little action at the plate unlike what he’s done recently. And Markakis had a big night going 2 for 3 with 2 walks. He didn’t get any RBIs but got on base 4 out of 5 plate appearances so he definitely did his job and is getting back to his normal numbers.
Overall, this pretty much looked like the Orioles team that swept the Rays in the beginning of the season and trust me, I loved it.
Sunday: Orioles 9 Rays 3
This was another great game. The offense was hot and the pitching was very good. Arrieta got the start and went his consistent 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits with 3 walks and 7 strikeouts becoming the 2nd Orioles starter to get to 5 wins. I’m really starting to like this kid because he is so so consistent, only second to Zach Britton. He’s a guy you can count on when you see him on the mound. He’s not going to pitch shut-outs and complete games but he’ll always give you 5, usually 6, innings where he gives up a few runs but not too many so the offense can’t win. I’m just really excited about him and if he can improve on his already pretty good change-up and throw that sucker pretty often, watch out.
But, today’s story was the offense. Everyone got a hit but Felix Pie (who only had one at-bat) and Luke Scott (who’s on a bit of a cold streak right now). B-Rob went 2 for 5 with a run scored, Nick Markakis went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and a solo homer. Derrek Lee went 1 for 5, a 2 RBI double. Guerrero went 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored. Adam Jones went 1 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs scored. Wieters was on base every time going 3 for 4 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI single. Reynolds went 1 for 4 with a walk, a run scored, and a 2-out RBI single (he’s gotten an RBI 2 days in a row!).
Finally, in the 9th spot, Mr. Hardy making a huge comeback went 2 for 5 including a grand slam in the top of the 6th right after Ramos came in to relieve starting pitcher Rob Delaney. What a day!
Everyone’s averages are starting to raise with Hardy having the highest (and only one above .300) at .325. Guerrero is nearing .300 hitting .285 currently, Jones is at .284, and Wieters is at .265.
I’m really really really REALLY hoping we can sweep the upcoming 2-game series with the Red Sox and take at least one of the 2-game series with the Yankees. That would be fantastic. I think it’s possible with the momentum the team has right now and the turn-around it really seems like they’re making so let’s go O’s!