Orioles drop game one in Texas

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Bethany Beach, DE – My impression of Miguel Gonzalez last night was that he was far from on his game in the Baltimore Orioles’ 5-1 loss at Texas. I would classify it as one of those “in-between starts” if we’re following the 10 good starts, 10 poor, and 10 in-between model. Gonzalez’s line: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 K. However to his credit Gonzalez seemed to be trying to pitch to the strike zone that was being used by home plate umpire Bob Davidson. The problem was that the strike zone was revolving an thus it became more and more difficult to pitch to that zone. Jim Palmer was routinely critical of Davidson on MASN, at one point saying “…he’s not very good, and he never has been.” I suppose if Palmer happens to pass Davidson in the hallways of Rangers Ballpark it could get a little awkward.

Texas starter Ryan Dempster stated out a bit shaky, as he was all over the plate in the first inning. Nate McClouth hit a two-out double, which was followed by an Adam Jones RBI-single to give the Birds a 1-0 lead. However Dempster settled down, and ended up holding the Orioles to only two more hits through his eight innings pitched. Texas tied the game in the fourth on David Murphy’s RBI-single, and then took the lead immediately afterwards when Geovanny Soto  singled Murphy home. Texas ultimately put up three runs in the fourth on Gonzalez, who to that point had walked a tight rope all night with runners on base.

Gonzalez got out of a few jams early in the game with multiple runners on, however we all know that kind of thing can’t last forever. The rule of thumb is that three base runners should somehow equal at least one run, and eventually that caught up with Gonzalez. The good news for the Orioles was that the bullpen came in and still looked very solid. J.C. Romero gave up a run in the eighth, however both Kevin Gregg and Matt Lindstrom pitched scoreless innings. The Orioles also did not give up a home run in this game, which is impressive given the propensity of Rangers Ballpark to allow homers. I can remember games within the past few years where the O’s would give up three and four home runs in that park.

Chris Tillman gets the ball tonight against Texas, coming off of a lackluster outing against Boston last week. He recorded a no decision, however it was a game that the Orioles ultimately lost. He’ll be opposed by Texas’ Scott Feldman and his 4.63 ERA. That stat might be a bit deceiving in that he had won six straight starts before going into his current two-game losing streak, but if stats mean anything this is a guy against whom the O’s could potentially put up some runs. As for Tillman, his propensity this year has thus far been to come back with a sparkling start after one such as he had against Boston last week.

You might notice that I’ve been using the tag line Bethany Beach, DE in my columns the past few days. I’m down at the Delaware shore for a few days, “re-living the vacations of my youth.” Next time you’re down this way I would recommend catching an O’s game at Harpoon Hannah’s in Fenwick Island, DE. Their bayside outdoor bar area is a perfect setting for catching the game with family and friends; furthermore when the O’s scored their lone run in the first inning last night I heard a few cheers from the peanut gallery! Yes folks, I suppose you could look at it as an O’s bar here at the shore. Today I think I’ll hit up Thrasher’s Fries for what that’s worth to anyone!

Follow me on Twitter @Domenic Vadala

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